As one of the most popular and recognisable monsters in European and American media, vampires have a unique cultural significance. In Our Vampires, Ourselves, Nina Auerbach argues that vampires are especially compelling because of their versatility, which allows them to “shape themselves to personal and national moods”; because of this adaptability, she says, their “appeal is dramatically generational” (5).
‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ and the Gothic Carnivalesque
The American gothic powerfully influenced Ray Bradbury’s writing, and a midwestern carnival inspired him to become a writer. When Bradbury was a boy, his aunt Neva gave him a copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Tales of Mystery and Imagination’, illustrated by Harry Clarke.
The Cultural Historical Context of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Mary Shelley conceived her creature at the height of the literary and philosophical period called Romanticism. The forces that marked this period were the many changes that were being carried out, such as political (French and American revolutions), economic (from rural to urban economy and the beginnings of the industrial revolution), scientific (discoveries in medicine, neurology, electricity, and chemistry), and social (growing importance of education of the masses).
Women Writers, Madness, Death and Sylvia Plath’s Gothic
These powerful, predatory images assault us with the stuff of horror: ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’, ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, ‘Nosferatu’, reminding us of monsters from nightmares, from medieval paintings of torture and hell.
‘Witchfinder General’: From Historical Novel to “Horror” Film
One of the developments in the representation of witchcraft at the end of the twentieth-century is that the portrayal of witch-hunters moves from approbation to repulsion. In part, this was due to wider cultural movements: a concern for social, gendered and racial justice, and distaste for arbitrary authority.
Glanvill and Webster and the Literary War over Witchcraft
In an earlier article, we followed the progress of opinion from James I to the Restoration. We saw that in the course of little more than a half-century the centre of the controversy had been considerably shifted: we noted that there was a growing body of intelligent men who discredited the stories of witchcraft and were even inclined to laugh at them.
Left in the Gutter: A Brief History of American Comic Books
The gutter mentioned in the title of this section has dual meanings. On the one hand, it is representative of the more literal meaning, designed to conjure images of refuse washed away and hidden in subterranean sewers in this case, critical causal facts omitted for the sake of scholarly expediency.