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Art of Darkness A Poetics of Gothic

Author: Anne Williams
Publisher: Chicago University of Chicago Press Berlin Walter de Gruyter GmbH [2009]
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Art of Darkness is an ambitious attempt to describe the principles governing Gothic literature. Ranging across five centuries of fiction, drama, and verse-including tales as diverse as Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto, Shelley's Frankenstein, Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and Freud's The Mysteries of Enlightenment-Anne Williams proposes three new premises: that Gothic is "poetic," not  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Anne Williams
ISBN: 9780226899039 0226899039
OCLC Number: 1020171904
Accession No: (DE-599)HEB464397200 (OCoLC)1020171904
Description: 1 Online-Ressource (319 p.) 5 halftones, 1 table
Responsibility: Anne Williams
More information:

Abstract:

Art of Darkness is an ambitious attempt to describe the principles governing Gothic literature. Ranging across five centuries of fiction, drama, and verse-including tales as diverse as Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto, Shelley's Frankenstein, Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and Freud's The Mysteries of Enlightenment-Anne Williams proposes three new premises: that Gothic is "poetic," not novelistic, in nature; that there are two parallel Gothic traditions, Male and Female; and that the Gothic and the Romantic represent a single literary tradition. Building on the psychoanalytic and feminist theory of Julia Kristeva, Williams argues that Gothic conventions such as the haunted castle and the family curse signify the fall of the patriarchal family; Gothic is therefore "poetic" in Kristeva's sense because it reveals those "others" most often identified with the female. Williams identifies distinct Male and Female Gothic traditions: In the Male plot, the protagonist faces a cruel, violent, and supernatural world, without hope of salvation. The Female plot, by contrast, asserts the power of the mind to comprehend a world which, though mysterious, is ultimately sensible. By showing how Coleridge and Keats used both Male and Female Gothic, Williams challenges accepted notions about gender and authorship among the Romantics. Lucidly and gracefully written, Art of Darkness alters our understanding of the Gothic tradition, of Romanticism, and of the relations between gender and genre in literary history.

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