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Transformations of the Human in the Writing of Liam O‘Flaherty
Terry Phillips

This paper examines the way in which the tension in O‘Flaherty‘s writing between disappointed idealism and lingering romanticism is expressed by his use of the grotesque, which enables him at once to display both revulsion and romantic resistance to limitation, both of which are counter to a coherent enlightenment view of the rational human. The paper traces O‘Flaherty‘s use of the grotesque in the short stories and a number of historical novels and his creation of figures which are sometimes monstrous, often humorous and sometimes enlightened by moments of transcendence of limitations, but always resistant to defining boundaries.

Gothic Studies
Author: Robert Duggan

Contemporary British writing moves in a variety of directions, and the object of this study is the exploration of a particularly fertile path some recent British fiction has taken. This book reveals the extent to which the grotesque endures as a dominant artistic mode in British fiction. It presents a new way of understanding authors who have been at the forefront of British literature over the past four decades. The book examines the history of the grotesque in visual art and literature together with its historical and theoretical accounts. Criticism historically has often represented the grotesque in the work of an author as the product of the personal habits and idiosyncrasy of the writer. Devoted to the late Angela Carter, the book considers the hallucinating characters, monstrous metamorphoses and disorientating play with perspective and scale that all point to the importance of the grotesque in fiction. Looking at the work of Martin Amis in the light of the grotesque in literature, it examines his novels Money: A Suicide Note and London Fields. The presence of the grotesque, with its characteristic contradictory elements, in Ian McEwan's fiction offers a sustained engagement with issues of subject formation. The grotesque provides a theoretical model capable of investigating both the principal narrative energies and the controlled structures of Iain Banks's fiction, acknowledging his place within the Scottish and wider European literary traditions of the grotesque. The book also looks at works of Will Self and Toby Litt.

Robert Duggan

Chapter 1 The contemporary British grotesque The object of this chapter is to give a brief account of the historical tradition of the grotesque in literature and the visual arts and so to develop, rather than a singular definition of the grotesque, a set of core qualities and theoretical debates in which the grotesque partakes and with which we can examine the works of Angela Carter, Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Iain Banks, Will Self and Toby Litt as well as the links between their texts. Through an examination of manifestations of the grotesque throughout history

in The grotesque in contemporary British fiction
Ben Jonson’s Masque of Queenes
Elisabeth Bronfen and Beate Neumeier

the Shakespearean imagination. All the elements which we find in other dramatists and which we associate with the pre-Gothic seem to be missing in Jonson’s works. Yet, Jonson’s grotesque characters coupled with the poet’s permanent obsession with the ‘mortality’ of his own work, led to works that were grotesque in form and morbid and melancholy in atmosphere. To examine Jonson

in Gothic Renaissance
The invisibility of border-related trauma narratives in the Finnish–Russian borderlands
Tuulikki Kurki

traumas. The traumas were not regarded as being particularly significant in the context of the prevailing national order. Similar features characterise the reception of these border-related trauma narratives in Russian Karelia until the end of the Soviet era. However, during the post-Soviet era, the writers address the traumatic experiences of previous generations. Some writers have diverged from the documentary style of writing, and used various narrative strategies of fiction, such as hyper-naturalism and the grotesque, when addressing the traumatic events. With the

in Border images, border narratives
Author: Caitlin Flynn

This book introduces a new critical framework for reading medieval texts. The narrative grotesque decentres critical discourse by turning focus to points at which literary texts distort and rupture conventional narratological and poetic boundaries. These boundary-warping grotesques are crystallised at moments affective horror and humour. Two seminal Older Scots works are used to exemplify the multivalent applications of the narrative grotesque: Gavin Douglas’s The Palyce of Honour (c. 1501) and William Dunbar’s The Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo (c. 1507). These texts create manifold textual hybridisations, transfigurations, and ruptures in order to interrogate modes of discourse, narratological subjectivities, and medieval genre conventions. Within the liminal space opened up by these textual (de)constructions, it is possible to reconceptualise the ways in which poets engaged with concepts of authenticity, veracity, subjectivity, and eloquence in literary writing during the late medieval period.

Paul Frazer

We use the word grotesque to describe the weird and unexpected, with particular emphasis upon unpalatable combinations – things that unsettle us because they don't belong together. The word descends from the same Italian stem as ‘grotto’ ( grottesca ), which was used to describe the cavernous galleries popular among the aristocracy in Renaissance Italy. Like those preserved at the Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italian Renaissance grottos were decorated with wall paintings of sensationally hybrid mythological figures and creatures (like

in The genres of Renaissance tragedy
Driving in the First World War
Juliette Pattinson

sorrows to millions, had brought her a kind of exquisite contentment, the contentment of work finely planned, well accomplished, and of brave deeds quietly done. She knew that out there on the battlefields of France, she had gloried in her grotesque and spurious manhood, forgetting at times that she was but a woman. 4 Ogilvy’s manliness is presented as problematic throughout the story. As a child she ‘saw herself as a queer little girl’, had ‘loathed sisters and dolls, preferring the stable-boys as companions, preferring to play with footballs and tops, and

in Women of war
Tristan Jean

7 Georges Franju and the grotesque genius of the banlieue Tristan Jean Georges Franju’s current prestige rests on his having been the creator of brutal, brilliantly uncompromising films on which he brought to bear a sophisticated, ‘poetic’ sensibility. None of the terms of this description seem, at first glance at least, to apply to the Parisian suburbs of the 1950s and early 60s, so it may come as a surprise to learn that Franju chose this location as the setting of some of his best-known feature films and short films. A perusal of the critical literature

in Screening the Paris suburbs
Gothic Landscapes and Grotesque Bodies in Mary Shelley‘s The Last Man
Patricia Cove

In The Last Man, Mary Shelley builds on Edmund Burke‘s aesthetic theory and Ann Radcliffe‘s definition of Gothic terror as elevating and imaginative by projecting sublime terror onto her landscapes. Yet, her characters’ identification with sublime landscapes insufficiently articulates their visceral pain; Shelley also emphasises the horrible, physical dimensions of her characters’ suffering, asserting the primacy of their bodies as sites of their identities and afflictions. The freezing, grotesque horror of disease conflicts with the landscapes elevating sublimity, as the Romantic and Gothic aesthetic categories of terror and horror collide in Shelley‘s efforts to articulate the materiality of her characters’ traumatic experiences.

Gothic Studies