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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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Peter Bogdanovich’s Targets: The Old Gothic Monster vs. the New Villain

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Agnieszka Rasmus

The horror genre is by no means a static phenomenon. It has evolved in accordance with the medium’s technological development and history. Although not indigenous to an American context in the same way as the musical or western are (Hayward 174), it has been present in both Hollywood and independent productions since the first successful adaptations in the 1930s of the Victorian gothic novel Dracula and the earlier Frankenstein.

Over time, numerous factors have influenced its visual style and thematic preoccupations, from obvious ones such as budgetary limitations or the adherence to the requirements of the Hays Code affecting the level of sex and violence permissible on the screen between the years 1930 and 1968, to the growing popularity of television which began in the 1950s and has continued to this day, forcing filmmakers to compete for the market by raising the level of shock tactics, taboo subjects and visual extravaganza. In the 1970s the special effects of Spielberg’s Jaws turned a horror film into an event in itself. In recent years, exploitation films, splatter films and gore cinema have become the terrain of competition for make-up artists and special effects teams surpassing themselves in presenting to the spectator the look of the monstrous and the frailty and corruption of the human body.

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