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Get American Gothic: New Interventions in a National Narrative PDF

By Robert K. Martin, Eric Savoy

ISBN-10: 1587293498

ISBN-13: 9781587293498

Drawing generally on modern theory—particularly revisionist perspectives of Freud comparable to these provided by means of Lacan and Kristeva—this quantity levels from the well known Gothic horrors of Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne to the preferred fantasies of Stephen King and the postmodern visions of Kathy Acker. targeted cognizance is paid to the problems of slavery and race in either black and white texts, together with these through Ralph Ellison and William Faulkner. within the view of the editors and individuals, the Gothic isn't really rather a lot a historic class as a method of idea haunted through background, part of suburban lifestyles and the lifeblood of flicks equivalent to The Exorcist and Fatal Attraction.

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Extra resources for American Gothic: New Interventions in a National Narrative

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As a literally cannibal ego, Lecter is also the most exaggerated version of the modernHobbesian individual, governedonly by will and appetite, detached fromthe world and other humans, whom he sees simply asobjects for his own consumption. As a mad doctor, however, Lecter has even more delicious resonances. In an ironic twist of Totem and Tgboo,‘in which cannibalism was posited as the hidden originating moment of civilization, cannibalism becomes the dark truth pychoanalysis conceals. While analysis could be seen as the most benevolent and civilized form of science, because it dissects the mind rather than the body, in Harris’s work the pretense of refinement masks a secret and increased appetite for flesh.

Montresor utilizes rather than abjures .. . - ..... ,. , _.. TH ENURTUREOFTHEGOTHIC 37 the binaries ofgood/bad, victim/victimizer which undergird social orthodoxy; his carnival is reactive a reinforcement disguised in motley. In turn, Poe’s story is a true carnival, an active reinforcement. His readers experience the carnivalesque because we can escape Montresor’s binaries and encounter the “grotesque” as defined by Stallybrass and White: “a boundary phenomenon of hybridization or inmixing in which self and other become enmeshed in an inclusive, heterogeneous, dangerously unstable zone” (193).

The inadequacy of these useful terms has driven students of the gothic for the past two centuries to offer other terms, to devise other distinctions. A distinction common in recent gothic studies is my starting point. Critics frequently create a binary opposition between inside andoutside, between gothic as an exploration of the unconscious and gothic as a concern for and even an intervention in social reality. In refusing this binary of Freud versus Man, I want to define a gothicpraxis that involves-necessarily-the interplay of psychological and social forces.

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American Gothic: New Interventions in a National Narrative by Robert K. Martin, Eric Savoy


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