The aim of this book is to make available a body of texts connected with the cultural phenomenon known as Gothic writing. The book includes many of the critical writings and reviews which helped to constitute Gothic as a distinct genre, by revisions of the standards of taste, by critique and by outright attack. Together, this material represents a substantial part of the discursive hinterland of Gothic. The chapters on supernaturalism, on the aesthetics of Gothic, and on opposition to Gothic contain a number of the standard references in any history of the genre. They are juxtaposed with other more novel items of journalism, religious propaganda, folk tradition, non-fictional narrative, poetry and so on. The book also includes chapters on the politics of Gothic, before and after the French Revolution. Therefore, it includes extracts from Tacitus and Montesquieu, the authorities that eighteenth-century commentators most often referred to. The story of Britain's Gothic origins, although implicitly progressivist, was to be re-fashioned in the cultural and sociological theories critical of modern society: that vital eighteenth-century trend known as primitivism. The book also broadly covers the period from the height of the Gothic vogue (in the mid-1790s) to the mid-nineteenth century. The author hopes that the book will encourage students to follow new routes, make new connections, and enable them to read set works on the syllabus in more adventurous and historically informed ways.
The last decade has seen a diffusion of the Gothic across a wide range of cultural sites, a relative explosion of Gothic images and narratives prompting a renewed critical interest in the genre. However, very little sustained attention has been paid to what we might term 'Gothic television' until this point. This book fills this gap by offering an analysis of where and how the genre might be located on British and US television, from the start of television broadcasting to the present day. In this analysis, Gothic television is understood as a domestic form of a genre which is deeply concerned with the domestic, writing stories of unspeakable family secrets and homely trauma large across the television screen. The book begins with a discussion on two divergent strands of Gothic television that developed in the UK during the 1960s and 1970s, charting the emergence of the restrained, suggestive ghost story and the effects-laden, supernatural horror tale. It then focuses on the adaptation of what has been termed 'female Gothic' or 'women's Gothic' novels. The book moves on to discuss two hybrid forms of Gothic drama in the 1960s, the Gothic family sitcoms The Munsters and The Addams Family, and the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. Finally, it looks at some recent examples of Gothic television in the United States, starting with a discussion of the long-form serial drama, Twin Peaks, as the initiator of a trend for dark, uncanny drama on North American television.
Gothic as a genre has become more amorphous and difficult to contain. This book brings together for the first time many of the multifarious visual motifs and media associated with Gothic together with areas that have never received serious study or mention in this regard before. It draws attention to an array of dark artefacts such as Goth and Gothic jewellery, dolls, posters and food, which, though part of popular mass marketing, have often been marginalised and largely omitted from the mainstream of Gothic Studies publishing. The book moves from the earliest Gothic architecture to décor and visual aspects of theatrical design, masquerade and dance. It focuses on paintings in two historical spans from Jan Van Eyck to Henry Fuseli and from Goya to H. R. Giger to consider Clovis Trouille's works influenced by horror films and Vincent Castiglia's paintings in blood. Gothic engravings, motifs of spectral portraits, posters and signs are covered. The book then uses early visual devices like Eidophusikon and the long-lived entertainment of peepshows to introduce a discussion of projection technologies like magic lanterns and, subsequently, film and TV. Gothic photography from Daguerreotypes onwards; and Gothic font, scripts and calligraphy are then discussed. Finally, the book presents a survey of the development of newer Gothic media, such as video gaming, virtual reality (VR) games and survival horror apps.
This collection of essays by scholars in Renaissance and Gothic studies traces the lines of connection between Gothic sensibilities and the discursive network of the English Renaissance. The essays explore three interrelated issues: 1. Early modern texts trouble hegemonic order by pitting the irrational against the rational, femininity against patriarchal authority, bestiality against the human, insurgency against authoritative rulership, and ghostly visitation against the world of the living. As such they anticipate the destabilization of categories to flourish in the Gothic period. 2. The Gothic modes anticipated by early modern texts serve to affect the audience (and readers) not only intellectually, but above all viscerally. 3. The Renaissance period can be seen as the site of emergence for the Gothic sensibility of the 18th century as it cultivated an ambivalence regarding the incursion of the supernatural into the ordinary.
