Gothic Background, Definitions, Motifs, etc.

ConversesGothic Literature

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

Gothic Background, Definitions, Motifs, etc.

Editat: abr. 17, 2018, 11:45am

This is a transplant post (#98) from the "So whatcha readin' now, kids?" thread:
Spent Friday-the-13th researching all things Gothic online, and fell upon David Punter (English Prof at Univ.of Bristol, where Angela Carter went) clips describing the history and aspects of the genre:

1. Origins (Walpole, Radcliffe, Lewis, reviled by Wordsworth, then Maturin, Le Fanu, Stoker, RLS, Wilde - the gothic resurrects as did its prototypes, refusing to stay dead although distasteful)
2. Horror & Terror (physically repulsive vs. less brutal, more implication; what is the appeal of fear)
3. Supernatural (fear of unknown, unseen, lack of logical explanation)
4. Settings (castles, where vile things doom aristocracy; monasteries or convents, where ghastly opposition fights RC control, getting lost in labyrinths, imprisonment, claustrophobia, buried alive, storms, barricades, trap doors, madness, persistence of the past when we want modernity)
5. The Sublime (wonderful description of the importance of the ability of nature to make humanity seem frail, yet seeking access through exploration; two meanings, references Burke)
6. Transgressions (Ambrosio & Matilda in The Monk, Hamlet, etc.)
7. Forbidden Knowledge (not just the unknown, but the taboo; Prometheus and punishment for the struggle; Garden of Eden, Frankenstein, science/technology/ethics)
8. Life & Death (blurred boundaries, permanence, reunion may be loving or terrifying, everlasting life, the cursed; mentions Coleridge/Mariner, Maturin/Melmoth, The Wandering Jew, etc.)
9. Hero Villains (Lord Byron, vampires, Heathcliff, the right to rebel, to mistrust convention, to source out what it means to be human, etc.)
10. The Satanic (The Monk, Prometheus, Blake, Milton, devil admirable but not justifiable)
11. The Vampire (Polidori, Le Fanu, Stoker; defender of Christendom but also a manifestation of suppressed desire or excess, loss of control, allure - myth/legend/history woven together - eve of wedding scenario)
12. The Past & Inheritance (sins of the Fathers transferred over time, known or unknown by next generations)
13. Class (relations between genders and social classes, aristocrats in places of social privilege - middle class rising in power, aristocracy unwilling to let their role 'die' thus the undead, not just life vs. death)
14. Revenge (interesting mirror image interpretation)
15. Gothic Women (highlights Catherine from Wuthering Heights)


From housefulofpaper's post of 15APR2018:

> 99 David Punter has a chapter (on "Scottish and Irish Gothic) in The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction - a book I should have thought to mention before now!

Editat: abr. 17, 2018, 1:56pm

This is the blurb for The Gothic by David Punter:

Provides an overview of the most significant issues and debates in Gothic studies.
Explains the origins and development of the term Gothic.
Explores the evolution of the Gothic in both literary and non-literary forms, including art, architecture and film.
Features authoritative readings of key works, ranging from Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto to Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho.
Considers recurrent concerns of the Gothic such as persecution and paranoia, key motifs such as the haunted castle, and figures such as the vampire and the monster.
Includes a chronology of key Gothic texts, including fiction and film from the 1760s to the present day, and a comprehensive bibliography.

(paperback, 336p. / published 2004)

FYI: This book is listed separately from The Literature of Terror, and is co-authored by Glennis Byron.

Author: David Punter is Professor of English at the University of Bristol. He has previously taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and at Fudan University in Shanghai, among other institutions. His recent publications include Postcolonial Imaginings (2000), Writing the Passions (2000), Gothic Pathologies (1998), and The Literature of Terror (2 vols., 1996). He has also published four volumes of poetry. Glennis Byron is Reader in English Studies at the University of Stirling. She has also taught at the University of Alberta in Canada. Her previous publications include Dramatic Monologue (2003), Letitia Landon: The Woman Behind L.E.L (1995), and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the Poetry of Love (1989).

(also copied from Chapters/Indigo online site)


Here is the summary for The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction:

Fourteen world-class experts on the Gothic provide thorough accounts of this haunting-to-horrifying genre from the 1760s to the end of the twentieth century. Essays explore the connections of Gothic fictions to political and industrial revolutions, the realistic novel, the theater, Romantic and post-Romantic poetry, nationalism and racism from Europe to America, colonized and post-colonial populations, the rise of film, the struggles between "high" and "popular" culture, and changing attitudes towards human identity, life and death, sanity and madness. The volume also includes a chronology and guides to further reading.

Author: Jerrold E. Hogle is Professor of English and University Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona. He has published widely in Romantic literature, cultural theory, and the Gothic.

Editat: abr. 17, 2018, 1:55pm

Here is the link to the 45 minute lecture by David Punter on YouTube:

Here are his thoughts on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein:

Here is the LT link to The Guardian article describing how to know if you're reading a gothic novel:

Editat: abr. 17, 2018, 2:10pm

Here is the transplant of a post also from housefulofpaper on 16Apr2018.
(to remind me why I began this thread, to keep track of valuable illuminating discussion)


# 101 (Gothic Films - episode four)
That seems to be a Sir Walter Scott theme developing. I've only read a couple of his stories (actually, i think they're self contained narratives extracted from novels). In The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction, David Punter concentrates on The Antiquary "a work of domestic Gothic", as his chief example of Scottish Gothic.


