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All that Gothic

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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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Gothic Elements in Vampire Films by Hammer Film Productions

Extract



Ewa Partyka

Introduction: Hammer Film Productions and the New Monster

Why write about vampires? A hard question to answer as by now, to many academics and laymen alike, the constantly exploited theme of the vampire and the unwavering attempts to analyse it and squeeze it still further, may seem like trying to feed children from an excessively well-kempt family some more carbohydrates. And yet, the hunger is rumbling in their bellies. The monstrous craving for the dark and the sinful, the want of a piously conditioned child to have a bite off of the forbidden fruit is still there.

All that being said, at the same time we realise that we now live in the age where the monster is not what it used to be and, instead, becomes the hero or the victim of his or her own tragic flaw. What had once been obscure and possessed the lure of the dark unknown, often becomes the familiar, and at times ridiculously or pityingly so. We live in the times when real-life sadists, maniacs and criminals become more horrifying and blood curdling than the one-time-monsters that now become simply hurt, misunderstood creatures.

However, perhaps except for the act of blood drinking and the lure of immortality, the vampires portrayed some sixty or eighty years ago almost no way remind us of contemporary vampires. So how is it possible that the vampires created in the fifties, sixties or seventies still do...

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