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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.

Simon Bacon has published many articles on vampires, zombies and monsters in popular culture and science fiction and has co-edited books on various subjects, including Undead Memory: Vampires and Human Memory in Popular Culture (2014), Little Horrors: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Anomalous Children and the Construction of Monstrosity (2016) and To Boldly Go: Gender and Identity in the Star Trek Franchise (2017). His first monograph, Becoming Vampire: Difference and the Vampire in Popular Culture, came out in 2016. He is currently working on his second book, The Undead Self: Troubled and Troubling Identities in Screen Adaptations of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’.