American Nightmares: The Haunted House Formula in American Popular Fiction

Front Cover
Popular Press, Jun 15, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 145 pages
1 Review
 When Edgar Allan Poe set down the tale of the accursed House of Usher in 1839, he also laid the foundation for a literary tradition that has assumed a lasting role in American culture. “The House of Usher” and its literary progeny have not lacked for tenants in the century and a half since: writers from Nathaniel Hawthorne to Stephen King have taken rooms in the haunted houses of American fiction. Dale Bailey traces the haunted house tale from its origins in English gothic fiction to the paperback potboilers of the present, highlighting the unique significance of the house in the domestic, economic, and social ideologies of our nation. The author concludes that the haunted house has become a powerful and profoundly subversive symbol of everything that has gone nightmarishly awry in the American Dream.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - whitewavedarling - LibraryThing

This book is somewhat elementary because of its close focus on plot and character-related structure, and because of its cataloguing nature and conception, but Bailey's work here is worth reading for ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Bibliographic information