Ecogothic

This volume explores how current ideas about ecocriticism can be applied to Gothic narratives in order to help draw out their often dystopian ecological visions. The book argues that, from chilling Victorian panoramas to films such as Frankenstein or The Thing, the Arctic looms large as a blank screen on which fantasies of Gothic entrapment may be projected. It explores selected tales of Algernon Blackwood showing some ways in which Blackwood blurs the distinctions between the human world and a wider natural and spiritual ecology. The book examines the seventeenth-century New England Puritan influence on later Gothic representations of the natural world in North America. It provides an overview of recent studies on the American Gothic which highlight the notion of the wilderness as an ideological lens through which early settlers viewed the strange landscape they found themselves in. The book argues that, from its origins, women's Gothic fiction has undermined fictions of the human and the nonhuman, the natural and the unnatural by creating worlds in which the everyday is collapsed with the nightmarish. The book is the first to explore the Gothic through theories of ecocriticism. The structure of the volume broadly follows national trends, beginning with a British tradition, and moving through a Canadian context. It also follows through a specifically American model of the ecoGothic, before concluding with Deckard's discussion of a possible global context which could overcome national variations.

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‘As a platform for the development of a distinct ecoGothic theoretical framework, this volume certainly provides some tantalizing ideas, but equally, it invites further academic study surrounding 'dark ecology' as a convention to explore contemporary socio-political anxieties.'
Teresa Fitzpatrick
The Dark Arts Journal Volume 3.1
April 2017

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