Exhibited by Candlelight: Sources and Developments in the Gothic Tradition

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Rodopi, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 298 pages
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Exhibited by Candlelight: Sources and Developments in the Gothic Tradition focuses on a number of strands in the Gothic. The first is Gothic as a way of looking. Paintings used as reference points, tableaux, or the Hammer Studios' visualizations of Dracula present ways of seeing which are suggestive and allow the interplay of primarily sexual passions. Continuity with the past is a further strand which enables us to explore how the sources of the Gothic are connected with the origin of existence and of history, both individual and general. Here, the Gothic offers a voice for writers whose perceptions do not fit into those of the dominant group, which makes them sensitive both to psychological and social gaps. This leads to an exploration of the very idea of sources and an attempt to bridge the gaps, as can be observed in the variety of epithets used to clarify the ways that Gothic works, ranging from heroic gothic to porno-gothic. This takes the reader to the main core of Gothic: a genre which is always ready to admit new forms of the unreal to enter and change whatever has become mainstream literature, and a way of reading and a mode profoundly affecting the reading experience. The Gothic mode cultivates its wicked waysin literature, working through it as a leavening yeast.

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About the author (1995)

Jane Stevenson was born in 1959 in London & brought up in London, Beijing, & Bonn. She teaches comparative literature & translation studies at the University of Warwick & lives with her husband in Warwickshire, England. Her novel, "London Bridges," will be published by Houghton Mifflin in 2001.

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