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The Gothic

A Reader

Edited by Simon Bacon

What is the Gothic?

From ghosts to vampires, from ruined castles to steampunk fashion, the Gothic is a term that evokes all things strange, haunted and sinister.

This volume offers a new look at the world of the Gothic, from its origins in the eighteenth century to its reemergence today. Each short essay is dedicated to a single text – a novel, a film, a comic book series, a festival – that serves as a lens to explore the genre. Original readings of classics like The Mysteries of Udolpho (Ann Radcliffe) and Picnic at Hanging Rock (Joan Lindsay) are combined with unique insights into contemporary examples like the music of Mexican rock band Caifanes, the novels Annihilation (Jeff VanderMeer), Goth (Otsuichi) and The Paying Guests (Sarah Waters), and the films Crimson Peak (Guillermo del Toro) and Ex Machina (Alex Garland).

Together the essays provide innovative ways of understanding key texts in terms of their Gothic elements. Invaluable for students, teachers and fans alike, the book’s accessible style allows for an engaging look at the spectral and uncanny nature of the Gothic.

CONTENTS: Justin Sausman - Arthur Machen’s The Three Impostors (1895) – Victorian Gothic - Johan Höglund: Richard Marsh’s The Joss: A Reversion (1901) – Imperial Gothic - Tabish Khair: Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea (1966) – Postcolonial Gothic - Steffen Hantke: Bill Condon’s Gods and Monsters (1998) – War Gothic - James Peacock: Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland; or The Transformation (1798) – Transatlantic Gothic - Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet: Robert Bloch’s American Gothic (1974) – American Gothic - Timothy Jones: Clarence John Laughlin’s Ghosts Along the Mississippi (1948) – Southern Gothic - Maisha L. Wester: Brandon Massey’s Dark Corner (2004) – African American Gothic - Sarah Juliet Lauro: Ron Honthaner’s The House on Skull Mountain (1974) – Zombie Gothic - Enrique Ajuria Ibarra/Luis Daniel Martínez Álvarez: Caifanes (1987–Present) – Mexican Gothic - Ashleigh Prosser: Joan Lindsay’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (1967/1975) – Australian Gothic - Katarzyna Ancuta: Otsuichi’s Goth (2002) – Japanese Gothic - Claire Nally: Whitby Goth Weekend (1994–Present) – Gothic Subcultures - Tracy Fahey: Aideen Barry’s Possession (2011) – Suburban/Domestic Gothic - Max Fincher: Matthew Lewis’s The Monk (1796) – Queer Gothic - Kathleen Hudson: Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) – Female Gothic - Gina Wisker: Sarah Waters’s The Paying Guests (2014) – Postfeminist Gothic - Maria Beville: A. S. Byatt’s ‘The Dried Witch’ (1987) – Postmodern Gothic - Peter N. Lindfield: Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill House (1749) – Architectural Gothic - Julia Round: Grant Morrison, Dave McKean, and Gaspar Saladino’s Arkham Asylum (1989) – Gothic Comics - Xavier Aldana Reyes: Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak (2015) – Gothic Film - Emily Flynn-Jones: Tale of Tales’s The Path (2009) – Gaming and the Gothic - Lorna Piatti-Farnell: Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006) – Food Gothic - Linnie Blake: Max Brooks’s World War Z (2006) – Neoliberal Gothic - Sara Wasson: China Miéville’s Perdido Street Station (2000) – Gothic Literary Science Fiction - Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock: Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation (2014) – Gothic and the New Weird - Elana Gomel: Koji Suzuki’s Edge (2012) – Quantum Gothic - Simon Bacon: Alex Garland’s Ex Machina (2015) – Vampire Gothic.