Book Description

The Literature of Terror is a rich and fascinating book with two interlocking aims: first, to examine the extraordinary. diversity of the ways in which the fearful has been represented in English and American literature over the last two centuries; and, second, to explore the deeper implications of 'the Gothic' as a literary, cultural and social concept. It makes a convincing case for Gothic as more than just a faded historical curiosity, a routine repertory of stale tricks and tired shudders: it shows how the continuing attraction of the fearful can embody unperceived preoccupations at once truthful and profound. Gothic is a term which is still widely used by critics and writers - frequently to mean very different things. In his book, David Punter surveys the whole enormous field of Gothic literature, not only to illustrate its variety, but also to identify and define those qualities which constitute its Gothicness. He devotes chapters to the original eighteenth-century Gothic of Ann Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis and their contemporaries; on Gothicism in romantic poetry; on the historical Gothic of the early nineteenth century; on Frankenstein and Dracula as cultural myths; on the melodramatic fiction of Wilkie Collins and the Victorians; on aspects of the American Gothic tradition, and some leading practitioners of the ghost story; on the horror film; and on contemporary writers whose work exhibits characteristically Gothic features. He then goes on to use this immense range of material to argue that Gothic, often regarded as simply an escapist mode, in fact constitutes a rich, powerful and still vital language of images and styles in which to represent deep-rooted social and psychological fears. Anxieties about class and social hierarchy, for example, about the repression of emotion and the cruelty of the rational, about sex-roles and the suppression of femininity; about incompletely comprehended problems in familial relationships. By providing a language in which such tensions can be expressed and resolved, Gothic has a deep (and continuing) relevance to the inner life of society.
Dealer Notes
First Edition; 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall; Gilt titles spine; Dust Jacket un-clipped & now in archive acetate film protection; Includes bibliography & index.
Author Punter, David
Date 1980
Binding Hardcover (Original Black Cloth)
Publisher Longman & Co.; London
Condition Near Fine in Near Fine Dustjacket
Pages 254

Price: £120.00

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