The Bride of Lammermoor (opera)

The Lady of the Lake (poem)

Editat: abr. 20, 2018, 11:20pm

Alphabetical Listing of (some) authors/poets of the Gothic genre:

** A - L **

Beckford, William Thomas
Bierce, Ambrose
Blackwood, Algernon
Blake, William
Bronte, Anne
Bronte, Charlotte
Bronte, Emily
Brown, Charles Brockden
Browning, Robert
Carter, Angela
Chambers, Robert W.
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
Collins, Wilkie
Dacre, Charlotte
Dickens, Charles
Doyle, Arthur Conan
du Maurier, Daphne
Dumas, Alexandre
Godwin, William
Hawthorne, Nathaniel
Hugo, Victor
Jackson, Shirley
James, Henry
Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan
Leroux, Gaston
Lewis, Matthew
Lovecraft, Howard Phillips

Editat: abr. 20, 2018, 11:25pm

Alphabetical list, continued:

** M - Z **

Machen, Arthur
Maturin, Charles Robert
McGrath, Patrick
Meyrink, Gustav
Milton, John
O'Connor, Flannery
Parsons, Eliza
Poe, Edgar Allan
Polidori, John William
Radcliffe, Ann
Rice, Anne
Rossetti, Christina
Scott, Walter
Seton, Anya
Setterfield, Diane
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft
Shelley, Percy Bysshe
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Stoker, Bram
Walpole, Horace
Wells, H.G. (?)
Wharton, Edith
Wilde, Oscar
Zafon, Carlos Ruiz

Editat: abr. 17, 2018, 5:34pm

There was also a reference to The Gothic by Punter in the Caleb Williams thread, which was one of the first I remember reading. The book led alaudacorax to read Caleb Williams and it seemed to be too painful for words. It was on my list to read because it is also on the '1001 Books To Read Before You Die' but can easily postpone it for next year.

The book is also mentioned early on in the 'Reviews' thread. I have that one starred to read asap. It mentions a 'key works' list that alaudacorax is chipping away at, part of his TBR stack.

abr. 22, 2018, 4:10am

>7 frahealee:

Yeah, I'm trying to brace myself to get back on with those 'key works'. I was reading them in the order Punter deals with them, and the wall I've hit is The Monk. I think I've had four goes at that, or may be five, so far, giving up each time. Ye gods it's boring! Must exercise some will power.

Actually, the last couple of times I've tried I haven't been posting on the thread in case I fail to finish it again. That's probably the wrong attitude. I should read with the intention of composing really nasty posts about it - that might get me through ...

Editat: gen. 28, 4:05pm

Expanding on this topic, rather than beginning a new thread, I decided to add book titles, not just authors, for easier reference. The idea is to have one place for me to see the book title, author, year, page length all in one handy dandy spot. It will be a work in progress, to edit the list, as I diligently chip away at my TBR and wish lists. This summary of 50 suppresses the panic of so many stellar options... all in time.

COMPLETED: (in no particular order)
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley - 1818 - 352p. (hardcover)
The Castle of Otranto - Horace Walpole - 1764 - 176p.
The Mysteries of Udolpho - Ann Radcliffe - 1794 - 736p.
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen -1817 - 304p.
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë - 1847 - 368p. (hardcover)
Villette - Charlotte Brontë - 1853 - 672p. (hardcover)
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë - 1847- 576p. (hardcover)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Victor Hugo - 1831 - 496p.
The House of the Seven Gables - Nathaniel Hawthorne - 1851 - 240p.
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - 1860 - 576p. (hardcover)
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens - 1837 - 464p.
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde - 1890 - 304p. (hardcover)
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson - 1886 - 128p. (hardcover)
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving - 1820 - 26p. (hardcover)
Ligeia - E. A. Poe - ? - (ss)
The Fall of the House of Usher - E. A. Poe - ? - (ss)
The Masque of the Red Death - E. A. Poe - ? - (ss)
The Oval Portrait - E. A. Poe - ? - (ss)
The Pit and the Pendulum - E. A. Poe - ? - (ss)
The Black Cat - E. A. Poe - ? - (ss)
The Tell-Tale Heart - E. A. Poe - ? - (ss)
Berenice - E. A. Poe - ? - (ss)
Caleb Williams - William Godwin - 1794 - 384p.
Dracula - Bram Stoker - 1897 - 512p. (hardcover)
The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman - 1892 - 64p.
Rappaccini's Daughter - Nathaniel Hawthorne - 1844 - ?p.
Uncle Silas - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu - 1864 - 664p.
The Beetle - Richard Marsh - 1897 - 384p.
Melmoth the Wanderer (Lock and Key Version) - Charles Robert Maturin - 1820 - 592p.
The House on the Borderland - William Hope Hodgson - 1908 - 176p. (hardcover)
Varney the Vampire - James Malcom Rymer - 1847 - 800?p.
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James - 1898 - 96p. (novella?)
The Phantom of the Opera - Gaston Leroux - 1909 - 288p. (mass market paperback)
Young Goodman Brown - Nathaniel Hawthorne - 1835 - ?p. - (ss)
The Minister's Black Veil - Nathaniel Hawthorne -1832 - ?p. - (ss)
The Outsider - Howard Phillips Lovecraft - 1926 - (ss)
Bleak House - Charles Dickens - 1852 - 992p.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood - Charles Dickens - 1870 - 266p.
The Real Thing & Other Tales - Henry James - 1892 - 209p.
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner - James Hogg - 1824 - 320p.
Trilby - George du Maurier - 1895 - 486p. (w/illustrations)
Wieland: or, The Transformation - Charles Brockden Brown - 1798 - ?p.

