From the vampires Lestat and Louis to a sexually liberated Sleeping Beauty, novelist Anne Rice has created a host of characters who are notable for their paradoxical combinations of the deviant and the conventional. Exit to Eden, for example, ends with the sado-masochistic protagonists embarking on a traditional monogamous heterosexual relationship, while the vampires often long to exchange their erotic immortality for "ordinary" mortal lives and loves.
This scholarly analysis of the seemingly incompatible elements of the subversive and the socially acceptable in Rice's early work covers her career from the landmark Interview with the Vampire (1976) to Lasher (1993). Each chapter tackles a different aspect of Rice's conflicting portrayals of sexual issues, including homophobia, pedophilia, castration anxiety, and the vast array of gender stereotypes and roles that her novels so often interpret and exploit. This study is appropriate both for readers of Rice's writing and those intrigued by issues of sexual politics and the ways in which a popular author both embraces and repudiates some of the most shocking concepts of sexuality. An index and bibliography are included to aid research.
Six years before she wrote Little Women, and in financial straits, Louisa May Alcott entered Pauline's Passion and Punishment, a novelette, in a newspaper contest. Not only did it win the $100 prize, but, published anonymously, it marked the first of the series of blood & thunder tales that would provide her livelihood for years. For as she said, They are easy to 'compoze' & are better paid than moral...works. The gruesome, passionate stories reveal a darker side of Alcott. Published anonymously or under the pseudonym of A. M. Barnard, they appeared in weeklies over a century ago. In their mastery of suspense and psychological drama, and in their embodiment of a startlingly intense - if oblique - feminism, they attest to the multifaceted genius of their creator. Pauline's Passion and Punishment features a woman who is scorned by her lover and left with her fury and her desire for revenge. The male hero of The Mysterious Key must unearth secrets hidden away in a family tomb if he is to realize true love. Mysterious pasts and all-too-present jealousies conflict for some surprising effects on the holiday mood in The Abbot's Ghost. And Behind a Mask tells the chilling story of a woman thwarted by love, whose main motivation becomes her desire to dominate an entire family.
Auerbach examines the writer of depth and recklessness now largely known only as the author of Rebecca, looking at the way her sharp-edged fiction, with its brutal and often perverse family relationships, has been softened in film adaptations of her work. She reads both du Maurier's life in her writings, and the sensibility of a vanished class and time that haunts the fringes of our own age.
This book is the first full-length evaluation of du Maurier's fiction and the first critical study of du Maurier as a Gothic writer. Using the most recent work in Gothic and gender studies, the authors enter the current debate on the nature of female Gothic and raise questions about du Maurier's relationship to such a tradition. They demonstrate that using recognizable popular forms, she was able to explore through Gothic writing the anxieties of modernity in the kind of fiction many peoplefind accessible. This, they claim, explains the compulsive quality of her best novels and their enduring popularity.
An undying procession of sons of Dracula and daughters of darkness has animated the horror film genre from the beginning. Indeed, in this pioneering exploration of the cinema of fear, Barry Keith Grant and twenty other film critics posit that horror is always rooted in gender, particularly in anxieties about sexual difference and gender politics.The book opens with the influential theoretical works of Linda Williams, Carol J. Clover, and Barbara Creed. Subsequent essays explore the history of the genre, from classic horror such as King Kong and Bride of Frankenstein to the more recent Fatal Attraction and Bram Stoker's Dracula. Other topics covered include the work of horror auteurs David Cronenberg, Dario Argento, and George Romero; the Aliens trilogy; and the importance of gender in relation to horror marketing and reception.Other contributors include Vera Dika, Thomas Doherty, Lucy Fischer, Christopher Sharrett, Vivian Sobchack, Tony Williams, and Robin Wood. Writing across a full range of critical methods from classic psychoanalysis to feminism and postmodernism, they balance theoretical generalizations with close readings of films and discussions of figures associated with the genre.The Dread of Difference demonstrates that horror is hardly a uniformly masculine discourse. As these essays persuasively show, not only are horror movies about patriarchy and its fear of the feminine, but they also offer feminist critique and pleasure.
List of Illustrations Preface Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley andFrankenstein: A Chronology Part I. Traditions: Looking Forwards and Backwards Part II. Biographical Soundings: Of Mothers and Daughters Part III. Contexts: Society and Self Part IV. Texture: Language and the Grotesque Part V: The Visual Progeny: Drama and Film Appendix Contributors Selected Annotated Bibliography Index
The overwhelming popularity of the female gothic has endured, virtually without change, for over 20 years. Women writers and women readers continue to identify with the female gothic, to lose themselves in the sometimes romantic, sometimes grotesque, sometimes fearful imagery of the genre. Why? Is it merely profitable escape fiction? Junk food for the mind? The Female Gothic takes a perspective and entertaining look at what makes the female gothic work. The best feminist scholarship gleefully addresses itself to the popular "Somebody's Trying to Kill Me and I Think It's My Husband" and the "Had I But Known" plots of modern female gothic.
The films of the New French Extremity have been reviled by critics but adored by fans and filmmakers. Known for graphically brutal depictions of sex and violence, the subgenre emerged from the French art-house scene in the late 1990s and became a cult phenomenon, eventually merging into the horror genre where it became associated with American torture porn.
