Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is one of the most popular novels in western literature. It has been adapted and re-assembled in countless forms, from Hammer Horror films to young-adult books and bandes dessinées. Beginning with the idea of the ‘Frankenstein Complex’, this edited collection provides a series of creative readings that explore the elaborate intertextual networks that make up the novel’s remarkable afterlife. It broadens the scope of research on Frankenstein while deepening our understanding of a text that, 200 years after its original publication, continues to intrigue and terrify us in new and unexpected ways.
‘culturetext’. Unlike most existing scholarship, I treat melodramas and comedies based on Frankenstein with equal interest because the latter genre is typically ignored but has equal cultural force as the more ‘serious’ adaptations of the nineteenth-century stage and later films.
Presumption sets the stage
Returning to England from Italy in the summer of 1823, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley wrote to Leigh Hunt (her late husband’s long-time friend and publisher), ‘Behold! I found myself famous!’ (378). The reason? A
The church as sacred space places the reader at the heart of medieval
religious life, standing inside the church with the medieval laity in order to
ask what the church meant to them and why. It examines the church as a building,
idea, and community, and explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church
was crucial to its place at the centre of lay devotion and parish life. At a
time when the parish church was facing competition for lay attention, and
dissenting movements such as Lollardy were challenging the relevance of the
material church, the book examines what was at stake in discussions of sanctity
and its manifestations. Exploring a range of Middle English literature alongside
liturgy, architecture, and material culture, the book explores the ways in which
the sanctity of the church was constructed and maintained for the edification of
the laity. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary theoretical approaches, the
book offers a reading of the church as continually produced and negotiated by
the rituals, performances, and practices of its lay communities, who were
constantly being asked to attend to its material form, visual decorations, and
significance. The meaning of the church was a dominant question in late-medieval
religious culture and this book provides an invaluable context for students and
academics working on lay religious experience and canonical Middle English
Drawing on narrative theory, this chapter bridges understandings of security, popular culture and identity to show how stories matter. It argues that television shows are a site where gendered, raced, and nationalised identities are narrated, and particular subjectivities created. It applies this critical narrative approach to an analysis of the television series Homeland, a popular drama that tracks the efforts of the CIA to thwart the latest terrorist threat to America. This analysis considers both the meaning within Homeland and the process of meaning-making by members of the show’s British audience; in doing so, it moves away from understanding audiences as passive consumers of ideological messages contained in texts, to understanding how audiences negotiate their understanding of the show and themselves. It also considers how these terrorism stories articulate gendered and racialized boundaries of inclusion and exclusion. This links security and identity, politics and culture, texts and audiences. Although it demonstrates the articulation of identity within security stories, it also draws attention to ways that audiences can resist those identities.
subjective experience of citizens. Rather than imposing a rigid, a priori definition of the
‘political’ through the use of a limited number of proxy indicators, such
approaches privilege the accounts given by citizens themselves; it is
what they understand to be political in the context of their lives. While
there is, as yet, no consensus on the most appropriate methodology for
listening to citizens’ own accounts of what it feels like to be a citizen (or
not) and establishing if and how culturetexts play a role in this, there
are a number of studies from which to draw.
, 1985), pp. 180–199, at p. 180. The essays in the
collection were first presented as papers at a 1982
Ibid., pp. 181, 182.
James Daybell and Peter Hinds (eds), Material
Readings of Early Modern Culture: Texts and Social Practices
are immune to media influence (Buckingham 2000: 213). Indeed, we found evidence to suggest
that young people frequently appeared to reproduce the discourses
sustained in the popular culturetexts about which they talked. When
discussing television programmes such as The X Factor, The Apprentice
and Hell’s Kitchen, young people appeared to ‘buy into’ the wider messages in these programmes about a cruel business world and about the
authority that success in the business world conferred on someone. In
particular, participants seemed to reproduce discourses that
discouraged dramatists from adapting Villette for other media’ (1999).
Spying and surveillance in Villette
There are several elements of Villette that forcibly remind us of how different the nineteenth century was from today. Especially, perhaps, in
turning from the familiarity of the culture-text that is Jane Eyre to the
lesser known and less adapted Villette, we are required to rethink the
nineteenth century. This is an issue for adaptation, since the rhetoric of
transmedial adaptation itself seems to imply that its source text is a ‘story
for today’, a work with
The most Gothic of acts – suicide in generic context
William Hughes and Andrew Smith
through a strategy of inversion. In folklore and in some popular culturetexts, the punishment for the mortal sin of suicide is precisely to become a vampire. The consequence of the sin of unmaking is to become the embodiment of sin. Vampire suicide, particularly in instances of guilt or martyrdom, becomes a type of cleansing, made clear through the preferred means of self-slaughter: suicide by sunlight.
Katarzyna Ancuta, in ‘Under the dying sun: suicide and the Gothic in modern Japanese literature and culture’, discusses the changing
some popular culturetexts, the punishment for the mortal sin of suicide is precisely to become a vampire. The consequence of the sin of hubristic unmaking is to become the embodiment of sin. Vampire suicide, particularly in instances of guilt or martyrdom, then, is a curious type of cleansing – purification achieved through the preferred means of self-slaughter: suicide by sunlight. As the creature of darkness waits for dawn or steps out into the midday sun, ‘evil’ transforms into a small pile of ashes. The second suicide then is the antidote for the first (or for