EVENTUAL/2020 (Kobo/ebook '50 Classic Gothic Works' by Golden Deer Classics):
The History of Caliph Vathek - William Beckford - 1786 - 192p.
The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky - 1879 - 840p. (Kobo/ebook)
The Double - Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky - 1846 - (poem?)
The Queen of Spades - Alexander Pushkin - 1834 - ?p. (ss?)
St. John's Eve - Nikolai Gogol - 1830 - ?p. (ss)
The Nose - Nikolai Gogol - 1836 - 42p. (ss/hardcover)
The Damned (Là-bas) - Joris-Karl Huysmans - 1891 - ?p. (ss?)
The Lair of the White Worm - Bram Stoker - 1911 - 200p. (hardcover)

*FYI* All page counts c/o Chapters/Indigo online (paperback, for consistency) unless I own a book and can look it up directly. Page length offers ease of time management. The date represents publication of original book. No need of touchstone brackets, since it's a short thread and both author and book lists are clearly visible.

1.a) TBR owned but unread
1.b) TBR planned to read but do not own
2. wish list for someday in future (a keeper)
3. completed (audiobook, ebook, print versions) - can be owned or borrowed
Kobo ebooks (often collections) are usually kept for easy 'find' reference for future writing projects.

set. 8, 2018, 5:05pm

>8 alaudacorax: My intention is to begin The Monk on January 1st. Start the year with a bang! =D

My reward will be the Ann Radcliffe The Italian, either just before or just after, as time allows.

set. 8, 2018, 5:42pm

>8 alaudacorax: I am sorry you found The Monk a problem. I started reading it expecting a horror but found it to be hilarious. I had just read The Unfortunate Fursey and The Return of Fursey, two deliberately humorous stories about a medieval monk in Clonmacnoise, and was going to write a piece comparing the humorous horror with the serious horror. When I started reading "The Monk" the opening scene in the Church had me in stitches. I flew through the book and loved it. It came across as an assemblage of horror tropes. I was also interested in it by the history and youth of Matthew Lewis and his supposed intention in writing the novel.

Different strokes for different folks.

>10 frahealee: I have not read The Italian yet but I have it on Mount TBR and it is one I want to get round to before to long.

set. 9, 2018, 8:48am

>11 pgmcc: This article, found during research on Ann Ward Radcliffe, piqued my interest enough to want to save it for last. I also want to read her first effort, set in Scotland, after finding out that Sir Walter Scott was a fan. Her insertion of poetry in every novel was a wonderful surprise! There was much more in Udolpho than in my first two of her five novels.

I saw one online book review for The Monk (I don't like to know too much going in, or it spoils the experience.) and the 'podcaster' ?? didn't reveal much plot but bubbled over with enthusiasm. She was quite young herself, so might have appreciated the age of the author, and the history of the book, as you mention. Just bracing myself for a long ride with those tandem Gothic monuments.

I am a little terrified of the whole Spanish Inquisition thing, but maybe underlying humour in The Monk might help me find something light and lively in The Italian.

set. 9, 2018, 1:28pm

It's about 20 years since I read The Monk (the '90s was clearly my decade for being serious about tackling daunting and/or obscure books; The Canterbury Tales, Clarissa, Moby-Dick and Tristram Shandy were also read in that decade). I didn't find it hilarious but definitely had the sense of a young author exuberantly going over the top.

Strangely, the recent film version (2011) starring Vincent Cassel sticks closely to Lewis' story (as far as I could remember it) but is not at all either tongue-in-cheek or unintentionally funny and/or ludicrous. I thought it was pretty effective as straightforward horror.

set. 9, 2018, 4:46pm

>13 housefulofpaper: I was not aware of the film, so I shall have to seek it out.

I think the humour was in the earlier parts of the book but its effect on me was to lighten the subsequent scenes.

Editat: feb. 14, 2020, 6:20am

I know this is totally cheating, but I found a collection of Hallowe'en stories for $1 on Kobo/ebook, and although initially wanting it as ghost story fodder to share with my daughter for Sep/Oct/Nov, was pleased to see so many mentioned by you good folks here in our Gothic family:

The Damned Thing / Bierce
A Prisoner in Fairyland, The Empty House and Other Ghost Stories x10, The Willows / Blackwood
Wieland: or, The Transformation / Brown
The Keeper of Cademuir, No-man's-land, The Grove of Ashtaroth, The Watcher by the Threshold / Buchan
The King in Yellow / Chambers
The Signal-Man / Dickens
Trilby / du Maurier
The Lost Stradivarius / Falkner
Curious, If True: Strange Tales / Gaskell
The Yellow Wallpaper / Gilman
The Three Strangers / Hardy
The Night Land, Carnacki, The Ghost Finder, The Ghost Pirates / Hodgson
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner / Hogg (1001 list)
The Vision Of Tom Chuff, The Familiar, Ghost Stories of Chapelizod, The Child That Went With The Fairies / Le Fanu
At the Mountains of Madness, The Dunwich Horror, The Call of Cthulhu / Lovecraft
The Inmost Light, The Terror, The Great God Pan, The Novel of the White Powder / Machen
The Beetle / Marsh
The Vampire / Neruda
In the Dark, The Power of Darkness / E Nesbit
The Vampire Maid, The Demon Spell / H Nisbet
The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade / Poe
Varney the Vampire, or The Feast of Blood / Rymer
Dracula's Guest / Stoker
The House of the Vampire / Viereck

*NB* As is my own personal habit, the touchstones will be applied once I've read each in turn. This is not the complete list of the collection, since I removed the stories previously read.

