Critical approaches to Gothic origins usually bear on theme and ideology rather than on textuality. This article argues both that by the side of thematic issues we must carefully examine the forms of Gothic and that, beyond the literary and philosophical, the folk sources of Gothic remain to be acknowledged. Making use of tools familiar to mythographer and folklorist, textual analysis of a passage from the 1831 edition of Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein reveals this novel is built on the traditional narrative structure of the heroic quest; while Victor‘s tragic destiny is shown to result from a deliberate manipulation of traditional patterns.
This is a full-length study of Jeanette Winterson's work as a whole, containing in-depth analyses of her eight novels and cross-references to her minor fictional and non-fictional works. It establishes the formal, thematic and ideological characteristics of the novels, and situates the writer within the general panorama of contemporary British fiction. Earlier critics usually approached Winterson exclusively either as a key lesbian novelist, or as a heavily experimental and ‘arty’ writer, whose works are unnecessarily difficult and meaningless. By contrast, this book provides a comprehensive, ‘vertical’ analysis of the novels. It combines the study of formal issues – such as narrative structure, point of view, perspective and the handling of narrative and story time – with the thematic analysis of character types, recurrent topoi, intertextual and generic allusions, etc., focused from various analytical perspectives: narratology, lesbian and feminist theory (especially Cixous and Kristeva), Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, Jungian archetypal criticism, Tarot, Hermetic and Kabalistic symbolism, myth criticism, Newtonian and Post-Newtonian Physics, etc. Novels that read superficially, or appear simple and realistic, are revealed as complex linguistic artifacts with a convoluted structure and clogged with intertextual echoes of earlier writers and works. The conclusions show the inseparability of form and meaning (for example, the fact that all the novels have a spiralling structure reflects the depiction of self as fluid and of the world as a multiverse) and place Winterson within the trend of postmodernist British writers with a visionary outlook on art, such as Maureen Duffy, Marina Warner or Peter Ackroyd.
This essay deals with the temporality of film through an examination of narrative,
structure and image in Sam Mendes’ film American Beauty (2000), referring to both
Gilles Deleuze and Henri Bergson‘s work on time. I argue that the repetition of
formal elements (images, settings, colours, shapes, and textures) creates a kind of
internal rhyme that is suggested appeals to human aesthetic rhythmic sensibilities
and invites the spectators imaginative interplay. This temporal pattern speaks of a
particularly human rhythmic design, and provides an escape from the ‘standardised,
context free, homogeneous’ clock time ‘that structures and times our daily
Ed Cameron‘s essay offers a Lacanian interpretation of the development of the eighteenth-century Gothic novel. Tracing the movement from Horace Walpole to Ann Radcliffe and Mathew Lewis, the essay argues that the Gothic supernatural machinery figures that which is immanent yet inaccessible to the narrative structure. Reading the supernatural as a literary delimitation of the excessive enjoyment of the Lacanian symbolic order, Cameron illustrates how the different manner by which each novelist relegates his or her specific use of the supernatural corresponds to different psychoanalytically recognized psychopathological structures.
This essay analyses the literature on the foibe to illustrate a political use of human
remains. The foibe are the deep karstic pits in Istria and around Trieste where
Yugoslavian Communist troops disposed of Italians they executed en masse during World War
II. By comparing contemporary literature on the foibe to a selection of archival reports
of foibe exhumation processes it will be argued that the foibe literature popular in Italy
today serves a political rather than informational purpose. Counterpublic theory will be
applied to examine how the recent increase in popular foibe literature brought the
identity of the esuli, one of Italy‘s subaltern counterpublics, to the national stage. The
paper argues that by employing the narrative structure of the Holocaust, contemporary
literature on the foibe attempts to recast Italy as a counterpublic in the wider European
public sphere, presenting Italy as an unrecognised victim in World War II.
It has been widely asserted that nationhood is inseparable from narration. This vague
claim may be clarified by understanding that nationalism is bound up with the
universal prototypical narrative structures of heroic, romantic, and sacrificial
tragi-comedy. This essay considers an historically important case of the emplotment
of nationalism - the sacrificial organization of German nationalism between the two
world wars. It examines one exemplary instance of this emplotment, F. W. Murnau‘s
Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (1922). However unintentionally, Nosferatu represents
the vampire in a way that is cognitively continuous with Nazi representations of
Jews. The films sacrificial emplotment of vampirism is, in turn, continuous with Nazi
policies. That continuity places the film in a larger discourse that helped to make
Nazi policies possible.
Homosocial Sins and Identity in Horace Walpole‘s The Castle of Otranto
Readings of William Beckford‘s novel Vathek suggest it encodes homoerotic desire and suspect masculinity in its themes and narrative structure when read alongside the life of the author. Horace Walpole‘s The Castle of Otranto can be read with the same methodology. The narratives of identity reversal, both gender and social, and its tropes of hyperbolic masculinity as sources of fear are interpreted according to the central importance gender has for understanding Walpole‘s conception of his sexuality. The novel exhibits a fear of gossip and rumour over identity, which may be related to a fear of public exposure of homoerotic desire as it is (mis)understood in terms of same-sex practice between men.
This article engages with the discourse of food and eating especially as related to the representation of the abject eating-disordered body. I will be particularly interested in the gothic representation of the anorexic and bulimic body in samples of medical advice literature and NHS websites and how they reinforce popular myths about anorexia by imagining the eating disordered body as a fixed object of abjection. Focusing on the use of gothic devices, tropes and narrative structure, these imaginations will be read against alternative representations of anorexic/bulimic bodies in autobiographical illness narratives, fictional accounts and a psychoanalytical case history in order to explore how gothic discourses can help opening up new understandings and conceptions of illness, healing and corporeality in the dialogue between medical staff and patients.
Lewis Hine’s Photographs of Refugees for the American Red Cross, 1918–20
Sonya de Laat
, and social workers charged with recording health and welfare needs. 13 Starting their tour on Armistice Day, the Special Survey provided Hine with the opportunity to apply his full set of photographic skills. 14
The photographs Hine made for the Special Survey were meant to be part fact-finding and part public appeal to build support for ARC peacetime relief and reconstruction projects. To achieve this, Hine applied a different narrativestructure than he employed while promoting the ARC’s war relief activities within The Red Cross Magazine . He diverged from
Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Alfonso Cuarón are the best-known Mexican directors internationally, yet none of them has directed a film in Mexico since 2001. This book examines the career trajectories of the directors and presents a detailed analysis of their most significant films. The three directors were lobbying for tax initiatives to stimulate filmmaking, more opportunities for the distribution and exhibition of Mexican films, and more involvement in film production from television companies. Guillermo del Toro is famous as a director of genre films. The book explores the similarities between the films generated by the authorial force of del Toro, also pointing to divergence occasioned by the very different production contexts. It also explores the auteurist strategies that he has cultivated and explains what is meant by a 'del Toro film'. Alejandro González Iñárritu has also cultivated auteurist strategies, but to a very different effect. The book examines the way in which Iñárritu adopts the language of US independent cinema, with a focus on the narrative structure and the application of a range of colour palettes. Alfonso Cuarón has also followed a transnational trajectory, making films in Mexico, the USA, and the UK, and he has had a varied career, taking on auteurist and studio projects. Despite the very different industrial context, Cuarón brought a number of artistic ideas he and his cinematographer had developed, notably the use of a green colour palette and opulent, highly decorated interiors and lush exteriors.