In America as in Britain, the rise of the Gothic represented the other—the fearful shadows cast upon Enlightenment philosophies of common sense, democratic positivism, and optimistic futurity. Many critics have recognized the centrality of these shadows to American culture and self-identification. American Gothic, however, remaps the field by offering a series of revisionist essays associated with a common theme: the range and variety of Gothic manifestations in high and popular art from the roots of American culture to the present. The thirteen essayists approach the persistence of the Gothic in American culture by providing a composite of interventions that focus on specific issues—the histories of gender and race, the cultures of cities and scandals and sensations—in order to advance distinct theoretical paradigms. Each essay sustains a connection between a particular theoretical field and a central problem in the Gothic tradition. Drawing widely on contemporary theory—particularly revisionist views of Freud such as those offered by Lacan and Kristeva—this volume ranges from the well-known Gothic horrors of Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne to the popular fantasies of Stephen King and the postmodern visions of Kathy Acker. Special attention is paid to the issues of slavery and race in both black and white texts, including those by Ralph Ellison and William Faulkner. In the view of the editors and contributors, the Gothic is not so much a historical category as a mode of thought haunted by history, a part of suburban life and the lifeblood of films such as The Exorcist and Fatal Attraction.
Following the structure of other titles in the Continuum Introductions to Literary Genres series, American Gothic Fiction includes: A broad definition of the genre and its essential elements. A timeline of developments within the genre. Critical concerns to bear in mind while reading in the genre. Detailed readings of a range of widely taught texts. In-depth analysis of major themes and issues. Signposts for further study within the genre. A summary of the most important criticism in the field. A glossary of terms. An annotated, critical reading list. This book offers students, writers, and serious fans a window into some of the most popular topics, styles and periods in this subject. Authors studied in American Gothic Fiction include Charles Brockden Brown, William Montgomery Bird, James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, George Lippard, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Gilmore Simms, John Neal, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ambrose Bierce, Emma Dawson, W.D. Howells, Henry James, William Faulkner, Anne Rice and William Gibson>
The Biography of Grant Wood's American Masterpiece
Author: Thomas Hoving,Grant Wood
Publisher: Chamberlain Brothers
The story behind one of the most famous paintings in American art. The stern, sober countenance of the elderly farmer. The quiet, loyal character of his prim wife. Few other paintings are so instantly recognizable as Grant Wood's masterpiece American Gothic. Bestselling Chicago author Thomas Hoving brings to life Wood himself and illuminates, as only he can, the allure of this iconic painting. This is the lively biography of Grant Wood, whose roots grew deep in the heartland of America, a poor kid in a small Iowa town. His painting was a reflection of the place where he lived and the world he knew. It is also a biography of the painting itself, from its inspiration, to its controversial unveiling at a juried exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago-where it earned derision, praise, and a bronze medal-to its eventual acceptance and recognition as a true original work of art. Today it ranks with the Mona Lisa and Edvard Munch's The Scream as one of the most well-known (and parodied) paintings in the world-and it remains a beloved piece of Americana.
This book defines the American Gothic and places it both within the context of the major movements of intellectual history in the last 300 years, and also within the context of the critical issues of American culture. From Poe to Faulkner to Toni Morrison and Cormac McCarthy, many of the best and most critically acclaimed works of American literature have been Gothic. The book will demonstrate how the Gothic provides a forum for discussing key issues of American culture, for exploring forbidden subjects, and for providing a voice for the repressed and silenced.
Through the endless waltz of time, a man becomes a monster and a monster reclaims his humanity by saving one human soul. . . . 1863 Even the opium pipe and its dark dreams isn’t enough to erase the memories that haunt Nathaniel Peregrine. His home destroyed, his wife and children butchered, his world shattered by civil war—he can find no reason to protect his soul from the intoxicating evil that pursues him. Willingly he bends his neck for the beautiful demon who will take away his pain and replace it with an otherworldly power too great and terrible to imagine. 1914 Years later, growing tired of living a vampire’s restless existence, Peregrine travels to the wild island of Haiti, where shadow blends easily into the exotic flora and fauna. There he meets Helen Fairweather, a woman who makes him yearn for a mortal life as he has not done for ages. The longing leads him to Dr. Lavalle, a man who may be able to give him back his soul. Once a foremost authority on diseases of the blood, the good doctor sets Peregrine on a steep descent that will end with salvation—or damnation. . . . From the Paperback edition.
From humble beginnings sketching Iowa’s cornfields and rolling hills as a child, Grant Wood became the father of regionalism, an artistic movement that celebrated the simple and real-life surroundings of the people. When studying art in Europe in the early 20th century, Grant couldn’t find a style that touched his heart quite right. Impressionism, cubism, and abstract art didn’t reflect his view of the world. It wasn’t until he stumbled upon Gothic art that Grant recognized something familiar. Back home in America, Grant asked his sister and his dentist to pose for what would become the founding, iconic image of regionalism and a uniquely American work of art. Grant’s art celebrated hard-working Americans who finally saw themselves in fine art. American Gothic is a picture-book biography that explores the birth of the famous painting, the movement that made it possible, and the artist who created it all.