Editat: feb. 13, 2020, 6:32pm

Editat: set. 14, 2018, 6:46am

>15 frahealee:

Wow. You've got a lot of corkers in there for $1. Just a personal comment, but, Blackwood's 'The Empty House' and Dickens' 'The Signalman' are the two best, non-Poe, horror short stories I've ever read. Two quite different stories, I should add.

set. 18, 2018, 2:17pm

>17 alaudacorax: Will be sure to shuffle them to the top of the deck! Variety is the spice of life.

Editat: oct. 3, 2018, 10:15am

>17 alaudacorax:
>18 frahealee:
Finished The Signal-Man by Dickens yesterday, then watched 4x10min segments on YouTube (tv short/1976) featuring Denholm Elliott. The story made more sense after absorbing those visuals. Trains freak me out. I don't even like miniature versions. My boys had one wooden piece set that fit together for their few Thomas the Tank Engine toys. =(

The Empty House is next.

Editat: oct. 3, 2018, 1:10pm

>19 frahealee: ++SPOILERS++ The Empty House managed to work its way under my skin in a few ways. Constant focus on fear; either shouldering it for another, or locking it away, or facing it directly by action to arrest it in its tracks, thus draining its power or influence, and even draining it away from the face in order for it to appear younger. Not heard that approach before. The shock of the fright takes off 40 years? Is that in reference to her wisdom being tampered with, so she reverts back to her young womanhood (void of tenacity and smarts) before life etched its effect on her? I thought for sure the young servant stepped inside the aunt for a time. No proof though, since it was a momentary passing through the kitchen door to the scullery that might have prompted a possession of sorts. It must have been that startling moment though that did it, but it took forever for the nephew to notice, by candlelight in their little nook of observation. Using living things to offset the emptiness inside the many levelled house was a stroke of genius. It kept them both focused on their tangible surroundings. I did not understand why the whole house would be empty except for the servants' quarters. Is that since nobody wanted to go up there, or all of the past tenants took things up there to get them out of sight, only abandoned eyesores?

I found the mention of midnight and no.13 a bit over the top, since the rest of the story was well wound up all on its own.

oct. 4, 2018, 1:25am

There's so much fodder here! I'm thinking I'll have to start making my own list, and nab my mother's copy of Wuthering Heights. I've looked at it but wasn't really sure it would be my thing.

I see The King in Yellow I snagged from Project Gutenberg. It's referred to a lot as one of Lovecraft's inspirations. I haven't look at it yet though. Need to update my e-reader.

Editat: oct. 4, 2018, 11:02am

>21 WeeTurtle: Here's hoping you don't find Wuthering Heights decayed moors cliché. I love it each and every time it fills my hands. I have a hardcover version propped up within sight, for nostalgia. I have seen many versions done by tv/film and Tom Hardy with his wife can be seen on YouTube in parts, if you don't mind seeing the story before reading it. Some folks are funny that way. =)

A site for quick access to authors and novels/short stories/poems/essays can be found via the University of Adelaide which I use a lot for reference and research, to keep my Kobo addiction under control;

I see that they have The King in Yellow but luckily I already have that in my Hallowe'en collection. I will save it for after Dracula (month end). Then maybe The Beetle because black beetles keep rearing their ugly heads in a lot of Blackwood tales! Then on to Robert Aickman. I find the overlap very confusing, but writing down the titles and author names often helps keep the dust off! Lists aren't normally my thing, but here they might be essential to sanity.

oct. 5, 2018, 4:54am

>22 frahealee:

I wouldn't worry about the cliche part. I haven't read enough Gothic material for the cliche to get to me yet. ;) When I think of moors, I still think of The Hound of the Baskervilles and all the movies I've watched. I've yet to read the book. We have it though. It's the more the relationship part that I'm not sure about.

Editat: oct. 6, 2018, 7:20am

>23 WeeTurtle: LOVE ACD's work, all the sleuthing and gothic bits. Only saw the Christopher Lee / Peter Cushing film in the past decade, but it still stands up.

I am a rarity reader, in that my main focus is setting. Always place then plot then people. I know, taboo to admit aloud. HOWEVER in this case, all three elements might be on equal footing. Incredibly descriptive writing of the manor(s) and the moors, intricate story wound around and around until it smears together into one big beautiful blur (making rereads imminent), AND the characters are so well-shaped that you either love them or hate them, there is zero ambiguity here. Classic literature at the top of its game, but also gritty Gothic quite far removed from Ann Radcliffe's more romantic view of fainting damsels and endings saturated with explainable events. Both have equal merit, but different levels of haunting images.

Editat: des. 28, 2018, 10:25pm

Found this collection in another thread in this group. Someone set up a library display of the Gothic and decided to include;

Bierce, Ambrose - The Spook House
Bierce, Ambrose - The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter
Carter, Angela - The Magic Toyshop
Du Mauier, Daphne - Rebecca
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - The House of the Seven Gables
Hill, Susan - I'm the King of the Castle
Hill, Susan - The Man in the Picture
James, Henry - The Turn of the Screw
McGrath, Patrick - Trauma
Oates, Joyce Carol - A Fair Maiden
Poe, Edgar Allan - The Pit and the Pendulum: The Essential Poe
Poe, Edgar Allan - The Fall of the House of Usher and other stories
Radcliffe, Ann - The Romance of the Forest
Shelley, Mary - Frankenstein
Stoker, Bram - Dracula
Walpole, Horace - The Castle of Otranto
Wilde, Oscar - The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales


Looks like my 2019 might include;

Bierce, Ambrose - The Spook House, The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter
Carter, Angela - The Magic Toyshop
Du Mauier, Daphne - Rebecca
Hill, Susan - I'm the King of the Castle, The Man in the Picture
James, Henry - The Turn of the Screw
McGrath, Patrick - Trauma
Oates, Joyce Carol - A Fair Maiden
The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales

Editat: des. 29, 2018, 4:54am

>25 frahealee:

I've just realised that I've somehow managed to get my ideas so confused that I thought The House of the Seven Gables was where Anne of Green Gables lived. If I'd ever thought about it clearly I'd probably have thought it was Hawthorne in an unusually sunny mood.

