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The gothic and death is the first ever published study to investigate how the multifarious strands of the Gothic and the concepts of death, dying, mourning, and memorialization – what the Editor broadly refers to as "the Death Question" – have intersected and been configured cross-culturally to diverse ends from the mid-eighteenth century to the present day. Drawing on recent scholarship in Gothic Studies, film theory, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Thanatology Studies, to which fields it seeks to make a valuable contribution, this interdisciplinary collection of fifteen essays by international scholars considers the Gothic’s engagement, by way of its unique necropolitics and necropoetics, with death’s challenges to all systems of meaning, and its relationship to the culturally contingent concepts of memento mori, subjectivity, spectrality, and corporeal transcendence. Attentive to our defamiliarization with death since the advent of enlightened modernity and the death-related anxieties engendered by that transition, The gothic and death combines detailed attention to socio-historical and cultural contexts with rigorous close readings of artistic, literary, televisual, and cinematic works. This surprisingly underexplored area of enquiry is considered by way of such popular and uncanny figures as corpses, ghosts, zombies, and vampires, and across various cultural and literary forms as Graveyard Poetry, Romantic poetry, Victorian literature, nineteenth-century Italian and Russian literature, Anglo-American film and television, contemporary Young Adult fiction, Bollywood film noir, and new media technologies that complicate our ideas of mourning, haunting, and the "afterlife" of the self.

Serena Trowbridge

Gothic fiction. The concept that Gothic literature was influenced by Graveyard Poetry is entertained briefly by David Punter and Glennis Byron: ‘It is also important to notice that as early as the 1740s we can trace the development of a form of poetry which was radically different from anything Pope advocated, and which came to be called “Graveyard Poetry”. Graveyard Poetry is

in The Gothic and death
A literary history
Author: Andrew Smith

The focus in this book is on how the dead and dying were represented in Gothic texts between 1740 and 1914 - between Graveyard poetry and the mass death occasioned by the First World War. The corpse might seem to have an obvious place in the Gothic imaginary but, as we shall see, the corpse so often refuses to function as a formal Gothic prop and in order to understand why this occurs we need to explore what the corpse figuratively represented in the Gothic during the long nineteenth century. Representations of death often provide a vehicle for other contemplations than just death. A central aim of this study is to explore how images of death and dying were closely linked to models of creativity, which argues for a new way of looking at aesthetics during the period. Writers explored include Edward Young, Ann Radcliffe, Mary Shelley, James Boaden, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Henry Rider Haggard, Bram Stoker and Arthur Machen.

The Gothic, death, and modernity
Carol Margaret Davison

twenty-first centuries. The chapters in Part I , ‘Gothic graveyards and afterlives’, coalesce around anxieties about, and representations of, the grave and post-mortem spiritual existence and experience as expressed in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Gothic literature and its hugely influential precursor, Graveyard Poetry. Both forms lent expression to anxieties and desires about the grave while

in The Gothic and death
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Andrew Smith

This study has explored the various ways in which the dead and dying have been represented in Gothic texts from the mid eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. The history explored here began by looking at how Graveyard poetry functioned as a precursor to the Gothic. As we have seen, critical discussion about death, spirituality and creativity was established in

in Gothic death 1740–1914
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Eighteenth-century Gothic poetics
Andrew Smith

‘human’ to close critical scrutiny. The Gothic, as it emerges in the 1740s–1750s in Graveyard poetry, is generated out of this metaphysical uncertainty even whilst it formally models images of the dead that will become one of its iconographical features. The Gothic, in other words, was born out of anxieties about death, but in order to explain this it is helpful to outline critical discussion that

in Gothic death 1740–1914
Charles Bonnet and William Blake’s illustrations to Robert Blair’s The Grave (1808)
Sibylle Erle

graveyard, talks about death as equaliser and becomes increasingly preoccupied with physical decay. He moves non-chronologically from loss and burial to dying. Natural progression from material to spiritual life was a popular conceit in elegiac poetry classified as Graveyard Poetry. Blake engages with its iconographic focus, the graveyard, but collapses the corporeal into the

in The Gothic and death
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Andrew Smith

this capacity for self-reflection indicates the presence of a radical strand within the Gothic that is centred on ideas about death, art, creativity and modes of interpretation. The focus in this book is on how the dead and dying were represented in Gothic texts between 1740 and 1914 – between Graveyard poetry and the mass death occasioned by the First World War. The corpse

in Gothic death 1740–1914
From Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry to British Romantic art
Author: Hélène Ibata

The challenge of the sublime argues that the unprecedented visual inventiveness of the Romantic period in Britain could be seen as a response to theories of the sublime, more specifically to Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). While it is widely accepted that the Enquiry contributed to shaping the thematics of terror that became fashionable in British art from the 1770s, this book contends that its influence was of even greater consequence, paradoxically because of Burke’s conviction that the visual arts were incapable of conveying the sublime. His argument that the sublime was beyond the reach of painting, because of the mimetic nature of visual representation, directly or indirectly incited visual artists to explore not just new themes, but also new compositional strategies and even new or undeveloped pictorial and graphic media, such as the panorama, book illustrations and capricci. More significantly, it began to call into question mimetic representational models, causing artists to reflect about the presentation of the unpresentable and the inadequacy of their endeavours, and thus drawing attention to the process of artistic production itself, rather than the finished artwork. By revisiting the links between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and visual practices, The challenge of the sublime establishes new interdisciplinary connections which address researchers in the fields of art history, cultural studies and aesthetics.

Ruin paintings and architectural fantasies
Hélène Ibata

imagination’; ‘the moral response’, which sees the ruin as a memento mori, a reminder of the vanity of all human achievements; the ‘political’ one, for which ruins connote ‘Nature’s levelling of haughty tyranny’; the ‘aesthetic’ one, which focuses on ‘the decorative nature of the ruin’; and the ‘sentimental’ one, which is ‘that indulgence of melancholy and horror associated with Graveyard poetry and Sublime aesthetics’.1 The last two responses could be said to correspond respectively to the aesthetics of the picturesque and the sublime. The growing association with terror

in The challenge of the sublime