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The Gothic

A Reader


Edited By Simon Bacon

What is the Gothic?

From ghosts to vampires, from ruined castles to steampunk fashion, the Gothic is a term that evokes all things strange, haunted and sinister.

This volume offers a new look at the world of the Gothic, from its origins in the eighteenth century to its reemergence today. Each short essay is dedicated to a single text – a novel, a film, a comic book series, a festival – that serves as a lens to explore the genre. Original readings of classics like The Mysteries of Udolpho (Ann Radcliffe) and Picnic at Hanging Rock (Joan Lindsay) are combined with unique insights into contemporary examples like the music of Mexican rock band Caifanes, the novels Annihilation (Jeff VanderMeer), Goth (Otsuichi) and The Paying Guests (Sarah Waters), and the films Crimson Peak (Guillermo del Toro) and Ex Machina (Alex Garland).

Together the essays provide innovative ways of understanding key texts in terms of their Gothic elements. Invaluable for students, teachers and fans alike, the book’s accessible style allows for an engaging look at the spectral and uncanny nature of the Gothic.

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Notes on Contributors


Enrique Ajuria Ibarra is Assistant Professor at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP). He has published articles and book chapters on the presence of the Gothic in Mexico, particularly in film and popular culture. He is the editor of the peer-reviewed journal Studies in Gothic Fiction, and is currently working on a monograph on the relationship between Gothic and travel in the horror film.

Xavier Aldana Reyes is Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Film at Manchester Metropolitan University and a founding member of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies. He specializes in Gothic and horror film and fiction. He is the author of Spanish Gothic (2017), Horror Film and Affect (2016) and Body Gothic (2014), and the editor of Horror: A Literary History (2016).

Katarzyna Ancuta is a lecturer at the Department of Languages, Faculty of Liberal Arts, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang in Thailand. Her research interests oscillate around the interdisciplinary contexts of contemporary Gothic/Horror, currently with a strong Asian focus. She has recently contributed to The Cambridge Companion to the Modern Gothic (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and Ghost Movies in Southeast Asia and Beyond (BRILL, 2016).

Simon Bacon is an Independent Scholar based in Poznan, Poland, with research interest in vampires, zombies and monsters in popular culture. Recent publications include Becoming Vampire: Difference and the Vampire in Popular Culture (Lang, 2016) and To Boldly Go: Gender and Identity in the Star Trek Franchise (co-editor McFarland, 2017)...

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