Across the centuries, the social and cultural impacts of epidemics have resonated with writers. Whether concerned with the spiritual implications of these catastrophic events, as in Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year (1722), issues of individual versus collective responsibility, such as in Albert Camus’s The Plague (1947), or questions about the limitations and … Continue reading The Gothic Epidemic
There is probably a smell of roasted chestnuts and other good comfortable things all the time, for we are telling Winter Stories— Ghost Stories, or more shame for us—round the Christmas fire Charles Dickens, ‘A Christmas Tree’, Household Words (1850) The association between Yuletide cheer and seasonal fear emerged from the Victorian era’s appetite for … Continue reading A Ghost Story For Christmas
This is a guest post by Anastasia Klimchynskaya, a postdoctoral fellow at the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge at the University of Chicago. “Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again,” the narrator muses in a voiceover at the beginning of the film Rebecca (Netflix, 2020), drawing its opening line from the … Continue reading What is Rebecca without the Gothic?
Bly Manor. Netflix. The Netflix series, The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020), is a reimagining of Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw (1898). Initially set in the twenty-first century, it looks back to 1987 and the story of a young woman who takes on the role of au pair to two orphaned children living … Continue reading What does The Haunting of Bly Manor owe to The Turn of the Screw?
(This is a special Halloween post by Sophie Barber) There is no character we are guaranteed to see at Halloween more than the witch. A favourite fancy dress costume for children and adults alike, we have come to associate witches with the frivolity of Western Halloween celebrations. But the pointy hats and broomsticks of our modern-day witches have a rich history that has not always been so light-hearted...
This is a guest post by Yaroslav Marichev. The United States is full to the brim with political, social, and thus literary potential for writers of the Gothic mode, and particularly as a Puritan experiment which has, over the course of several centuries, laid a foundation to a genre which literature experts denote as the American Gothic.