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All that Gothic


Edited By Agnieszka Lowczanin and Dorota Wisniewska

This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the history, aesthetics and key themes of Gothic, the main issues and debates surrounding the genre along with the approaches and theories that have been applied to Gothic texts and films. The volume discusses a wide range of 18 th and 19 th century texts and moves into 20 th century literature and film. It explores the cultural resonances created by the genre and raises a variety of issues, including the ways in which Gothic monstrosity mimics same-sex desire and social transgression. The texts included in the volume argue that Gothic film and fiction animated the darker shadows of the dominant culture.


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Non-Literary Gothic


Gothic Dispatches from War Zones Elisabeth Bronfen At the end of his remarkable elegiac poem in praise of war, “1914,” Rupert Brooke expresses the wish: “If I should die, think only this of me:/ That there’s some corner of a foreign field/ That is for ever England. There shall be/ In that rich earth of richer dust concealed;/ A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,/Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,/ A body of England’s, breathing English air,/ Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home” (qtd. in Roberts 71). On first view, the image of a soldier’s grave which these lines evoke seems to have little to do with gothic sensibility. Yet looked at “prepos- terously”1 My proposed preposterous crossmapping takes its cue from the fact that Romero’s film narrative begins with the discussion of a news event pertaining to an immigrant man, who has killed his wife, his child and then himself. Under the implicit auspices of Homeland Security’s border paranoia after 9/11, this event has prompted a media discussion about the threat of the illegal entrance of foreign workers into the U.S. In the course of the film, which will be discussed in the latter part of this essay, the discussion of an illicit geographical border crossing will transform into one involving the far more toxic boundary trans- gression from death back to life. I begin my discussion with Rupert Brooke’s sonnet, because it anticipates this...

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