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A Companion to American Gothic

A Companion to American Gothic

Charles L. Crow (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-60842-5

Sep 2013, Wiley-Blackwell

616 pages



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


Notes on Contributors xi

Preface xvii

Acknowledgments xxiii

Part I Theorizing American Gothic 1

1 The Progress of Theory and the Study of the American Gothic 3
Jerrold E. Hogle

2 Gothic, Theory, Dream 16
David Punter

3 American Ruins and the Ghost Town Syndrome 29
Martin Procházka

4 American Monsters 41
Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock

5 Creation Anxiety in Gothic Metafiction: The Dark Half and Lunar Park 56
Sherry R. Truffin

Part II Origins of American Gothic 69

6 The African American Slave Narrative and the Gothic 71
Teresa A. Goddu

7 Indian Captivity Narratives and the Origins of American Frontier Gothic 84
Matthew Wynn Sivils

8 Early American Gothic Drama 96
Benjamin F. Fisher

9 Charles Brockden Brown: Godfather of the American Gothic 110
Carol Margaret Davison

10 George Lippard and the Rise of the Urban Gothic 124
Chad Luck

Part III Classic American Gothic and Its Legacies 137

11 New England Gothic 139
Faye Ringel

12 Descendentalism and the Dark Romantics: Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, and the Subversion of American Transcendentalism 151
Ted Billy

13 “Gigantic Paradox, Too . . . Monstrous for Solution”: Nightmarish Democracy and the Schoolhouse Gothic from “William Wilson” to The Secret History 164
Sherry R. Truffin

14 The Fall of the House, from Poe to Percy: The Evolution of an Enduring Gothic Convention 177
William Moss

15 Henry James’s Ghosts 189
Andrew Smith

16 A Sisterhood of Sleuths: The Gothic Heroine, the Girl Detective, and Their Readers 201
Lynette Carpenter

17 They Are Legend: The Popular American Gothic of Ambrose Bierce and Richard Matheson 212
Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet

Part IV American Gothic and Race 223

18 Is There an Indigenous Gothic? 225
Michelle Burnham

19 Gothic Transgressions: Charles W. Chesnutt, Conjure, and the Law 238
Justin D. Edwards

20 Undead Identities: Asian American Literature and the Gothic 249
Andrew Hock Soon Ng

Part V Gothic Modern and Postmodern 265

21 I Am Providence: H.P. Lovecraft 267
Faye Ringel

22 Awful Mystery: Flannery O’Connor as Gothic Artist 279
Chad Rohman

23 Not a Refuge Yet: Shirley Jackson’s Domestic Hauntings 290
Dara Downey

24 The Strange Case of Joyce Carol Oates 303
Gavin Cologne-Brookes

25 “Identical Boxes Spreading like Gangrene”: Defining the Suburban Gothic 315
Bernice M. Murphy

26 The Cold War Gothic Poetry of Sylvia Plath 328
Kathleen L. Nichols

27 Sexuality and the Twentieth-Century American Vampire 340
William Hughes

28 Why Stephen King Still Matters 353
Tony Magistrale

29 The Ghost of the Counterfeit Child 366
Steven Bruhm

30 Toni Morrison’s Gothic: Headless Brides and Haunted Communes 378
Maisha L. Wester

31 When the Blood Trail Comes Full Circle: Cormac McCarthy’s Gothic of Guilt 392
Ronja Vieth

32 Becoming-Girl/Becoming-Fly/Becoming-Imperceptible: Gothic Posthumanism in Lynda Barry’s Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel 405
Ellen E. Berry

33 Gothic Self-Fashioning in Gibson’s Novels: Nature, Culture, Identity, Improvisation, and Cyberspace 418
John Whatley

34 Contemporary Women’s Gothic: From Lost Souls to Twilight 433
Gina Wisker

35 Apocalyptic Gothic 447
Arthur Redding

Part VI Gothic in Other Media 461

36 The Darkest Nightmares Imaginable: Gothic Audio Drama from Radio to the Internet 463
Richard J. Hand

37 Film Noir and the Gothic 475
David Fine

38 The American Dream/The American Nightmare: American Gothic on the Small Screen 488
Carol Margaret Davison

39 Digital Games and the American Gothic: Investigating Gothic Game Grammar 503
Tanya Krzywinska

Part VII American Gothic and World Gothic 517

40 Self-Fragmentation, Diseased Landscapes, and other Enigmatic Engagements: American Gothic and the Literatures of East and Southeast Asia 519
Andrew Hock Soon Ng

41 Fluid Bodies: Gothic Transmutations in Carlos Fuentes’ Fiction 533
Antonio Alcalá González

42 Let a New Gender In? American Responses to Contemporary Scandinavian Gothicism 547
Carol Siegel

Index 559