War Gothic in Literature and Culture

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Steffen Hantke, Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet
Routledge, Dec 7, 2015 - Literary Criticism - 264 pages

In the context of the current explosion of interest in Gothic literature and popular culture, this interdisciplinary collection of essays explores for the first time the rich and long-standing relationship between war and the Gothic. Critics have described the global Seven Year’s War as the "crucible" from which the Gothic genre emerged in the eighteenth century. Since then, the Gothic has been a privileged mode for representing violence and extreme emotions and situations. Covering the period from the American Civil War to the War on Terror, this collection examines how the Gothic has provided writers an indispensable toolbox for narrating, critiquing, and representing real and fictional wars. The book also sheds light on the overlap and complicity between Gothic aesthetics and certain aspects of military experience, including the bodily violation and mental dissolution of combat, the dehumanization of "others," psychic numbing, masculinity in crisis, and the subjective experience of trauma and memory. Engaging with popular forms such as young adult literature, gaming, and comic books, as well as literature, film, and visual art, War Gothic provides an important and timely overview of war-themed Gothic art and narrative by respected experts in the field of Gothic Studies. This book makes important contributions to the fields of Gothic Literature, War Literature, Popular Culture, American Studies, and Film, Television & Media.


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List of Figures
Vampiric Hauntings
Gustav Hasfords Gothic Poetics of Demystification
Elements of
Albert Pinkham Ryders
War Gothic and the Monstrous
Gothic Figure in William Wylers The Best Years of Our Lives
Gothic Tropes and Hollywood Genre
Spec Ops The Line and
Virtual War and the Nazi Zombie Gothic in Call of Duty
Revolution and Monstrosity in BioShock
Harry Potters War Narrative in a Post
The Gothicization of World War II as a Source of Cultural
Conquering the Frontier Gothic in Red Dawn
List of Contributors

Gothic Masculinities Specters

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About the author (2015)

Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet is Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Steffen Hantke teaches in the American Culture Program at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea.

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