Nordic Gothic traces Gothic fiction in the Nordic region from its beginnings in the nineteenth century with a main focus on the development of Gothic from the 1990s onwards in literature, film, TV series and new media. The volume gives an overview of Nordic Gothic fiction in relation to transnational developments and provides a number of case studies and in-depth analyses of individual narratives. The book creates an understanding of a ubiquitous but hitherto under-researched cultural phenomenon by showing how the Gothic narratives make visible cultural anxieties haunting the Nordic countries and their welfare systems, and how central these anxieties are for the understanding of identities and ideologies in the Nordic region. It examines how figures from Nordic folklore and mythology function as metaphorical expressions of Gothic themes, and also how universal Gothic figures such as vampires and witches are used in the Nordic context. The Nordic settings, and especially the Nordic wilderness, are explored from perspectives such as ecocriticism and postcolonialism and subcategories such as Gothic crime, Gothic humour, troll Gothic and geriatric Gothic are defined and discussed. Furthermore, the phenomenon of transcultural adaptation is investigated, using the cases of Lars von Trier’s Riget and John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Låt den rätte komma in, two seminal works of contemporary Nordic Gothic.
The Gothic has always told stories about ambiguous creatures from various folkloric traditions. In recent years, in particular the vampire and the zombie have enjoyed a global revival as sources not only of horror, but also of delight: they can either represent the threat of complete human extinction or be portrayed as individuals with whom the reader or viewer can identify or even love and admire. In contemporary Nordic Gothic the use of Nordicfolklore is a common feature, and this chapter focuses on what might be regarded as a current trend
mythmaking ’, in Merrill Kaplan and Timothy R. Tangherlini (eds), News from Other Worlds: Studies in NordicFolklore, Mythology and Culture, in Honor of John F. Lindow (Berkeley: North Pinehurst Press, 2012), pp. 134–53.
7 Zachary J. Melton, ‘ Nineteenth-century American reception of Old Norse literature: the search for American identity ’ (MA thesis, University of Iceland, 2017), p. 2.
8 Melton, ‘Nineteenth-century American reception’, p. 2.
9 See among others: Thomas Percy, Northern Antiquities, or, a description of the manners, customs, religion and
Kvideland and Henning K. Sehmsdorf, eds., NordicFolklore
(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989), 100–9.
25 Kommentar, 351–408. Although approximately four fifths of these are drawn from literary sources, in comparison with contemporary texts using comparable numbers of
WITCHCRAFT: THE FORMATION OF BELIEF 1
exempla, Institoris and Sprenger include an extraordinarily high number of narratives
drawn from their personal experience.
“Quare et merito concluditur praefata