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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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Caifanes (1987–Present) – Mexican Gothic (Enrique Ajuria Ibarra and Luis Daniel Martínez Álvarez)


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Enrique Ajuria Ibarra and Luis Daniel Martínez Álvarez

Caifanes (1987–Present)

In their study of ‘rock en español’ [rock in Spanish], Carmelo Esterrich and Javier H. Murillo acknowledge that rock music in the English language greatly influenced a young generation of musicians in Latin America during the 1980s. Bands from across the region found in this genre a voice for expression and engagement, in light of the political and economic struggles their respective countries were experiencing then. Esterrich and Murillo notice that rock music in Latin America ‘was seduced by the lure of punk’ because ‘the aggressiveness and violence of its rhythms adapted easily to the Latin American urban atmosphere, and rapidly became a symbolic response, authentic and proper, to the social and economic hardships of the growing marginal groups in Latin American cities’ (2000: 32–3). Thus, the authors clearly recognize that the rock music produced and performed in the region is a result of a cultural hybridity in search for artistic expression that confronts the hardships of a young and marginalized population. Bands and performers, such as Los Fabulosos Cadillacs and Fito Páez (from Argentina), Aterciopelados (from Colombia), and Café Tacuba (from Mexico) provide a wide spectrum for the development of rock during the late 1980s and the early 1990s: bands with an aesthetic mélange of Anglo-Saxon influences and local and folkloric rhythms and sounds. Their success was also achieved by their demarginalization and commercial breakthrough, marking...

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