The essays in this book demonstrate the importance of translation and European writing in the development of the Gothic novel. Cross-cultural exchanges occurred with the translation of novels by English writers into French. The book first situates works by British writers and American writers within a European context and legacy. Next, it offers readings of less-known works by Gothic authors. The book introduces the reader to a range of neglected, albeit influential, European Gothic texts which originated in Russian, Spanish, French and German. It argues that the level of ideological manipulation, which occurred as texts were translated, mistranslated, appropriated, misappropriated, altered and adapted from one language to another, was so considerable and so systematic that generic mutations were occasioned. The book suggests that Matthew Lewis's The Monk offers a few models of femininity, all deriving from and intended to disrupt, previous literary representations. It focuses on the automatic and the systematic in Charles Maturin's work in relation to Denis Diderot's contemporary philosophical conceptualizations of consciousness and identity. Gothic treacheries are dealt with through Samuel Coleridge's analysis of misappropriation of Friedrich Schiller's Die Rauber. The book also discusses the representations of ritual violence, as sanctioned by the Catholic Church, in English and Spanish pictorial and literary texts between 1796 and 1834. It talks about the Arabesque narrative technique of embedding tales within tales to create a maze in which even the storyteller becomes lost, reflecting the Eastern notion that the created is more important than the creator.
This book demonstrates that incest was representative of a range of interests crucial to writers of the Gothic, often women or homosexual men who adopted a critical stance in relation to the heteronormative patriarchal world. In repositioning the Gothic, representations of incest are revealed as synonymous with the Gothic as a whole. The book argues that extending the traditional endpoint of the Gothic makes it possible to understand the full range of familial, legal, marital, sexual and class implications associated with the genre's deployment of incest. Gothic authors deploy the generic convention of incest to reveal as inadequate heteronormative ideologies of sexuality and desire in the patriarchal social structure that render its laws and requirements arbitrary. The book examines the various familial ties and incestuous relationships in the Gothic to show how they depict and disrupt contemporary definitions of gender, family and desire. Many of the methodologies adopted in Gothic scholarship and analyses of incest reveal ongoing continuities between their assumptions and those of the very ideologies Gothic authors strove to disrupt through their use of the incest trope. Methodologies such as Freudian psychoanalysis, as Botting argues, can be positioned as a product of Gothic monster-making, showing the effect of Gothic conventions on psychoanalytic theories that are still in wide use today.
Although the preoccupation of Gothic storytelling with the family has often been observed, it invites a more systematic exploration. Gothic Kinship brings together case studies of Gothic kinship ties in film and literature and offers a synthesis and theoretical exploration of the different appearances of the Gothic family. The volume explores the cultural mediation of the shifting relations of kinship and power in gothic fictionfrom the eighteenth century up to the present day. Writers discussed include early British Gothic writers such as Eleanor Sleath and Louisa Sidney Stanhope as well as a range of later authors writing in English, including Elizabeth Gaskell, William March, Stephen King, Poppy Z. Brite, Patricia Duncker, J. K. Rowling and Audrey Niffenegger. There are also essays on Dutch authors (Louis Couperus and Renate Dorrestein) and on the film directors Wes Craven and Steven Sheil. Arranged chronologically, the various contributions show that both early and contemporary Gothic display very diverse kinship ties, ranging from metaphorical to triangular, from queer to nuclear-patriarchal. Gothic proves to be a rich source of expressing both subversive and conservative notions of the family.
Ever since the publication of Frankenstein, the Gothic has been
read as an expression of the fears associated with scientific, technological,
and medical advances. This essay argues that obstetrical medicine, from
midwifery to obstetrics, is the most Gothic of medical pursuits because of its
blurring of boundaries between male and female, natural and supernatural,
mechanical and organic, life and death. From subterraneous passages to
monstrosity, the professionalization of obstetrics over the course of the
eighteenth century and into the nineteenth reads like a Gothic novel. Tracing
the parallels between the Gothic aesthetic and several fictional and
quasifictional accounts of obstetrical ‘stories’ - from the Warming Pan Scandal
of 1688 to the work of Scottish obstetrician William Smellie and man mid-wife
William Hunter - this essay demonstrates the Gothic nature of reproductive
Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me and the Crooked Game
of Post-World War II America
Though presenting itself as pulpy example of hardboiled American fiction, Jim
Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me opens up in important and
unexpected ways when read as a subversive Gothic novel. Such a reading sheds
light on a range of marginalized characters (especially women and rural peoples)
who often remain shadowed by more conventional readings. Reading the novel as
Gothic also highlights thematic concerns which counter the halcyon image of
post-World War II America as a golden age and reveal instead a contemporary
landscape fraught with violence, alienation, and mental instability.