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Queer Theory‘s Debt to the Gothic

Focusing on the productive sense of recognition that queer theorists have articulated in relation to the Gothic, this article proposes that the relationship which has developed between queer theory and Gothic fiction reveals the significant role the genre has played in the construction of ‘queerness’ as an uncanny condition.

Gothic Studies
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Michael Haneke’s Funny Games and globalisation’s new uncanny

. Haneke thus denies the viewer the moment of catharsis and relief from tension of the traditional horror film in order to alert attention to the scandal of a form of popular culture that sanctions the aestheticisation of violence. On the face of it these films seem, then, to offer little scope for a traditional reading in terms of horror, terror and the uncanny of the gothic. This chapter begins with a

in Globalgothic

marked tendency for texts which feature doubles to position themselves as the ‘doubles’ of some earlier textual ancestor, or at least to signal their own reliance on earlier treatments of the theme. The double is thus, as it were, redoubled. Texts, like characters, can be haunted by strange simulacra of themselves, and this ‘redoubling’ enhances the characteristically uncanny effect produced by the

in A familiar compound ghost

’s 1846 novella The Double . It is significant that the allusion is made by the fictional character rather than just by Nabokov himself. Hermann’s explicit invocation of the earlier novel invites the reader to wonder whether he, as well as Nabokov, has been influenced by the work. It is also half suggested that the authors of these earlier Doppelgänger texts are themselves in some uncanny way

in A familiar compound ghost

This essay investigates how H G Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau employs the gothic trope of the uncanny. Despite Wells’s use of ‘uncanny’ twice to describe humanized animals, prior critics haven’t explored what the uncanny adds to our understanding of the novel, perhaps because Freud’s famous essay ‘The ‘Uncanny’ was written in 1913, following The Island of Doctor Moreau by more than two decades. We argue, however, that both men were working from notions of the uncanny circulating in fin de siècle Europe and describing a larger colonial dynamic, so that even though Wells’s work preceded Freud’s, we can use Freud’s explanation of the uncanny to better understand what Wells was doing and why the animals in The Island of Doctor Moreau are so unsettling to readers in our time and in his. That is, the uncanny helps to explain how the novel works as a gothic. Moreover, by examining how Freud’s theories help us to understand Wells, we also see elements of Freud’s essay that we wouldn’t otherwise. We will argue that because Freud and Wells were describing the world around them, overlap is logical, even predictable, and certainly useful to understanding both projects.

Gothic Studies
Global ecoGothic and the world-ecology in Rana Dasgupta’s Tokyo Cancelled

as military-industrial nuclearization, petro-dependency and neo-imperialist devastation of Mesopotamian environments are manifested as uncanny returns of the repressed, storms of ‘monstrous excrescences, gothic or sublime’, is confined to contemporary films such as Magnolia (1999) and The Ice Storm (1997). 6 However, in this chapter, I will attempt to elaborate a

in Ecogothic
Patricia Duncker’s The Deadly Space Between and The Civil Partnership Act

vast cultural and discursive constitution of the family, desire and gender identities. From this cultural intertextuality between different fields of knowledge, regulation and representation emerges a performative process of social poiesis that seeks to maintain but also prod social norms, and that leaves in its wake a historical narrative characterized by contradictions, dissent and uncanny patterns

in Gothic kinship
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The Ghost Story As Female Gothic

Wallace explores nineteenth-century ghost stories written by Elizabeth Gaskell, and later tales by May Sinclair, and Elizabeth Bowen. Using ideas drawn from Modleski and Irigaray she argues that such tales explore how a patriarchal culture represses/buries images of the maternal. She further argues that the ghost story enabled women writers to evade the marriage plots which dominated the earlier Radcliffean Female Gothic, meaning that they could offer a more radical critique of male power, violence and predatory sexuality than was possible in either the realist, or indeed Gothic, novel. Wallace argues that the ghost story functions as the ‘double’ or the ‘unconscious’ of the novel, giving form to what has to be repressed in the longer, more ‘respectable’ form.

Gothic Studies
The Devil’s Larder (2001) and Six [Genesis] (2003)

chap 5 27/7/06 8:19 am Page 155 5 Excess, passion and the uncanny: The Devil’s Larder (2001) and Six [Genesis] (2003) The Devil’s Larder As Crace explains, the choice of food as the interlinking theme and subject matter for The Devil’s Larder is not simply gastronomic, but reflects a series of cultural and personal changes, often quite radical ones, which have taken place during his lifetime. He recalls the dreariness of the food in the immediate postwar period and the significance of the transitions that followed: During my lifetime, this is one of the

in Jim Crace

One of the dominant impressions given by the sculpture of Anish Kapoor is of haunting. In and around the definite presences, the manifest shining, brightly coloured forms, lie a series of baffling absences; the shades of presences that are in excess of the work, or the shadows of meanings not yet grasped. Perhaps this is most evident in the work that announces its haunting in its title, the spectral sculpture Ghost (1997), in which a sliver of light, caught dancing in the polished interior of a rugged block of Kilkenny limestone, becomes not only the `presence‘ that occupies the work but also a symbol of all that it is unable to embody and leaves hovering about its fringes and borders. This Ghost is Kapoor‘s haunted house sculpture; a sculpture in which the mysterious agency that unnerves the viewer is both the most significant occupant of its limestone mansion and, paradoxically, its most insignificant, or unsignifiable omission.

Gothic Studies