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Author: David Brauner

This is a study of the contemporary American novelist, Philip Roth. Reading alongside a number of his contemporaries and focusing particularly on his later fiction, it offers a view of Roth as an intellectually adventurous and stylistically brilliant writer who constantly reinvents himself in surprising ways. At the heart of this book are a number of readings of Roth's works both in terms of their relationships with each other and with fiction by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thomas Pynchon, Tim O'Brien, Bret Easton Ellis, Stanley Elkin, Howard Jacobson and Jonathan Safran Foer. The book identifies as a thread running through all of Roth's work the use of paradox, both as a rhetorical device and as an organising intellectual and ideological principle.

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Hawthorne, Ligotti, and the Absent Center of the Nation-State
Donald L. Anderson

Although composed before 9/11, Nathaniel Hawthorne‘s My Kinsman, Major Molineux and Thomas Ligotti‘s The Shadow at the Bottom of the World are both prescient in their critique of the impulse of American communities following 9/11 to monumentalise and concretise the nation-state and in particular the remains at Ground Zero. In this essay I discuss Ground Zero as a suggestive trope for the illusiveness of the nation as an imagined community. These complementary Gothic short stories operate as allegory and offer a way of reading how patriotic communities cohered around what remained at Ground Zero and (re)produced it as a site of patriotic performance. A new Gothic trait in our age of terror(ism) is the anxiety over the absence of a stable centre that anchors national continuity. This article places these short stories in conversation with Benedict Anderson,,Étienne Balibar and other theorists who engage critiques of nation-building in order to draw out what is Gothic about the nation-state and to further substantiate how 9/11 revealed the nation-state as a principally Gothic phenomenon.

Gothic Studies
Jessie Morgan-Owens

2 Photographic studies in the Hawthornes’ American Note-books Jessie Morgan-Owens These Note-Books, by the way – this seems as good a place as any other to say it – are a very singular series of volumes; I doubt whether there is anything exactly corresponding to them in the whole body of literature. Henry James, Hawthorne (1879) In 1866 and 1867 the recently widowed Sophia Peabody Hawthorne corresponded with editor James T. Fields and his wife Annie over the posthumous publication of excerpts from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s note-books in The Atlantic Monthly and in

in Mixed messages
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The House by the Church yard
W. J. McCormack

costume novels of Harrison Ainsworth, and also to the (anti-)puritan fiction of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Its tapestry-like chapters contain vignettes of mundane life, the passage of ordinary time, even as they accumulate to form an apocalyptic expose of a dynasty. If Sturke and Archer and Danger-field are the names of the latter-day actors in the drama, then the initials and figures on the

in Dissolute characters
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David Brauner

), Deception (1990) and Operation Shylock (1993), appropriates, complicates and finally parodies aspects of both realism and postmodernism, making connections between these texts and works by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thomas Pynchon, Tim O’Brien and Bret Easton Ellis. In the third chapter, I discuss Roth’s treatment of morality, mortality and masculinity in what I consider to be his masterpiece, Sabbath’s Theater (1995), comparing it with a short story by Stanley Elkin and a novel by Howard Jacobson that share many of its themes. The fourth chapter develops work that I began in

in Philip Roth
Generic experimentation in My Life as a Man, The Counterlife, The Facts, Deception and Operation Shylock
David Brauner

nineteenthcentury romances of Nathaniel Hawthorne. My Life as a Man The idea is to turn flesh and blood into literary characters and literary characters into flesh and blood. (Roth 2001a: 122) Philip Roth’s early work is very much in the classic realist tradition. Although his first novel, Letting Go, alternates between an omniscient third-person narration and a first-person narration by the protagonist of the novel, Gabe Wallach, and his third novel, Portnoy’s Complaint, is formally more complex and adventurous than has generally been recognised,5 it was only in the post

in Philip Roth
Morality, mortality and masculinity in Sabbath’s Theater
David Brauner

in 1973 (reprinted in Reading Myself and Others), Philip Roth recalls how he came upon a letter from Herman Melville to Nathaniel Hawthorne, in which Melville describes his elation upon completing Moby Dick: ‘I have written a wicked book, and feel spotless as a lamb’ (Melville quoted in Roth 2001a: 76). Roth ‘pinned it up along with the other inspirational matter on [his] bulletin board’, while at the same time acknowledging to himself that ‘no matter how hard [he] tried, he could never really hope to be wicked’ (76). This tension – between the desire to be morally

in Philip Roth

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.

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What is 'Gothic'?
Robert Miles

from romance. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous distinction between the two, in his preface to The House of the Seven Gables ( 1851 ), is a concise précis of a usage that had hardened half a century earlier. Modern criticism has also found it convenient to keep the two separate. In accordance with both usages, Gothic fiction is unequivocally ‘romance’, but so are Gothic poems and dramas (in the modern

in Gothic writing 1750–1820
Stephen Cheeke

encountered in the picture is both a penetrating gaze that sees through and into the observer, a look of profound experience, and a look of simple innocence: the moral paradox is somehow declared in the image. The face of Beatrice Cenci131 The dilemma of how Beatrice appeared to herself, and of how her look was able to ‘anatomize’ others, would also fascinate Nathaniel Hawthorne, who twice visited the ‘dreadful pit’ in the Castel Sant’Angelo where she had been imprisoned.14 His reaction to the portrait, then in the Palazzo Barberini, in February 1858, was an intense

in Ekphrastic encounters