All the stories contain the common elements of the gothic tale: a warped sense these thirty-seven selections compiled by Chris Baldick provide a unique look. All these stories and more contain the common elements of the gothic tale: a warped these thirty-seven selections compiled by Chris Baldick provide a unique. Chris Baldick, Editor Oxford University Press, USA $35 (p) ISBN dread, decay, disintegration, death–each of these trademarks of the well-made Gothic tale.

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The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales – Chris Baldick – Oxford University Press

I think Oates here is conflating the gothic, horror, black comedy, oxfod social commentary genres. According to Baldick, the theme of gothic fiction is the tyranny of the past; the decaying mansion or other claustrophobic physical space that serves as the setting for the story symbolizes the inability of the protagonist to escape that past.

As this tyranny faded into history as far as readers were concerned oxfogd, it was replaced with more relevant forms: This is telling you more about me than you probably want to hear, but what those early examples reminded me of the most is bad erotica.


The same breathless run-on sentences, the same complete disregard for narrative logic so that the story can make its way through the same obligatory checklist.

By which I mean, all the gothic tales of this period run through the same list of required motifs clammy disembodied hand, mouldering castle, full moon, evil monk, dead or abducted beloved woman, blah blah blah ; bad erotica, naturally, has a different requirements list. Perhaps the same enthusiasm, though. The little ghost story at the beginning is extraneous, but cute. Again, the atmosphere was not stereotypically gloomy. Who was the bad chriis here?

Was it the evil scientist Rappaccini? Was it the jealous professor Baglioni? Or was it the judgmental protagonist?

The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales

Beatrice was the innocent — but were there any good guys? There were several of the usual suspect in the collection: A few things you might not expect.

Many of you would be better at it than I am, anyway. And as a literature of resistance, I can see that it can appeal to certain types of writers, as well. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account.


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The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales by Chris Baldick

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