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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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The Haunting of the House in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”


Monika Kocot


In his study Love and Death in the American Novel, Leslie Fiedler identifies a view held among readers of American literature who diagnose the latter as “bewilderingly and embarrassingly, a gothic fiction, nonrealistic and negative, sadist and melodramatic – a literature of darkness and the grotesque in a land of light and affirmation” (29). And it seems that the identification of America with haunting implies a demythologized vision of American life and culture (Peterson 239). Indeed, the tale of the haunted house, while rooted in the European gothic tradition, has developed a distinctly American resonance. Since the first description of the House of Usher in 1839, the motif of the haunted house has assumed an enduring role in the American tradition. As Dale Bailey notices, the tales of the haunted house “often provoke our fears about ourselves and our society, and, at their very best, they serve as versatile metaphors, presenting deeply subversive critiques of all we hold to be true – about class, about race, about gender, about American history” (6).

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