A study of the origins and multiple meanings of Grant Wood's portrait of the pitchfork-holding Iowa farming couple documents how the piece has represented midwestern Puritanism, hard-working endurance, and the often-parodied American heartland throughout different periods in history. Reprint.
A Companion to American Gothic features a collection of original essays that explore America’s gothic literary tradition. The largest collection of essays in the field of American Gothic Contributions from a wide variety of scholars from around the world The most complete coverage of theory, major authors, popular culture and non-print media available
Gender and Slavery in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
Author: Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet
Category: Literary Criticism
Taking as its point of departure recent insights about the performative nature of genre, The Poetics and Politics of the American Gothic challenges the critical tendency to accept at face value that gothic literature is mainly about fear. Instead, Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet argues that the American Gothic, and gothic literature in general, is also about judgment: how to judge and what happens when judgment is confronted with situations that defy its limits. Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Gilman, and James all shared a concern with the political and ideological debates of their time, but tended to approach these debates indirectly. Thus, Monnet suggests, while slavery and race are not the explicit subject matter of antebellum works by Poe and Hawthorne, they nevertheless permeate it through suggestive analogies and tacit references. Similarly, Melville, Gilman, and James use the gothic to explore the categories of gender and sexuality that were being renegotiated during the latter half of the century. Focusing on "The Fall of the House of Usher," The Marble Faun, Pierre, The Turn of the Screw, and "The Yellow Wallpaper," Monnet brings to bear minor texts by the same authors that further enrich her innovative readings of these canonical works. At the same time, her study persuasively argues that the Gothic's endurance and ubiquity are in large part related to its being uniquely adapted to rehearse questions about judgment and justice that continue to fascinate and disturb.
One of the very first books to take Stephen King seriously, Landscape of Fear (originally published in 1988) reveals the source of King's horror in the sociopolitical anxieties of the post-Vietnam, post-Watergate era. In this groundbreaking study, Tony Magistrale shows how King's fiction transcends the escapism typical of its genre to tap into our deepest cultural fears: "that the government we have installed through the democratic process is not only corrupt but actively pursuing our destruction, that our technologies have progressed to the point at which the individual has now become expendable, and that our fundamental social institutions-school, marriage, workplace, and the church-have, beneath their veneers of respectability, evolved into perverse manifestations of narcissism, greed, and violence." Tracing King's moralist vision to the likes of Twain, Hawthorne, and Melville, Landscape of Fear establishes the place of this popular writer within the grand tradition of American literature. Like his literary forbears, King gives us characters that have the capacity to make ethical choices in an imperfect, often evil world. Yet he inscribes that conflict within unmistakably modern settings. From the industrial nightmare of "Graveyard Shift" to the breakdown of the domestic sphere in The Shining, from the techno-horrors of The Stand to the religious fanaticism and adolescent cruelty depicted in Carrie, Magistrale charts the contours of King's fictional landscape in its first decade.
Republicanism and the American Gothic offers a comparative study of British and American literature and culture in the 1790s and 1950s, as it recontextualizes American gothic fiction from the perspective of the cold war. Exploring the republican tradition of the British Enlightenment and the effect of its translation and migration to the American colonies, Marilyn Michaud pays particular attention to the transatlantic influence of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century libertarian and anti-authoritarian thought on British and American revolutionary culture.
This new critique of contemporary African-American fiction explores its intersections with and critiques of the Gothic genre. Wester reveals the myriad ways writers manipulate the genre to critique the gothic's traditional racial ideologies and the mechanisms that were appropriated and re-articulated as a useful vehicle for the enunciation of the peculiar terrors and complexities of black existence in America. Re-reading major African American literary texts such as Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Of One Blood, Cane, Invisible Man, and Corregidora African American Gothic investigates texts from each major era in African American Culture to show how the gothic has consistently circulated throughout the African American literary canon.
A new critical companion to the Gothic traditions of American CultureThis new Companion surveys the traditions and conventions of the dark side of American culture its repressed memories, its anxieties and panics, its fears and horrors, its obsessions and paranoias. Featuring new critical essays by established and emerging academics from a range of national backgrounds, this collection offers new discussions and analyses of canonical and lesser-known texts in literature and film, television, photography, and video games. Its scope ranges from the earliest manifestations of American Gothic traditions in frontier narratives and colonial myths, to its recent responses to contemporary global events. Key Features Features original critical writing by established and emerging scholarsSurveys the full range of American Gothic, from its earliest texts to 21st Century worksIncludes critical analyses of American Gothic in new media and technologiesWill establish new benchmarks for the critical understanding of American Gothic traditions
Poe, 'The House of Usher,' and the American Gothic discusses the interrelation between Poe's tale and the modern horror genre, demonstrating how Poe's work continues to serve as a model for exploring the deepest and most primitive corners of the human mind and heart.
Gale Researcher Guide for: American Gothic is selected from Gale's academic platform Gale Researcher. These study guides provide peer-reviewed articles that allow students early success in finding scholarly materials and to gain the confidence and vocabulary needed to pursue deeper research.
Documents the American horror film industry from its beginnings to the mid-1950s, including European influences in creating horror films during its early years to the fusion of science fiction and horror during the 1950s.