You are tempting me to set up my own New Year's Revolution Resolution Reading List - I really feel one coming on ...

des. 29, 2018, 6:56am

>26 alaudacorax: As the mind fades into the mists, so increases the need for lists! =D It's my only chance!!!

Editat: gen. 11, 2020, 10:30pm

Warm greetings to a new year of gothic immersion! My 50 Book Challenge thread was getting unruly, so it seemed reasonable to reveal my intentions here, from the list of options above. It will shift on its axis as my fickle state of mind reinvents itself along the way, but this is a safety net of options for quick reference.

JAN - The Italian, The Monk, The Beetle, Melmoth the Wanderer
FEB - Carmilla, The Vampyre, Varney the Vampire, The Woman In White
MAR - Bierce, Blackwood
APR - Lovecraft, Machen
MAY - Angela Carter: Nights at the Circus, The Magic Toyshop, The Bloody Chamber
JUN - Daphne du Maurier: Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, My Cousin Rachel, Thomas Hardy: Tess of the d'Urbervilles
JUL - Bradbury: Something Wicked This Way Comes / Trilby by George du Maurier
AUG - Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, Faulkner: As I Lay Dying, Light in August
SEP - Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle
OCT - Stephen King: The Shining, The Stand, Misery, Dolores Claiborne, The Green Mile, Dead Zone, Werewolf, Dragon, etc. (4 now 4 later in 2020? ... The Firestarter was a solo fluke many years ago)
NOV - Robertson Davies, The Graveyard School: An Anthology, The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales
DEC - Dickens: The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Bleak House, Hard Times

Other options to slot in/out:
Hill / James / McGrath / Oates / ??

>22 frahealee: It looks like lists have become my thing ... =( whatever it takes !

març 3, 2019, 6:43am

I may have to make a list too, once I sort through what gothic matter I've already read, and what I might want to add to that list. I'd love to get my hands on a compendium but they tend to be horridly priced and the snow and cold have stranded me away from home for near two months so I can't get to my e-reader and current book pile!

Editat: feb. 14, 2020, 11:49am

>28 frahealee: It looks like the 2019 list idea worked its magic. Much achieved, much deflected to next year.

2019 Checklist Summary (author): Bierce, Blackwood, Collins, Dickens, D. du Maurier, Le Fanu, Lewis, Lovecraft, Machen, Maturin, Polidori, Radcliffe, Rymer/Prest?, plus a book of 18th century poetry incl. Gray's 'Elegy'

JAN Le Fanu (as much as possible) & Brown (ebook Wieland/1798)
FEB Hogg & G. du Maurier (2 leftover ebooks; Justified Sinner, Trilby)
MAR Hill, Susan (2 ebook short stories in my inventory) & Gaskell (ebook)
APR James, Henry (Portrait of a Lady - gothic fare?)
MAY Hardy (Jude left to read, and a few lesser known options)
JUN Hawthorne (10 ebook stories waiting in the wings)
JUL Atwood (Robber Bride) & Daviesx3
AUG Southern Gothic authors O'Connorx2/Welty's Robber Bridegroom/Faulkner)
SEP Jackson, Shirley (The Lottery short story collection/ebook)
OCT Carter
NOV Oates
DEC Dickensx4 (a portion of the Pickwick Papers is supposedly ghostly, plus 3 more) &/or McGrath

>25 frahealee: Looks like my 2020 might include;
Bierce, Ambrose - The Spook House, The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter
Carter, Angela - The Magic Toyshop
Hill, Susan - I'm the King of the Castle, The Man in the Picture
McGrath, Patrick - Trauma
Oates, Joyce Carol - A Fair Maiden
The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales

Also, I saw something online that turned me off King for now. Some good, some bad. Might pick up odd copies at used book shops or at our public library.

Bradbury is always entertaining, whenever his work enters my visual vortex.

Brothers Karamazov and other Russian works will be long commitments endured throughout the year. They're ebooks because I just cannot hold 600+p. in my hands anymore. I miss those old bookmarks showing at a glance my read/unread ratio. =( Same goes for Walter Scott, with online archives.

Oxford Book of Gothic Tales and one hard to find Radcliffe Gaston de Blondeville remain on the wishlist.

The majority of my housekeeping for the gothic genre will accompany BFBs/1001bymrbyd/CanLit/TBR/etc. in a new 50 Books Group thread for 2020.

des. 17, 2019, 11:27pm

>30 frahealee: I read the first part of Brothers Karamazov. I have other stuff on my mind this time around but it's on my shelf.

I just introduced myself to Machen and Bierce this year since I decided to start picking up books of ghost and horror stories from the library. I have an anthology of Bierce and a small book of M. R. James stories to leaf through when I get to it. No straight up reads planned for next year, except to actually do reading. I do still have that copy of Otranto, so I could put that on my "list" so that I can say I've read it!

