As distinct from those films discussed in the previous chapter, which directly ‘quote’ from Brief Encounter , there are many more that seem in various ways to echo the 1945 classic. One can’t of course know to what extent the filmmakers involved had Brief Encounter in mind, but the fact is that its essential scenario and its moral core still retain their emotional power, despite the shifts in cultural mores, irresistibly suggesting the long shadow it casts. Those titles to be considered here involve – to varying degrees – a
Echoes of marginalisation in Crawley
I hope it will be better for me there [in the UK]. Life here [in Mauritius] is hard.
Here [in Mauritius] we work a lot for a little money, whereas there [in the UK]
we will work a little for enough money. I hope to save a bit, to build my children’s
future, to make a stable life. I’m sacrificing myself for my family. (Claude, a father
in his forties born in Mauritius to a Chagossian mother)
Displaced Chagos islanders’ experiences of marginalisation and mobilisation in
Mauritius were examined in Part I. This chapter
Famine echoes: the relief of distress
For the majority of Irish people, the experience of famine was a
memory not a reality in the second half of the nineteenth
century. For those in the west, however, where land holdings
remained small and agriculture continued to be heavily
dependent on the potato, periodic harvest failures and economic
downturns meant that famine and disease remained constant
spectres. The poor law could provide only limited protection
against economic insecurity in these regions since rateable
values were low and levels of poor relief
Echoes and precedents:
1989 in historical perspective
The historical longue durée
Echoes and precedents: 1989 in perspective
The East European revolutions of 1989 offer a host of possibilities for
enquiry. For political scientists they have meant the creation of new
polities, where matters like rational choice or path dependency theory
can be tested or the merits of alternative constitutional arrangements
assessed. Economists have debated the permutations of ‘Big Bang’ or more
gradualist schemes for the transition from a communist to a capitalist
The music hall reinvented itself as variety with sufficient success for new theatres to be built in the 1930s. The early days of the music hall were evoked nostalgically in Champagne Charlie and a string of films which followed. In the late 1940s, the cinema's debt to the music hall was evident in the Mancunian comedies and the Old Mother Riley series. Both were distinctive forms of British cinema, though their proletarian character means that they have received scant critical attention. The scenarios of Mancunian films, the characters of the stars and the low production costs resulted in a unique style of filmmaking which appealed to northern, working-class audiences. Two Mancunian offerings, Somewhere in Camp and Somewhere on Leave drew the largest audiences at the Majestic, Macclesfield, in 1942 and 1943 respectively. Home Sweet Home is a typical Mancunian product in its casting and scenario.
On first glance, M*A*S*H (1972–83) might not be the ideal text for Gothic analysis.
Aesthetically, the traditional dark castles surrounded by black forests in the moonlight
are replaced by muted khaki and green canvas Army tents, and the tinny canned laughter
punctuating the sardonic jokes echo longer than the terrified screams in the night. Gothic
and war are uneasy bedfellows; it is the inclusion of comedy, however, that determines
just how horrific the result can be. Using M*A*S*H as a primary example to explore what I
refer to as Khaki Gothic this paper will explore how, utilising Gothic tropes, comedy can
disguise, diffuse and intensify the horrors of war.
In The Mysteries of Udolpho, characters practice science in home
laboratories, libraries, green houses and gardens, using observation,
instruments, and books to study botany, astronomy, and chemistry. By integrating
these moments of everyday science into her novels - and making them integral to
the development of her heroines - Ann Radcliffe presents a landscape in which
both reason and sensibility are enlisted to gather and process information and
create meaning in a way that echoed the popular scientific discourse of the day.
To date, there has been no sustained study of Radcliffe’s incorporation of
scientific practice and rhetoric into her Gothic novels. By looking closely at
the scientific engagement within her texts, we can broaden the basis for
understanding her work as a part of the broader culture that not only included,
but was in many ways predicated upon the shifting landscape of science at the
end of the eighteenth century.
The Ceremony of Organ Harvest in Gothic Science Fiction
In organ transfer, tissue moves through a web of language. Metaphors reclassify the tissue to enable its redeployment, framing the process for practitioners and public. The process of marking off tissue as transferrable in legal and cultural terms parallels many of the processes that typically accompany commodification in late capitalism. This language of economic transformation echoes the language of Gothic ceremony, of purification and demarcation. As in literary Gothic s representations of ceremony, this economic work is anxious and the boundaries it creates unstable. This article identifies dominant metaphors shaping that ceremony of tissue reclassification, and examines how three twenty-first century novels deploy these metaphors to represent the harvest (procurement) process (the metaphor of harvest; is itself highly problematic, as I will discuss). Kazuo Ishiguros Never Let Me Go (2005), Neal Shusterman Unwind (2007), and Ninni Holmqvists Swedish novel Enhet (The Unit) (2006, translated into English in 2010) each depict vulnerable protagonists within societies where extreme tissue procurement protocols have state sanction. The texts invite us to reflect on the kinds of symbolic substitutions that help legitimate tissue transfer and the way that procurement protocols may become influenced by social imperatives. In each text, the Gothic trope of dismemberment becomes charged with new urgency.
This article examines the effects of early anthropological accounts of other races in producing tropes for monstrosity in the Gothic, such as we see in Frankenstein where the monster, although not of any known race since he is hybridly created from parts of dead bodies, shares features with popular accounts of the racially other, echoes Haitian slave rebellion violence in his responses to ill treatment, and achieves his literacy and independence in the manner of popular slave narratives. Gothic tropes were sometimes employed in anti-slavery narratives such as Uncle Tom‘s Cabin, and many of the descriptions of brutality and terror in realist slave narratives are properly to be considered Gothic (and may in fact borrow from gothic fictional techniques). Slavery itself could be argued to outdo the Gothic in its actuality, as well as serving as a source for gothic fantasy. This provokes a rethinking of the now conventional assumption that Frankenstein‘s acknowledgement of responsibility for his creature implies that it does his unconscious bidding; on the contrary, Frankenstein admits his responsibility as a slaveholder might for the actions of his slave, but without in any way endorsing them.
Though pointedly raising its literary pedigree with allusions to ‘high’ literature from Percy‘s RELIQUES to Spensers FAIRIE QUEENE, Coleridge‘s ‘Christabel’ (1799-1801) still draws heavily on the very Gothic fiction of the 1790s that he condemns as ‘low’ writing in reviews of the same period. Especially Gothic is this poems alter-ego relationship between the title character and the vampiric Geraldine. This peculiar use of echoes extends the many jibes of this period that blame the many literary changes of this time (including a mass-produced effulgence of printed writing and a frightening blurring of genres) on the Gothic as a kind of scapegoat for the cultural upheaval of this era. The Gothic is, in fact, a site for what Kristeva calls ‘abjection’: the cultural ‘throwing off’ of intermingled contradictions,into a symbolic realm that seems blatantly fictional and remote. As such a site, the Gothic in ‘Christabel’ haunts the poem with unresolved cultural quandaries that finally contribute to its unfinished, fragmentary nature. One such quandary is what is abjected in the Gothic relationship of the heroine and Geraldine: the irresolution at the time about the nature and potentials of woman.