Transnational Gothic : Literary and Social Exchanges in the Long Nineteenth Century book cover
1st Edition

Transnational Gothic
Literary and Social Exchanges in the Long Nineteenth Century

ISBN 9781138245471
Published August 26, 2016 by Routledge
282 Pages

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Book Description

Offering a variety of critical approaches to late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Gothic literature, this collection provides a transnational view of the emergence and flowering of the Gothic. The essays expand on now well-known approaches to the Gothic (such as those that concentrate exclusively on race, gender, or nation) by focusing on international issues: religious traditions, social reform, economic and financial pitfalls, manifest destiny and expansion, changing concepts of nationhood, and destabilizing moments of empire-building. By examining a wide array of Gothic texts, including novels, drama, and poetry, the contributors present the Gothic not as a peripheral, marginal genre, but as a central mode of literary exchange in an ever-expanding global context. Thus the traditional conventions of the Gothic, such as those associated with Ann Radcliffe and Monk Lewis, are read alongside unexpected Gothic formulations and lesser-known Gothic authors and texts. These include Mary Rowlandson and Bram Stoker, Frances and Anthony Trollope, Louisa May Alcott, Elizabeth Gaskell, Theodore Dreiser, Rudyard Kipling, and Lafcadio Hearn, as well as the actors Edmund Kean and George Frederick Cooke. Individually and collectively, the essays provide a much-needed perspective that eschews national borders in order to explore the central role that global (and particularly transatlantic) exchange played in the development of the Gothic. British, American, Continental, Caribbean, and Asian Gothic are represented in this collection, which seeks to deepen our understanding of the Gothic as not merely a national but a global aesthetic.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Bridget M. Marshall and Monika Elbert; Part 1 Old World Gothic and the New World Frontier: A transnational perspective on American Gothic criticism, Siân Silyn Roberts; The transatlantic Gothic of Isaac Mitchell’s Alonzo and Melissa as an early example of popular culture, Christian Knirsch; The old Gothic and the new: the Trollopes’ wild West, Tamara Wagner; Frontier bloodlust in England: American captivity narratives and Stoker’s Dracula, Roland Finger. Part 2 Gothic Catholicism: Demonizing the Catholic other: religion and the secularization process in Gothic literature, Diane Long Hoeveler; A woman with a cross: the transgressive, transnational nun in anti-Catholic fiction, Nancy F. Sweet; The paradox of Catholicism in New England women’s Gothic, Monika Elbert. Part 3 Anglo-American Genre Exchanges: Beyond the Novel: The haunted transatlantic libertine: Edmund Kean’s American tour, Melissa Wehler; Gothic prosody: monkish perversity and the poetics of weird form, Daniel Robinson; Transnational war Gothic from the American Civil War to World War I, Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet. Part 4 Social Anxieties and Hauntings: ’At rest now’: child ghosts and social justice in 19th-century women’s writing, Roxanne Harde; All this difficult darkness: lynching and the exorcism of the Black other in Theodore Dreiser’s ’Nigger Jeff’, Keith B. Mitchell; ’Duppy know who fi frighten': laying ghosts in Jamaican fiction, Candace Ward; Stranger fiction: the Asian ghost tales of Rudyard Kipling and Lafcadio Hearn, Mary Goodwin; Index.

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Monika Elbert is Professor of English and University Distinguished Scholar at Montclair State University and serves as editor of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review. Bridget M. Marshall is Associate Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and the author of The Transatlantic Gothic Novel and the Law, 1790 - 1860.


'... satisfying collection of essays ... [the editors] situation the thrust of the collection away from narrower concerns of extremes and limits of genres relating to monsters residing on a cultural periphery by seeing Gothic writers bringing 'national secrets into the light of a more egalitarian and global context'.' Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 'This collection of essays on the transnational Gothic makes a timely contribution to a growing scholarship on global exchanges between literatures. ... will shape future scholarly analysis of a unified, complex Gothic.' Keats-Shelley Journal 'With strong underlying currents that include the frontier, Indian wars, slavery and the Civil War, it remains primarily of interest to scholars of American literature, and the American Gothic in particular, but enriches the reader's understanding of what these terms might fully entail, and does a very good job of filling in the blanks of what emerges, like the United States, as the product of a complex and fascinating web of global exchanges and interactions.' Supernatural Studies