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Gothic Metamorphoses across the Centuries

Contexts, Legacies, Media


Edited By Maurizio Ascari, Serena Baiesi and David Levente Palatinus

This collection of essays brings together an international team of scholars with the aim to shed new light on various interconnected aspects of the Gothic through the lens of converging critical and methodological approaches. With its wide-ranging interdisciplinary perspective, the book explores the domains of literary, pictorial, filmic, televisual and popular cultural texts in English from the eighteenth century to the present day. Within these pages, the Gothic is discussed as a dynamic form that exceeds the concept of literary genre, proving able to renovate and adapt through constant processes of hybridisation. Investigating the hypothesis that the Gothic returns in times of cultural crisis, this study maps out transgressive and experimental modes conducive to alternative experiences of the intricacies of the human (and post-human) condition.

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Mary Shelley and Literary Memory: The Gothic Art of Recollection


Abstract: This essay explores the use of literary allusion in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and then teases out the implications of those allusions for her other later works. Arguing that Mary Shelley foregrounds the shards and incomplete visions of these literary allusions, the essay makes a case for Mary Shelley’s preoccupation with the ethics of reading across all of her work. Focussing in particular upon Frankenstein (1818), Valperga (1823) and The Last Man (1826), ‘Mary Shelley and Literary Memory: The Gothic Art of Recollection’ investigates what the Gothic taught Mary Shelley about literary allusion, and how she shaped her own literary memory through the Gothic.

Keywords: Mary Shelley; reading; allusion; literary memory.

‘A thousand fantasies

Begin to throng into my memory,

Of calling shapes, and beck’ning shadows dire,

And airy tongues, that syllable men’s names

On sands, and shores, and desert wildernesses,

These thoughts may startle well, but not astound.’

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