Decidedly French in flavor, the films seek to reveal the dark side of French society. This book provides an in-depth study of New French Extremity, focusing on such films as Trouble Every Day (2001), Irreversible (2002), Twentynine Palms (2003), High Tension (2003) and Martyrs (2008). The author explores the social implications of cinematic cruelty presented not as "violent films" but as "films about violence."
Gothic fiction usually has been perceived as the special province of women, an attraction often attributed to a thematics of woman-identified issues such as female sexuality, marriage, and childbirth. But why these issues? What is specifically "female" about "Gothic"? This book argues that Gothic modes provide women who write with special means to negotiate their way through their double status as women and writers, and to subvert the power relationships that hinder women writers.
Readers familiar with Dracula and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde may not know that dozens of equally remarkable Gothic texts were written in Great Britain at the end of the nineteenth-century. This book accounts for the resurgence of Gothic, and its immense popularity, during the British fin de siècle. Kelly Hurley explores a key scenario that haunts the genre: the loss of a unified and stable human identity, and the emergence of a chaotic and transformative 'abhuman' identity in its place. She shows that such representations of Gothic bodies are strongly indebted to those found in nineteenth-century biology and social medicine, evolutionism, criminal anthropology, and degeneration theory. Gothic is revealed as a highly productive and speculative genre, standing in opportunistic relation to nineteenth-century scientific and social theories.
As British women writers in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries sought to define how they experienced their era's social and economic upheaval, they helped popularize a new style of bourgeois female sensibility. Building on her earlier work in Romantic Androgyny, Diane Long Hoeveler now examines the Gothic novels of Charlotte Smith, Ann Radcliffe, Jane Austen, Charlotte Dacre Byrne, Mary Shelley, and the Brontës to show how these writers helped define femininity for women of the British middle class. Hoeveler argues that a female-created literary ideology, now known as "victim feminism," arose as the Gothic novel helped create a new social role of professional victim for women adjusting to the new bourgeois order. These novels were thinly disguised efforts at propagandizing a new form of conduct for women, teaching that "professional femininity"&—a cultivated pose of wise passiveness and controlled emotions&—best prepared them for social survival. She examines how representations of both men and women in these novels moved from the purely psychosexual into social and political representations, and how these writers constructed a series of ideologies that would allow their female characters&—and readers&—fictitious mastery over an oppressive social and political system. Gothic Feminism takes a neo-feminist approach to these women's writings, treating them not as sacred texts but as thesis-driven works that attempted to instruct women in a series of strategic poses. It offers both a new understanding of the genre and a wholly new interpretation of feminism as a literary ideology.
The Gothic moment in literary history arose in the age of the Enlightenment, and the Gothic fascination with the unknown reflects the Enlightenment's response to the limits of reason. Traditionally, the emblem of the unknown that lurks in the Gothic is the supernatural, the monstrous, and the inhuman. Often overlooked is the observation that Gothic texts are also haunted by figures that represent the mystery of sexuality.This collection of essays sharpens that observation and asserts that Gothic anxieties about sexuality are likewise rooted in fear of the unknown, represented by sexual practices and desires that either lie hidden or deviate from cultural norms. The first three sections refer to popular as well as marginalized Gothic texts to portray the three prototypes of sexual deviance: the female sexual Other in The Fatal Woman; the male sexual Other in The Satanic Male; and the homosexual Other in Homosexual Horror. The fourth section covers literary works that celebrate sexual difference and question the idea that the sexually deviant is socially Other.
What is the link between Mary Shelley's 1818 novel and the history and myth surrounding the barons Frankenstein - a respected German noble family that inhabitted the Castle Frankenstein on the top of Magnet Mountain near Darmstadt from the early middle ages. All is explored in this fascinating and highly detailed book by an expert on Eastern European history author Radu Florescu leaves no stone unturned in his search for this legendary monster.
Between the end of the Civil War and roughly 1930, hundreds of uncanny tales were published by women. These include stories by familiar figures such as Edith Wharton, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, as well as by authors almost wholly unknown to twenty-firstcentury readers, such as Josephine Dodge Bacon, Alice Brown, Emma Frances Dawson, and Harriet Prescott Spofford. Scare Tactics analyzes this overlooked tradition of supernatural writing by American women as anessentially feminist enterprise. These authors repeatedly used Gothic conventions to express discontentment with circumscribed roles for women and to imagine alternative possibilities. Therefore, this body of literature proves to be a type of political intervention connected to the broader sphere of women's rights activism.
In Subjects of Slavery, Agents of Change, Kari J. Winter compares the ways in which two marginalized genres of women's writing - female Gothic novels and slave narratives - represent the oppression of women and their resistance to oppression. Analyzing the historical contexts in which Gothic novels and slave narratives were written, Winter shows that both types of writing expose the sexual politics at the heart of patriarchal culture and both represent the terrifying aspects of life for women.
In this unconventional study, David Holbrook sets out to demonstrate that this novel is a dramatization of Emily Bronte's own tormented psyche. It draws on various sources in psychoanalytical thought to unravel the novel's dynamics. The author invokes the Jungian analysis offered by Dr Hannah Segal and others, and adds to these the insights of D.W. Winnicott, W.R.D. Fairbairn and R.D. Laing. He sees the novel as a dramatization of intrapsychic conflict within Emily's own soul and as belonging to a remarkable effort on her part to find harmony and fulfilment by engaging with the most savage proclivities within her, as they emerged from the sources of her Irish historical roots and her strange isolated life.