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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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Whitby Goth Weekend (1994–Present) – Gothic Subcultures (Claire Nally)


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Claire Nally

Whitby Goth Weekend (1994–Present)

In addressing a twenty-first-century analysis of Goth music and subculture, critics and commentators have noted how the genre has developed from its origins in the late 1970s. The now well-rehearsed narrative of Goth usually identifies a number of key points in history, noting the emergence of bands like The Damned, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Bauhaus, whilst the London nightclub called The Batcave became a focal point for much of the energy of early Goth. The popularity of The Sisters of Mercy (although the lead singer, Andrew Eldritch, rejects any association with the subculture) in many ways marked Goth’s incursion into the mainstream, whilst the reconstitution of Goth into subgenres such as Cybergoth, Gothic Metal, Industrial and even Steampunk, testifies to a broader scene emerging from the 1980s Goth tradition. Many of these subgenres can be found assembling at Whitby Goth Weekend, UK, a bi-annual event hosted in the North Yorkshire seaside town. Originally organized as a Goth meet-up event by Jo Hampshire in 1994, the festival is now one of the larger events in the European Goth calendar, rivalled only by M’era Luna in Hildesheim, Germany, and Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig. The festival is no longer reserved for Goths – many steampunk enthusiasts, metallers and rockabillies, among others, have also started to attend. This diversification is not without its controversy within the subculture, and along with the issues of commodity, hierarchy and authority, represent the...

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