The Gothic Other: Racial and Social Constructions in the Literary Imagination

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Literary use of the Gothic is marked by an anxious encounter with otherness, with the dark and mysterious unknown. From its earliest manifestations in the turbulent eighteenth century, this seemingly escapist mode has provided for authors a useful ground upon which to safely confront very real fears and horrors.

The essays here examine texts in which Gothic fear is relocated onto the figure of the racial and social Other, the Other who replaces the supernatural ghost or grotesque monster as the code for mystery and danger, ultimately becoming as horrifying, threatening and unknowable as the typical Gothic manifestation. The range of essays reveals that writers from many canons and cultures are attracted to the Gothic as a ready medium for expression of racial and social anxieties. The essays are grouped into sections that focus on such topics as race, religion, class, and centers of power.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786418589
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth Bienstock Anolik teaches at Villanova University in Pennsylvania and writes extensively on the Gothic mode. Her articles have been published in Modern Language Studies, Studies in Jewish Literature, and a number of other journals and collections. Douglas L. Howard is the Writing Center Coordinator and an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Suffolk County Community College in Selden, New York. His publications include articles in Literature and Theology, The Chronicle of Higher Education and This Thing of Ours: Investigating the Sopranos (Columbia University Press, 2002). He lives in Greenlawn, New York.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : the dark unknown 1
Pt. I Demonizing the racial other, humanizing the self
1 White terror, black dreams : gothic constructions of race in the nineteenth century 17
2 Slavery and civic recovery : gothic interventions in Whitman and Weld 32
3 Cane : Jean Tomer's gothic black modernism 54
4 Mixed blood couples : monsters and miscegenation in U.S. horror cinema 72
5 Diseased states, public minds : native American ghosts in early national literature 90
6 Yellow peril, dark hero : Fu Manchu and the "gothic bedevilment" of racist intent 104
7 A return to the caves : E. M. Forster's gothic passage 120
Pt. II Demonizing the religious other, humanizing the self
8 Gothic routes, or the thrills of ethnography : Frances Calderon de la Barca's Life in Mexico 143
9 The infamous svengali : George Du Maurier's Satanic Jew 163
Pt. III Dark master, dark slave : class hatred and class fear
10 The death of Zofloya; or, the Moor as epistemological limit 197
11 "The vampyre" : romantic metaphysics and the aristocratic other 212
12 "Screaming while school was in session" : the construction of monstrosity in Stephen King's schoolhouse gothic 236
Pt. IV When the self is the other : humanizing the other, demonizing the oppressor
13 The cage of obscene birds : the myth of the southern garden in Frederick Douglass's My bondage and my freedom 251
14 Gothic in the Himalayas : Powell and Pressburger's Black narcissus 264
Pt. V When the other is the self : deconstructing the categories
15 Defanging Dracula : the disappearing other in Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula 289
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