We are delighted to announce that Issue #13 of The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies is now available online athttp://irishgothichorrorjournal.homestead.com/. Follow the links to download the PDF, and to explore previous issues in The Vault, along with short articles on the forgotten, neglected, or underrated personages of horror in the Lost Souls section.
Ah, if only time machines had been invented already. We would each be free to zip back and visit the desired nightclub/live venue/social scene of our choice, to revel in a world we can now only read, or dream, about. I’ve thought about this before, of course, and most of my preferred time travel destinations were located in and around New York City in the 70s and the 80s.
But there will be many for whom the bright, shiny lights of NYC hold no attraction, and who
With the Cult section of the BFI London Film Festival offering a tasting menu of the some of the most striking new horror cinema, we got to thinking: what are the best horror films made since the year 2000?
Today, Lovecraft is commonly regarded as the greatest American horror writer of the 20th century, and his only real rival in any century is Edgar Allan Poe. (The jury is out on Stephen King.) His most famous invention was a kraken-like sea beast with an unpronounceable name: Cthulhu. The stories loosely connected to this tentacled leviathan—there are about a dozen—are collectively called the Cthulhu Mythos. Their namesake has attained iconic status not only within the narrow confines of the horror genre, but without it as well. Cthulhu has become everything from the subject of songs by the heavy-metal band Metallica to a green plush doll that sits on bookshelves. Every four years brings on a new array of t-shirts and bumper stickers that tell the same joke: “Cthulhu for President: Why choose the lesser evil?”
Words have complicated lives, with enough births, deaths, and transformations to make even the most complicated zombie story seem tame by comparison. Here's the story of how the classic terrifying tale of a dead creature brought to life also helped to give a word its own new lease on life.
The Poet Edgar Allan Poe makes large claims for Poeâ��s poetry, thanks to his emphasis on rhythm over content, placing him at the center of nineteenth-century American poetry along with Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson.
This edited collection will explore and interrogate the Internet as a new, crucial medium for the culture of terror. The ‘web’ is an anarchic zone in which new possibilities for the curation and performance of identity coincide with an advancing hyperconnectivity and the acceleration of informational transactions. In what ways, we are asking, has all of this been instrumental in the proliferation of an online Gothic culture? Despite the emancipating potential of web 2.0, new media platforms reiterate and redeploy essential Gothic states of uncertainty, disorientation and obscurity, generating equally new networks of unease. The apparently affirmative possibilities of the networked world – a heightened access to knowledge, the capacity to manufacture and control avatars of selfhood – also give way to fears about the extent to which the user not only navigates and manipulates the web, but is also caught up in its tissues, controlled by nets which are never fully knowable, the potentials of which can never be entirely transparent, or entirely predictable.
My research is on the literary lycanthrope and my thesis is entitled ‘The Development of the Literary Werewolf: language, subjectivity and animal/human boundaries’. In a nutshell then (and please bear in mind that it is almost impossible for any PhD student to summarise their research in fewer than 60,000-80,000 words) I discuss how the introduction and representation of the werewolf in English Literature is influenced by the mythologising of the wolf in folklore, science and fairytales. My aim is to show how the ‘Gothicising’ of nature – and wolves are exemplars of this – has maintained boundaries between humans and animals based on ideas regarding language and subjectivity. I open with discussions regarding the tropes of Victorian werewolf stories and then use Dracula as a way of cementing my argument on the creation of a Gothic nature by reading Count Dracula as werewolf.
St. Leon, A Tale of the Sixteenth Century (1799) is the second of Godwin’s major novels. Unlike the relatively down-to-earth narrative of Caleb Williams, St. Leon is a story of the fantastic. The disgraced noble of the title is entrusted with the secrets of alchemy; able to create gold seemingly from nothing and to preserve his youth eternally, through the application of formulae taught to him by a mysterious stranger. Despite the protagonist’s best intentions, unlimited wealth brings him more grief than happiness. St. Leon’s efforts to help others are invariably stymied or perverted, either by the corrupting influence of wealth itself, or by others’ distrust (or even outright hatred) of altruism.
Here at Weirdfictionreview.com we’ve been thinking a lot about “the weird” since theWeird Tales debacle and in the context of other discussions, like the one about whether H.P. Lovecraft should be the face of the World Fantasy Award. In a sense, this entire conversation is surreal and strange to us because from our perspective the weird has never been something with Lovecraft at the center of it. I know that personally it is frustrating to find readers making a connection between my work and Lovecraft’s when he not only wasn’t an influence, but was a writer who bored me silly when I first encountered him. (When I first won a World Fantasy Award, I didn’t know it was a bust of Lovecraft; I thought it was just a depiction of an ugly ghost.)
William Godwin is frequently a name mentioned in passing by Gothic scholars, usually as a way to place some context on the life of Mary Shelley. Similarly, it’s not unusual to see Romanticists make passing reference to the ‘Gothic elements’ or ‘Gothic style’ of Godwin’s fiction. There’s value in either kind of statement, but Godwin’s relevance to the Gothic fiction of the early 1800s is under-interrogated. Within the field of Godwin scholarship itself, attention has mainly focused on the author’s politics and on his relationships with other writers – Wollstonecraft, Coleridge and the Shelleys at the forefront of this, all gloriously recorded in Godwin’s copious letters and diaries. Critical interest in Godwin’s fiction is overwhelmingly concerned with his first ‘mature’ novel, the tremendously influential Caleb Williams