Rediscovering Horror: From Graveyard Poetry to Popular Culture

Rediscovering Horror: From Graveyard Poetry to Popular Culture

‘Horror: A Literary History’, edited by Xavier Aldana Reyes, is divided into seven chapters which function as separate essays that can be read without having specific knowledge about the horror genre. If read systematically, the book presents an anthological review which establishes the continuity of the genre from 1764 to the early twenty-first-century.

European Nightmares: The Horror Cinema in Europe Since 1945

European Nightmares: The Horror Cinema in Europe Since 1945

Patricia Allmer, Emily Brick, and David Huxley’s edited collection ‘European Nightmares: Horror Cinema in Europe Since 1945’ (New York-Chichester: Columbia University Press/Wallflower Press, 2012) is a book with roots that go back to a conference organised by the editors at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2006.

Sarah Burns's ‘Painting the Dark Side’: Art and the Gothic

Sarah Burns’s ‘Painting the Dark Side’: Art and the Gothic

Sarah Burns’s book, ‘Painting the Dark Side’, aims to overturn what we think we know about nineteenth-century American art. Arguing that previous histories of the era have given too much weight to the sunny side of the story, to the grand and nationalistic landscapes of the Hudson River School and the heroic realist canvases of artists such as Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins, she offers a corrective.

‘Dangerous Bodies’: Historicising the Gothic Corporeal

‘Dangerous Bodies’: Historicising the Gothic Corporeal

Marie Mulvey-Roberts presents a vibrant and fascinating study with an impressive scope and scale as it charts the representation and pathologising of the “monstrous” body from the resurgence of the Gothic in the eighteenth-century through to the late-twentieth-century.

Horror Before Horror: Arthur Machen’s Nightmares

Horror Before Horror: Arthur Machen’s Nightmares

The title on the front cover of ‘The Great God Pan and Other Horror Stories’ is set sideways, an inversion that represents perfectly the upside-down weirdness of the Arthur Machen stories collected within.

The Gothic, Violent Intervention of ‘Une Semaine de bonté’

The Gothic, Violent Intervention of ‘Une Semaine de bonté’

In the year that ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ came out, as I have indicated, another novel featuring a murder on a train appeared. ‘Une Semaine de bonté’, first published in Paris by Jeanne Boucher, is an anti-novel composed of one hundred and eighty-two captionless collages in which perfectly respectable depictions of nineteenth-century bourgeois life, taken from cheap publications picked up in flea-markets and second-hand bookstalls, are rendered shocking, phantasmagoric.

The Bloodied Compartment of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’

The Bloodied Compartment of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’

Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ is in one sense a reinscription of Émile Zola’s naturalist masterpiece ‘La Bête humaine’ (1890). Zola’s novel — to which Christie also alluded in 4:50 from Paddington (1957) — centres on the murder of a gentleman in a train compartment.

Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium Insights

Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium Insights

In some senses, this book is the flipside of John Corbett’s classic 1990 essay on “listening pleasure and the popular music object” (79) and its discussion of “fetishistic audiophilia” (94). This less theoretical and more personal collection of writings consists primarily of entries in Corbett’s ‘Vinyl Freak’ column, which ran from 2000 to 2012 in the jazz magazine, Downbeat.

‘Contemporary Gothic’, by Catherine Spooner

‘Contemporary Gothic’, by Catherine Spooner

From the Halloween theatricality of Horace Walpole’s ‘The Castle of Otranto’ (1764) and the lurid psychosexual malevolence of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ (1897) to the backcombed gloom of 1980s British bands The Cure and Fields of the Nephilim and — more recently still — Angelina Jolie’s seemingly incongruous appropriation of a Goth makeover, the amorphous and morbidly persistent fascinations of Gothic culture have unquestionable longevity.

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