By Robert K. Martin, Eric Savoy
Drawing largely on modern theory—particularly revisionist perspectives of Freud reminiscent of these provided via Lacan and Kristeva—this quantity levels from the well known Gothic horrors of Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne to the preferred fantasies of Stephen King and the postmodern visions of Kathy Acker. detailed recognition is paid to the problems of slavery and race in either black and white texts, together with these by way of Ralph Ellison and William Faulkner. within the view of the editors and individuals, the Gothic isn't really a lot a ancient classification as a method of concept haunted by means of background, part of suburban existence and the lifeblood of flicks resembling The Exorcist and Fatal Attraction.
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Extra resources for American Gothic: New Interventions in a National Narrative
Winnicott, D. W. London: Tavistock Publications, 1971. M A G G I EK I L G O U R Dr. Frankenstein Meets Dr. Freud Since Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the mad scientist has been one of the most popular of the gothic’s bag of tricks, a figure whosedescendants include Dr. Jekyll, Dr. Moreau, and now countless horror and science fiction villains (see Svilpis, Goodrich, Baldick). Twentieth-century readings and revisions of Shelley’s work often turn the story intoa moral cautionary tale that teaches the evil consequences of using technology and science to dominate nature (see Mellor 89-1 14).
Immediately, however,I must make a qualification: mostgothic textsallowus to read them as Acton’s text insists on being read: as an indictment of outr6 behavior and an affirmation of orthodoxy. Victor Frankenstein, the Wielands, Captain Ahab, Carmilla, Dr. Jekyll, Dorian Gray, Count Dracula, Thomas Sutpen are all exterminated. To take pleasurein stopping here, however, to enjoy a unilateral satisfaction in the defeat of evil and madness, is to refuse many of the pleasures of reading. Everything aboutgreat gothic texts encouragesus to see their characters-and thus human desire-as more implicating and pleasure producing.
Gothic texts thus doin hyperintense fashion what allliterary art does to some extent: provide individual readers with diverse materials that can be experienced according to the individual’s desires. No genre of fiction goes so far as gothic, however, in encouraging each reader to produce an understanding that gives this reader the quantity and quality of outrC pleasureappropriI saw fairly earlyin my work ate to immediate needs. For myself, on Jekyll and Hyde the operation of patricidal rage,the “old war in themembers” that Stevenson referred to.