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Gothic Literature

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Those Who Went Remain There Still [Oct. 1st, 2009|09:14 pm]
Gothic Literature

xjenavivex

Check out my review of cmpriest's book here.
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sequels to other people's books in general [Sep. 8th, 2009|04:24 am]
Gothic Literature

dfordoom
So how do you feel about the more general issue of people doing sequels to books written by other writers, writers now dead? Are there any examples you can think of where the results were truly worthwhile?

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys was a prequel to Jane Eyre (and therefore on-topic since Jane Eyre is certainly gothic). I haven't read it, but it appears to be reasonably highly thought of. Is it one of the successful examples of this sort of exercise?
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Dracula The Un-Dead [Sep. 7th, 2009|04:05 pm]
Gothic Literature

dfordoom
Dracula The Un-Dead will be released next month. This is the "official" sequel to Dracula authorised by the Stoker family and written by Stoker's great grand-nephew Dacre Stoker. It's apparently based on notes made by Stoker himself for his original novel and apparently includes material that had been intended for inclusion in the original.

How do you feel about this? Is it just a marketing ploy? It's being "co-written" by a screenwriter named Ian Holt, which makes me wonder if in this case "co-written" actually means "ghost-written" - or am I just an old cynic? Can a sequel written by someone other than the author of the original work really be an "official" sequel?

Will this new novel qualify as Dracula canon? And are you going to read it?

x-posted to darkling_tales
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Bram Stoker and his influences [Sep. 3rd, 2009|11:15 pm]
Gothic Literature

dfordoom
Apparently Bram Stoker was much influenced in the writing of Dracula by William Wilkinson's Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia which had been published in 1820. And Wilkinson's book was partly based on The Generall Historie of the Turkes by Richard Knolles, which came out in 1603.

Has anyone read either of these books?
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The Haunted Omnibus [Sep. 3rd, 2009|04:27 am]
Gothic Literature

dfordoom
The Haunted Omnibus, edited by Alexander Laing and originally published in 1937, has been recommended to me as one of those anthologies that one simply has to own. What do you think? There are reasonably cheap used copies available so it seems tempting.
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Jane Austen's seven horrid novels [Aug. 24th, 2009|11:05 pm]
Gothic Literature

dfordoom
I'm sure we must have discussed this here before, but in Northanger Abbey Jane Austen mentions, in a rather facetious manner, seven "horrid novels" all of which were of course actual gothic novels.

The novels were The Castle of Wolfenbach, Clermont, Mysterious Warnings, The Necromancer of the Black Forest, Midnight Bell, Orphan of the Rhine and Horrid Mysteries.

So how many of these have you read? Do you recommend any of them?

x-posted to darkling_tales
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The Thrill of Fear: 250 Years of Scary Entertainments [Aug. 20th, 2009|11:58 pm]
Gothic Literature

dfordoom
Walter Kendrick, the author of The Thrill of Fear: 250 Years of Scary Entertainments, is a professor of English and unfortunately he’s one of those academics who can’t seem to help adopting a patronising tone when discussing genre fiction. more behind cutCollapse )



x-posted to darkling_tales
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melodrama / 19th century true crime [Aug. 18th, 2009|09:26 pm]
Gothic Literature

dfordoom
The chapter on melodrama in Walter Kendrick’s The Thrill of Fear: 250 Years of Scary Entertainments was fairly interesting, although all too brief. I didn’t realise that melodrama got its name from being a combination of music and drama, and that the use of music was the main identifying characteristic. Music was used the way it’s used in classic Hollywood movies. I also hadn’t realised that the heyday of true melodrama was comparatively short.

It was also very similar to horror movies in its use of special effects, with up to four different trapdoors in the stage to allow for the appearance of ghostly spectres and such-like things.

Kendrick is also interesting on the subject of the 19th century enthusiasm for true crime stories, often extremely grisly ones. And apparently as popular with the educated classes as they were with the masses. One broadsheet on the subject of a particularly gruesome murder sold well over a million and a half copies.
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gothic and the novel of sensibility [Aug. 17th, 2009|10:57 pm]
Gothic Literature

dfordoom
I'm reading Walter Kendrick's The Thrill of Fear: 250 Years of Scary Entertainments at the moment. He makes the claim that one of the ancestors of the gothic novel was the 18th century "novel of sensibility" - books like Sterne's Sentimental Journey. His argument is that both rely on a kind of exaggerated and self-conscious artificial emotional response, which in both cases is the source of the pleasure the reader gets from the books concerned.

What do you think?
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Poe's best and most gothic tales [Aug. 7th, 2009|03:05 pm]
Gothic Literature

dfordoom
Everyone here likes Poe, or at least I assume that most of us do. What would you consider to be Poe's most quintessentially gothic tale? And what's your personal favourite from among his stories? And why?
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