Angela Carter and European Gothic

This book develops insights into the vexed question of Carter's textual practices through the dusty lens of the Gothic. It argues that European Gothic is vital to illuminating and understanding the tension between politics and aesthetics in Carter's work. The book shows how a more concerted focus on Carter's European literary inheritance sheds light on her particular and perverse engagements with androcentric literary and cultural frameworks. It emblematises the tension between her textual extravagancies and her self-declared 'absolute and committed materialism'. Her firm belief 'that this world is all that there is, and in order to question the nature of reality one must move from a strongly grounded base in what constitutes material reality'. The book examines the fraught relationship between Carter's sexual and textual politics. Exploring the ways in which Carter's work speaks to broader discussions about the Gothic and its representations, the book is especially concerned with analysing her textual engagements with a male-authored strand of European Gothic. This is a dirty lineage that can be mapped from the Marquis de Sade's obsession with desecration and defilement to surrealism's violent dreams of abjection. The book not only situates Carter as part of a European Gothic tradition but theoretically aligns her with what Jane Gallop, in her book on Sade, describes as France's "deconstructive" feminism, daughter of antihumanism.

Angela Carter‘s (Post-)feminist Gothic Heroines

Carter‘s fiction sits uneasily in relation to both Gothic and feminist discourses, especially as they converge through the category of the ‘female Gothic’. Owing to her interest in pornography and her engagement with the sexual/textual violence of specifically ‘male Gothic’ scripts – for example, the Gothic scenarios of Sade, Poe, Hoffmann, Baudelaire and Stoker – Carter‘s Gothic heroines have frequently been censured as little more than objects of sadistic male desires by feminist critics. This article re-reads Carter‘s sexual/textual violations – her defiance of dominant feminist and Gothic categories and categorisations – through the problematic of (post-)feminist discourse and, especially, the tension between ‘victim’ and ‘power’ feminisms as prefigured in her own (Gothic) treatise on female sexual identity, The Sadeian Woman (1979). Mapping the trajectory of her Gothic heroine from Ghislaine in Shadow Dance (1966) to Fevvers in Nights at the Circus (1984), it re-contextualises Carters engagements with the Gothic as a dialogue with both the female Gothic and feminist discourse.

Gothic Studies
Matthew Lewis’s The Monk and the Marquis de Sade’s La Nouvelle Justine

Matthew Gregory Lewis and the Marquis de Sade are, in their own rights, well-researched authors. Lewis is rightfully accorded a prominent position in critical surveys of the English Gothic novel due to his notorious production The Monk (Miles 1993 ; Kilgour 1995 ; Botting 1996 ; Punter 1996 ); the Marquis de Sade has also recently been afforded a great deal of critical and

in European Gothic
Ecocriticism in the eighteenth century Gothic novel

to encounter another bloody house – the Castle of Lindenberg and the murderous history of the Bleeding Nun. Through the story of Raymond, Lewis emphasizes that the forest is no place for either innocence or solace. However, Lewis does not completely revise Radcliffe’s ideas of innocence and the environment on his own; his ideas are greatly influenced by the writings of the Marquis de Sade

in Ecogothic
Abstract only
Sexualities on the move?

does demand to be considered in the light of a specifically French history and culture of transgression, then it is perhaps more fruitful to compare him with a handful of French literary precursors than with his French cinematic contemporaries. Ozon’s films explore ideas around radically ‘unlawful’ sexualities that are often reminiscent of writers like the Marquis de Sade (La Philosophie dans le boudoir, 1794), the Comte

in François Ozon
Abstract only
A spirited exchange 1760-1960
Editor: Avril Horner

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.

Abstract only
Enlightenment, automata, and the theatre of terror

This chapter argues the case for a partial overlap between Diderot and Charles Maturin who are conventionally labelled Enlightenment and Gothic. In Diderot's novel, the notion of the automaton is linked to the system of an anti-society of isolated Cartesian cells. And it becomes associated with horror and superstition, a phalanstery of mastery and slavery which anticipates the automatism of the Marquis de Sade. Diderot himself had been imprisoned in Vincennes and unnerved by the experience to the point of apparent capitulation to the authorities, so he had studied at first hand the condition he writes about. Automatism is indeed part of the theatre of terror and the relation between hypocrisy, acting and ritualized behaviour is part of Maturin's meditation. Maturin and Diderot independently share a self-conscious fictional heritage whose master trope is the theatre; this shapes the different questions they ask of the novel genre in a common manner.

in European Gothic
Abstract only
Angela Carter and European Gothic

Malevich’s Suprematist art. Above all, Carter suggests, this Gothic aesthetic inhabits the Marquis de Sade’s edict that ‘Art is the perpetual immoral subversion of the established order’ (‘NGM’ 133). The political edge and edginess of the Gothic resides in its ability to contest the status quo. This is an aesthetic that is fully aware of its status as ‘non-being’ and thus does

in Decadent Daughters and Monstrous Mothers
Abstract only
Conflict Gothic

her keynote at a Gothic conference in Poland, Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet paraded a number of subgenres, including battlefield Gothic, which are contained within the burgeoning genre of War Gothic. 5 It is a banner under which the category of vampirism and war is readily mustered. Invariably the Gothic arises out of conflict. As the Marquis de Sade observed, the Gothic novel emerged from the horrors of

in Dangerous bodies

the Marquis de Sade. As he famously stated in his ‘Reflections on the Novel’ (1800), the emergence of the genre of Gothic horror ‘became the necessary fruit of the revolutionary tremors felt by the whole of Europe’. 86 It will be argued that, through her revenancy, Lewis’ Bleeding Nun and her imitators replay the horrors of the French Revolution, including its anti-clericalism. Angela Wright shows

in Dangerous bodies