I'm on a video game kick again, so I suppose I could also pick up that book on themes and such in the Souls games (Dark Souls and Bloodborne) since there's lots of fun Gothic in there as well.

des. 20, 2019, 7:23am

>30 frahealee:

I am in awe of your planning and commitment.

des. 21, 2019, 1:43am

>30 frahealee: In class where I read Far From the Madding Crowd (if that's the Hardy you're referring to) my prof warned that it was probably his least depressing book. Jude the Obscure is probably his worst. Might want to be ready for that.

Editat: des. 21, 2019, 7:30pm

>32 alaudacorax: Thanks for that. I have a lot of territory to cover in order to catch up with the average gothic enthusiast so the strategy is to overlap authors to keep momentum maximized!

>33 WeeTurtle: Good point. Thomas Hardy was too daunting to even attempt before age 50 so Julie Christie eased me into it after revisiting Doctor Zhivago (1965). Once I'd seen her with Omar Sharif and read the novel, I was anxious to read Far From the Madding Crowd. Then I read 3 ebooks in quick succession at this time last year. Jude the Obscure was a vhs movie Jude (1996) I borrowed years ago from our local library alongside Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993) with Harris/Duvall/MacLaine, and it was shocking for many reasons. That's why I thought it best to save it for last. Tess was okay, better than expected. I loved The Hand of Ethelberta and The Woodlanders and The Mayor of Casterbridge. Desperate Remedies has been a double shot, since I was looking for a different story, realized I had already read it, but kept going anyway! The next on my list is one that keeps popping up unbidden on Kobo, but I forget the title. A lesser known one, so it can wait. Bathsheba was far too annoying for me to warm up to her but I persevered. I'd like to see Carey Mulligan's take on her 'imbalance' but also the tragic figure of Fanny Robin played by Juno Temple. Schoenaerts was yummy in A Little Chaos (2014) with Kate Winslet directed by the late lovely Alan Rickman. Michael Sheen is unappealing but if I can get through Tron Legacy (2010), I can endure his role in this film ... might enjoy his fate too much!

Once War and Peace is set to rest, Brothers Karamazov will be next. It might take all year long. =(

FYI - Wanna know a trick? I started with Faulkner, researching his unusual writing style, which to me was akin to reading poetry. After him, TH was a stroll in the park, when WF's repetition and tangents became arduous. I found Dickens & Hardy made compatible EngLit 'city mouse/country mouse' cousins!

des. 21, 2019, 10:31pm

>34 frahealee: Never read Faulkner, or any of the "F"s that appeared on my English Clubs "Erotic Continuum" cork board in our meeting room that got peppered with things like "What the Foucault?"

I'm doing the same thing with the Russian novels, but I may have put a very large amount of space in between War and Peace and Brother's K. Perhaps I should make that my reading once I'm done with my library book. I think my list is three books now:

1. Dark Souls: Beyond the Grave volume 2:
2. The Castle of Otranto
3. Brothers Karamazov

There's some Gothic in there.

Editat: des. 22, 2019, 10:50am

>34 frahealee: The elusive Thomas Hardy title yet to read is Under the Greenwood Tree and perhaps A Pair of Blue Eyes. Return of the Native was the last one I polished off, with a character similar in annoyance to Bathsheba. I liked the red dye guy. Golden Deer Classics has a chronological by publication date effort for $2 on Kobo/ebook that I might snap up, alongside Bram Stoker's 25 stories for $6. It includes my long delayed Lair of the White Worm so no more excuses...

>35 WeeTurtle: I didn't know Faulkner was supposed to be erotic. I find a lot of the content disturbing but not very sexy. He was listed prominently in the Southern Gothic thread, so I found a $15 collection and dove in, but of those ten, have only hacked away at four. Very hard to digest, funny at times, but his terms are politically incorrect now, and jar me. I am saving The Sound and the Fury for last, since I'm going alphabetically through his works. I m stuck on Light in August currently, as 21 chapters don't usually take me this long. His short stories were most satisfying; Barn Burning and A Rose for Emily. Nothing erotic there?! He's only been on my radar for two years, although I'd heard of him in my youth. His language style reminds me of Mark Twain, in that you have to slow down a lot to read it properly. The territorial slang and words fallen out of use is like wading through sticky syrup, but that reflects the pace of the Deep South perfectly. Too much effort to even swat a fly. The open landscape of many Russian works make for a nice contrast, to relieve that suffocating sweltering heat.

Editat: des. 22, 2019, 6:47pm

>36 frahealee:
Under the Greenwood Tree is the closest Hardy ever gets to a merry romp. Some parts are quite funny.

>34 frahealee: - Tess was okay, better than expected.
Tess gut-punched me as a youngster--really traumatic experience--I mourned for her. Didn't read it again until quite recently, and it hit me almost as hard. I've just checked and, to my surprise, that reading was ten years ago--there have been a lot of books read since then that I've quite forgotten, while that one seems just a few months back.

