Catherine’s removal from the plot (other than as a haunting presence in the background, much less potent hereafter than the waif-like child ghost whose wrist Lockwood rubs back and forth across the broken window glass till the blood runs freely (p. 21)) has seemed to some readers to weaken the second half of the novel. One modern critic has suggested, indeed, that the whole of the second-generation narrative was an afterthought.
Are you part of the Oxford World's Classics Readfing Group? The following is an extract from the current selection, Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë, taken from volume II, chapter II, pages 147-148 in the Oxford World's Classics edition.
The Gothic mode is noted for its chill factor – and is therefore unsurprisingly antithetical to sunlight. Among the many familiar characteristics of Gothic style are greyness, mist and cold: when the sun does appear it is often labelled weak or sickly, countering the usual association of the sun with warmth and health and suggesting a malaise in the environment in which the story is set. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that nowadays the Gothic is not readily associated with Spain, which suffers from its own clichés, notably being over-endowed with sun. Spain and Italy provided prime Gothic locations for the 18th-century heyday of the Gothic novel, and Spain specifically was the location for works such as Lewis’s The Monk and Maturin’sMelmoth the Wanderer. Authors were drawn to such locations not because of the sunshine but the association of the Southern Mediterranean with superstitious beliefs deriving from Catholic societies that contrasted with the supposedly rational and pragmatic ideologies of Protestant Northern Europe. Well before the rise of tourism to Spain in the 1960s, the Gothic authors of the North took their readers on virtual tours to the country. With the rise of twentieth-century tourism, though, the equation of Spain with sun has replaced the earlier Gothic portrait of supersition.
James Machin is a PhD student at Birkbeck, University of London, working on a thesis on early weird fiction, circa 1880 to 1914. He is also the editor of Faunus, the journal of the Friends of Arthur Machen. His research at the Ransom Center was [...]
Today marks the beginning of a week of weird voyages and strange seas here at WFR. The trope in which a plot pulls its characters to exotic locales has a long and rich history, both within Weird fiction and more mainstream traditions. It seems most often to be used for the purpose of displacing the characters and reader from the familiar, leaving open possibilities not previously available in order to reveal stranger (and often darker) truths. Joseph Conrad understood the potentially alienating power of place and used it with compelling effect in Heart of Darkness, and many Weird authors have used it in similar fashion, such as Lucius Shepard in his exotic tale Kalimantan, which appears to specifically invoke the classic Conrad piece.
Please find below the list of nominations for the Allan Lloyd Smith book prizes - nominated by members of the IGA. The short lists will be announced in mid-July and the awards will be made at the International Gothic Association conference in Vancouver at the end of that month.
Many congratulations to those who have been nominated!
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