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Forum Home > The Gothic > Gothic monsters

carly curry
Member
Posts: 29
Like when Victor Frankenstein denies the creature the possibility of a mate in order to prevent their breeding
May 9, 2017 at 3:00 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

A backlash was quite rare (serious medical figures disagreed with Lombroso, but this was quite niche - Lombroso was, and to some extent still is, regarded as one of the fathers of criminology). But the prevalence of degeneration references in gothic literature of the time was striking.

May 9, 2017 at 3:00 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

So, a lesser know text like Richard Marsh's The Beetle for instance, describing the eponymous monster: 'The cranium, and, indeed, the whole skull, was so small as to be disagreeably suggestive of something animal.'

May 9, 2017 at 3:01 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Rob Marshall
Member
Posts: 56

Graeme Pedlingham at May 9, 2017 at 2:58 PM

Interesting, Rob, to think abotut that idea - there is a connection to be made here. But we can also think of Dracula as being a threat to scientific progress (i.e. as an entity from folklore that defies science). Pitting the man of reason against the creature from myth, is one of characterising this.

Does the Count not go much further than that? (I've never understood the anti-Semitic idea) Botting: “Dracula is more than a Gothic villain, however, more than the mercenary and mundane bandit that they too often turn out to be. As the sublime synthesis of the human and supernatural terrors of Gothic writing, he is both villain and ghostly diabolical agent whose magic and power cannot be reduced to mere tricks or effects of overindulgent, superstitious imagination: more than rational, he serves to elicit rather than dispel superstitious beliefs, demanding, not a return to reason and morality, but a reawakening of spiritual energies and sacred awe.” (1999) The heroes do not ultimately use science per se to deafeat him, but the rites and symbols of the Catholic Church (ironic as so much Gothic is decidedly anti-Catholic in 19th C).

May 9, 2017 at 3:01 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Neil Bowen
Administrator
Posts: 837

Graeme, would you argue there has been a third blossoming of The Gothic? If so, when?

May 9, 2017 at 3:02 PM Flag Quote & Reply

carly curry
Member
Posts: 29

Neil Bowen at May 9, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Plenty of sources of fear for Victorian Gothic novelists - science, insights of what will become psychology, reverse colonisation, the New Woman, slum monsters...

Reverse colonisation? Heart of Darkness, JAne Eyre. Where else? Dracula?
May 9, 2017 at 3:02 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

Rise of the New Woman, absoltuely another cultural anxietty - in fact The Beetle is great for that (the main female protagonist, who is a New Woman figure, is forced to appear as a man - some regard this as a kind of 'punishment' for entering the 'male' sphere. Dracula can be thought in these terms too.

May 9, 2017 at 3:03 PM Flag Quote & Reply

carly curry
Member
Posts: 29
And which modern gothic authors would you recommend? Other than Susan Hill
May 9, 2017 at 3:04 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Rob Marshall
Member
Posts: 56

Graeme Pedlingham at May 9, 2017 at 3:03 PM

Rise of the New Woman, absoltuely another cultural anxietty - in fact The Beetle is great for that (the main female protagonist, who is a New Woman figure, is forced to appear as a man - some regard this as a kind of 'punishment' for entering the 'male' sphere. Dracula can be thought in these terms too.

The episode where Harker is seduced by the dominant female vampires, and the encounter with the Undead Lucy in the graveyard: both women destroy an infant and take on dominant sexualised roles.

May 9, 2017 at 3:05 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61
May 9, 2017 at 3:06 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

Neil - I would argue that there has been a 3rd wave, but it's conentious how this would be dated. My sense is that we see an explosion of gothic texts reflecting quite different cultural anxieties from the 1970s to the 2000s in film (less so in literature), and now an increasing development in the video game (as the next new media). So the gothic is adapting itself...

 

May 9, 2017 at 3:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Tom Eastment
Member
Posts: 12

Do you feel there is scope for original transgression in gothic fiction, or are we getting to the point where authors may have to recycle the examples of others? 

May 9, 2017 at 3:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

New gothic writers - there are some that I think are doing really interesting work right now. So Thomas Ligotti is one of these (esp. as he comes from a self-defined 'nihilist' position). Andrew Michael Hurley's The Loney is fantastic too.

May 9, 2017 at 3:08 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Neil Bowen
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Posts: 837

Graeme Pedlingham at May 9, 2017 at 3:08 PM

New gothic writers - there are some that I think are doing really interesting work right now. So Thomas Ligotti is one of these (esp. as he comes from a self-defined 'nihilist' position). Andrew Michael Hurley's The Loney is fantastic too.

I really enjoyed The Loney, but it's not a patch on Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber...

May 9, 2017 at 3:09 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

i think there is scope for originality, although a lot is 'postmodern' in its recycling of the past. Where I see real innovation, to be honest, is in the new media and how they use the conventions of the gothic is quite different ways.

May 9, 2017 at 3:10 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Griff
Member
Posts: 45

Do you think that the boundary between the Gothic and post-modernism is blurred?

May 9, 2017 at 3:11 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

I'd agree with that Neil - but a tough comparison! In terms of new media, one thing that I've been thinking about recently is the game Limbo - it's really the most interesting of a new wave of interactive texts (video games, or whatever else they get called) which is thinking about the spectator as participant.

May 9, 2017 at 3:12 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Neil Bowen
Administrator
Posts: 837

Graeme Pedlingham at May 9, 2017 at 3:10 PM

i think there is scope for originality, although a lot is 'postmodern' in its recycling of the past. Where I see real innovation, to be honest, is in the new media and how they use the conventions of the gothic is quite different ways.

Interesting - could you give a few examples?

May 9, 2017 at 3:12 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

My sense is that the Gothic is often blurred with postmodernism, not least because it has such a strong sense of convention. The gothic pastiche is now almost becoming a cliche of its own, to then be recycled again...

May 9, 2017 at 3:13 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

Sure - so there are quite well known games like Five Niights at Freddie's, which manipulate anxieties around surveillance but reduce the participant/player to a very limited, claustrophobic range of controls. Limbo, for me is the most interesting recent one (2010). there are a whoel spare of games that reflect on the experience of mental health conditions in interesting ways (often through gothic conventions).

May 9, 2017 at 3:16 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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