ETA - Getting a real sense of déjà vu, there. I might be repeating myself with that last paragraph--apologies if so.

des. 22, 2019, 8:47pm

>36 frahealee: Oh, the board wasn't actually erotic. It's just the name it had before I got there so I'm not sure where it came from. It was mostly words, quotes, puns, and sketches.

des. 23, 2019, 11:14am

>37 alaudacorax: Yes, your earlier comments about Tess affecting you so deeply is what led to me reading it this year. It might have been around this time last year, after I finished those three Hardy's back-to-back. I was grateful for your comments then and now. I was not as moved by her fate as I half expected to be, likely due to callous-forming Faulkner. I had never read either author previously and had so much literary shrapnel in my brain that the end result was reduced empathy. The story of Tess though was transporting.

des. 23, 2019, 4:25pm

PFSD ... Post-Faulkner Stress Disorder ...

gen. 17, 2020, 7:55am

>11 pgmcc: I managed to find both of these Fursey gems and the cover art looks adorable so on the wishlist they go. An attempt to highlight more farce, humour, satire, etc. this year.

gen. 17, 2020, 8:05am

>13 housefulofpaper: Perhaps this is also the year for 'the obscure' =) since each finished piece of gothic fare opens a spot in the proverbial bookcase for another classic golden oldie. Are Clarissa and Tristram Shandy typical gothic or would they be a stretch? They are on my BigFatBooks group list and satire list, respectively, and I plan to read them regardless.

Editat: gen. 17, 2020, 5:20pm

>30 frahealee: Happy Birthday to Charles Brockden Brown (1771) today! I am half done Le Fanu's The House by the Churchyard (much longer than expected, but excellent) and will begin Wieland thereafter. I have completed Justified Sinner scheduled for February which leaves Trilby to go. For the record, it's also Anne Bronte's birth date in 1820. This calls for skeleton cake, or a graveyard ghost trifle!? =D

This thread reminds me also to unearth the incredibly menacing Vincent Cassel in The Monk (2011). Looks terrific! In the meantime, the 1990 film version of The Monk called The Final Temptation is online (1h45m)

Once more, into the fray...

gen. 17, 2020, 8:35am

>41 frahealee: I hope you enjoy them. I re-read The Unfortunate Fursey last year and enjoyed it all over again.

Editat: gen. 17, 2020, 6:00pm

>44 pgmcc: I'm thinking that reading the first (1946, 230p.) will leave me too curious about the second (1948, 218p.) to ignore it, so a double dose it is. The various descriptions in my research are all so complimentary that I'm amazed they're not more well known here. I will nab the Kobo/ebook format but Chapters/Indigo has the duo c/o Valancourt 20th Century Classics. Nice to see multiple options!

gen. 17, 2020, 6:38pm

I have the definitive edition: Swan River Press.


gen. 17, 2020, 7:00pm

>42 frahealee:

Neither of those books would be classed as Gothic, but of the two Clarissa is closer. The plot is Gothic or Romantic, the heroine is oppressed by her horrible family who want her to marry a dreadful older man for the sake of his wealth. She escapes with the aid of a local rakehell named Lovalace (pronounced "loveless", and pointing to his character, of course). He intends to have his way with her, and she is now in a more perilous position than she was in the family home.

So far, so standard romantic fare, you might suppose. But Samuel Richardson is doing several interesting things here. Of course first of all this is a work standing near the beginning of the history of the modern novel in English, so he's not ploughing a well-worn furrow here. It's an incredibly long book, I think it took me something like eight months to read, maybe 30-45 minutes a day. I found it too gruelling for long marathon sessions. It's an epistolary novel, all told in letters and so forth and surprisingly rich psychologically (for the time) and playing with narrating events from different viewpoints. It's purpose as I understand it was not solely as entertainment but as a kind of moral exemplar for the emerging middle classes. Clarissa is held up as not just admirable but a kind of secular saint. To modern sensibilities and for all I know sections of the original readership, her fate...painfully drawn out in the last quarter of the novel, is - weasel word alert - "problematic"; but I don't want to give too much away. Working from memory here, I think the book was an inspiration to a strand of non-supernatural or "domestic" Gothic. Am I right in thinking the Marquis de Sade was a fan?

There was a 3-part BBC adaptation around 1990, with Sean Bean as Lovelace and Saskia Wickham as Clarissa.

Tristram, not Gothic. Unless you were forced to sort all art into the Classical, rational, airy, enlightenment ideal, and its opposite. Then Tristram Shandy, a rambling, ruminating, winding-back-on-itself, post-modern-avant la lettre, not-to-forget-funny, celebration of small lives, domesticity, and eccentricity, would have to take its place alongside the likes of The Castle of Otranto, Wuthering Heights and so on, despite being a very ill-matched member of the team.

Surpringly this was filmed too, kind of. Michael Winterbottom's Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story is the (fictional) depiction of his trying to film the book with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as versions of themselves playing Tristram and Uncle Toby, respectively. A relatively small amount of screen time is given over to scenes from the book, the rest is "behind the scenes" stuff. But the story of filming the book does echo the themes of the book.

Editat: gen. 18, 2020, 11:24am

>47 housefulofpaper: Very helpful insight, thanks. Those book titles were simply indicative of the selection of that era, then. I thought maybe you'd singled them out for a reason. Were they required reading for course content, or for pleasure? Clarissa doesn't scare me but daunting is a good word for the time commitment involved. Tristram was a new suggestion for my satire category by an Australian LTer with 100 books per year consistently under his belt. I tend to trust opinion of that level of dedication. I can barely scrabble together half that. You have served to reinforce his vision.

I see that Pamela was published in 1740 before Clarissa in 1748. I wonder if the reading order matters or if they're both stand alone novels? If I like one, I'll likely enjoy the other, but I have 6xEliot lined up for this year. 17th/18th centuries must defer to 2021, ie. classics like Moll Flanders, Pilgrim's Progress, Vicar of Wakefield, Tom Jones, and Fanny Hill, as mentioned in Yours Mine and Ours (1968) with Lucille Ball, Henry Fonda, Tom Bosley, and a young Tim Matheson. A favourite Christmas film.

I'm watching Kong Skull Island (2017) because I'm craving the 70s today. =) Not gothic, but a rollicking adventure with a stellar cast. Too much snow coming down to shovel until the sky has emptied itself.

PS - I was forced to look up Marquis de Sade. =( Johnny Depp in The Libertine (2004) I've heard of but not seen. Clarissa's plot overview reminds me of Measure for Measure, which I loved seeing live at Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Ontario) a few years back. Guileless and satisfying. Sneaky sot.

gen. 18, 2020, 10:05am

>46 pgmcc: Stunning! I saw pix in the Le Fanu thread but couldn't determine which were the two you mentioned. Fun to see the real thing with suitable appreciation on display. Do you get roped into that because of your collection or is it voluntary? Classic car owners must be similar with an expectation of 'sharing the wealth'!

gen. 18, 2020, 10:30am

>49 frahealee: I have been buying Swan River Press books as they come out. They are beautiful. As I get them regularly and go for the numbered editions I have the same number on them all. :-) The collection looks great on the shelf...when I can see it.

gen. 19, 2020, 3:21pm

>48 frahealee:
Those book titles were simply indicative of the selection of that era, then. Not really, it was more that they were "difficult" books that supposedly are abandoned more often than they are read to the end. I did read them for pleasure, or pleasure + self improvement. About five years too late for my school exams I finally got interested in mainstream literature and, with a view to understanding the history of English literature, started reading.

I haven't read Pamela but I understand that it and Clarissa are stand alone works. They show the development of Richardson as a writer I understand, if read in the right order, but he also had an influence on writers who are now more famous than him. Henry Fielding switched from writing for the stage to writing novels with a parody of Richardson called Shamela, for example.

I hope the snowfall wasn't too extreme. I've seen stuff on social media that would be on front pages, and causing the Prime Minister to convene a meeting of COBRA, if it was happening here.

!970s for me too. My Blu-Ray player had given up the ghost (I got it from a friend for £10, so I can't complain) and I've reverted to my DVD box set of Night Gallery.

Editat: gen. 19, 2020, 9:20pm

>51 housefulofpaper: Another apt overlap; Samuel L. Jackson in Kong: Skull Island equated his own character role to Ahab, with Kong being the 'white whale'. There is a desperation in his singlemindedness and relentless insane pursuit of his nemesis. Terrifying need for revenge, be it the leg that was taken, the dignity that was diminished, or the military men lost when full disclosure was incomplete. Kong and Moby-Dick would have none of it. =) I love it when nature shakes a finger at the arrogance of mankind. Really? You think you know what you know? Pshaw.

>13 housefulofpaper: In reviewing those titles, my order of preference would have to be;
Moby-Dick (loved it and will happily read it again anytime)
The Monk (shocking and sombre tone but daring themes and terrific ending with no loose ends, much easier to read and stick with than Melmoth the Wanderer, although I liked it too)
The Canterbury Tales (a struggle, an achievement, but was led to it from the script for A Knight's Tale, with Paul Bettany playing Chaucer)
Clarissa (looking forward to it, with or without Pamela)
Tristram Shandy (had never heard of it before last year, but have seen it noted in several spots since)

Editat: març 5, 2020, 6:48am

I saw "The Monk" as another publication in the "Victorian Best Sellers" batch that my copy of Otranto comes from. I just finished that last night. It was...not what I expected. Really, I expected more of a slog (that was the Preface, methinks) than a fast read over minimal line breaks until my brain ran out of its breath equivalent.

I do feel that 'sky helmet' (not a book quote ;)) needs to make its way into my vocabulary now.

Sky-Helmet (2 words) (if I knew how to type this in phonetics I'd do it)
- (noun) an event highlighted with great and inexplicable drama.
- (in literature) THIS IS BLOODY METAPHORICALLY RELEVANT! and probably literally relevant, too.

març 5, 2020, 6:53am

>53 WeeTurtle: Which one did you finish last night; The Monk or The Castle of Otranto?

març 7, 2020, 10:34pm

>54 pgmcc: Castle. I'll need to snag The Monk from somewhere as I don't have it.

Neither is it on my library app it seems. Hm.

març 8, 2020, 9:11am

>53 WeeTurtle: I have a real fondness for that rare gem. All that creeping around in the dark in castles and caves really adheres long-term to my grandiose imagination. The Castle of Otranto ?? I think it was a cheap ebook version of both it and The Monk, getting much more out of it than expected. Melmoth the Wanderer was a much harder read, but Varney the Vampire sped along much faster than anticipated by its length due to the sailor humour intervention. I liked them all and would hesitate to place them in order of best-loved to least-liked, only because they each offered a different strength and I am still learning about gothic constructs.

març 8, 2020, 9:27am

>55 WeeTurtle: The Monk appears to be available on Gutenberg if that is an option for you. The Monk was not what I had expected when I read it. There was more humour in it than I had expected; especially in the early stages.

>56 frahealee: Your comments on Varney the Vampire have inched me closer to reading it. As you know, I loved Melmoth the Wanderer yet found it a bit longer than necessary. I have shied away from reading Varney the Vampire because of its length, but if it read more quickly than Melmoth then it should not be a problem.

Editat: març 8, 2020, 9:41am

>57 pgmcc: If you focus on the characters and not on the plot, it speeds by. It still takes time commitment but houseful's explanations paved the way for knowing what to expect. I'm not vampire-friendly usually, but after liking Dracula much more after reading the original than any of the films, Varney got his chance. I loved the setting, indoors and outdoors, which gave the characters a vibrant environment in which to interact. I haven't 'sunk my teeth into' Fursey yet but will do so later this year.