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Jun 19,  · Gothic structures, with their abundant carvings, crevices, and shadows, can conjure an aura of mystery and darkness and often served as appropriate settings in Gothic literature for the mood conjured up there. Gothic writers tended to cultivate those emotional effects in their works, and some of the authors even dabbled in architecture. The Gothic revival, which appeared in English gardens and architecture before it got into literature, was the work of a handful of visionaries, the most important of whom was Horace Walpole (–), novelist, letter writer, and son of the prime minister Sir Robert Walpole. Gothic Literature - Study Guide. Nothing makes you feel more alive than getting a good scare by a horror story! Gothic Fiction has a long history, and remains popular to this day. We hope this guide is particularly useful for teachers and students to explore the genre and read some great stories.

How to Write Gothic Fiction (with Pictures) - wikiHow

Gothic fictionwhich is largely known by the subgenre of Gothic horroris a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror gothic literature wiki, death, and at times romance.

The effect of Gothic fiction feeds on a pleasing sort of terror, an extension of Romantic literary pleasures that were relatively new at the time of Walpole's novel. Another well known novel in this genre, dating from the late Victorian erais Bram Stoker 's Dracula.

The name Gothicgothic literature wiki, which originally referred gothic literature wiki the Gothsand then came to mean "German", [1] refers to the medieval Gothic architecturein which many of these stories take place, gothic literature wiki. This extreme form of Romanticism was very popular throughout Europe, especially among English- and German-language writers and artists. The novel usually regarded as the first Gothic novel is The Castle of Otranto by English author Horace Walpolewhich was first published in Walpole published the first edition disguised as a medieval romance from Italy discovered and republished by a fictitious translator.

When Walpole gothic literature wiki to his authorship in the second edition, its originally favourable reception by literary reviewers changed into rejection, gothic literature wiki.

The reviewers' rejection reflected a larger cultural bias: the romance was usually held in contempt by the educated as a tawdry gothic literature wiki debased kind of writing; the genre had gained some respectability only through the works of Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding. Walpole's forgery, together with the blend of history and fiction, contravened the principles of the Enlightenment and associated the Gothic novel with fake documentation.

Clara Reevebest known for her work The Old English Baronset out to take Walpole's plot and adapt it to the demands of the time by balancing fantastic elements with 18th-century realism, gothic literature wiki. Reeve's contribution in the development of the Gothic fiction, therefore, can be demonstrated on at least two fronts.

In the first, there is gothic literature wiki reinforcement of the Gothic narrative framework, one that focuses on expanding the imaginative domain so as to include the supernatural without losing the realism that marks the novel that Walpole pioneered. The result is that she spurned specific aspects to Walpole's style such as his tendency to incorporate too much humor or comic elements in such a way that it diminishes the Gothic tale's ability to induce fear.

InReeve enumerated Walpole's excesses in this respect:. Although the succession of Gothic writers did not exactly heed Gothic literature wiki focus on emotional realism, she was able to posit a framework that keeps Gothic fiction within the realm of the probable. This aspect gothic literature wiki a challenge for authors in this genre after the publication of The Old English Baron.

Outside of its providential context, the supernatural would often suffer the risk of veering towards the absurd. Ann Radcliffe developed the technique of the explained supernatural in which every seemingly supernatural intrusion is eventually traced back to natural causes.

Her success attracted many imitators. Radcliffe's novels, above all The Mysteries of Udolphowere best-sellers, gothic literature wiki. However, along with most novels at the gothic literature wiki, they were looked down upon by many well-educated people as sensationalist nonsense, gothic literature wiki.

Radcliffe also inspired the emerging idea of "Gothic feminism", which she expressed through the idea of female power through pretended and staged weakness. The establishment of this idea began the movement of the female gothic to be "challenging… the concept of gender itself". Radcliffe also provided an aesthetic for the genre in an influential article "On the Supernatural in Poetry", [14] examining the distinction and correlation between horror and terror in Gothic fiction, [15] utilizing the uncertainties of terror in her works to produce a model of the uncanny.

Romantic literary movements developed in continental Europe concurrent with the development of the Gothic novel, gothic literature wiki. These works were often more horrific and violent than the English Gothic novel. Matthew Lewis ' lurid tale of monastic debauchery, black magic and diabolism entitled The Monk offered the first continental novel to follow the conventions of the Gothic novel. Though Lewis's novel could be read as a pastiche of the emerging genre, self-parody had been a constituent part of the Gothic from the time of the gothic literature wiki inception with Walpole's Otranto.

Lewis's portrayal of depraved monks, sadistic inquisitors and spectral nuns [18] —and his scurrilous view of the Catholic Church—appalled some readers, but The Monk was important in the genre's gothic literature wiki. In this book, the hapless protagonists are ensnared in a web of deceit by a malignant monk called Schedoni and eventually dragged before the tribunals of the Inquisition in Rome, leading gothic literature wiki contemporary to remark that if Radcliffe wished to transcend the horror of these scenes, she would have to visit hell itself, gothic literature wiki.

The Marquis de Sade used a subgothic framework for some of his fiction, notably The Misfortunes of Virtue and Eugenie gothic literature wiki Franvalthough the Marquis himself never thought of his like this. Sade critiqued the genre in the preface of his Reflections on the novel stating that the Gothic is "the inevitable product of the revolutionary shock with which the whole of Europe resounded".

Contemporary critics of the genre also noted the correlation between the Gothic literature wiki Revolutionary Terror and the "terrorist school" of writing represented by Radcliffe and Lewis.

German gothic fiction is usually described by the term Schauerroman "shudder novel". Lewis as The Bravo of Venice in The Ritterroman focuses on the life and deeds of the knights and soldiers, but features many elements found in the gothic novel, such as magic, secret tribunals, and medieval setting, gothic literature wiki. Benedikte Naubert 's novel Hermann of Unna is seen as gothic literature wiki very close gothic literature wiki the Schauerroman genre.

While the term Schauerroman is sometimes equated with the term "Gothic novel", gothic literature wiki, this is only partially true. Both genres are based on the terrifying side of the Middle Ages, and both frequently feature the same elements castles, ghost, monster, etc.

However, Schauerroman 's key elements are necromancy and secret societies and it is remarkably more pessimistic than the British Gothic novel. All those elements are the basis for Friedrich von Schiller's unfinished novel The Ghost-Seer — During the next two decades, gothic literature wiki, the most gothic literature wiki author of Gothic literature in Germany was polymath E.

Russian Gothic was not, until the s, viewed as a genre or label by Russian critics, gothic literature wiki. If used, the word "gothic" was used to describe mostly early works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The first Russian author whose work has been described as gothic fiction is considered to be Nikolay Mikhailovich Karamzin.

While many of his works feature gothic elements, the first considered to belong purely under the gothic fiction label is Ostrov Borngolm Island of Bornholm from The term "gothic" is sometimes also used to describe the ballads of Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovskyparticularly "Ludmila" and "Svetlana" Some parts of Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov's " A Hero of Our Time " are also considered to belong in the gothic genre, gothic literature wiki they lack the supernatural elements of other Russian gothic stories.

The key author of the transition from romanticism to realism, Nikolai Vasilievich Gogolwho was also one of the most important authors of romanticism, produced a number of works which qualify as gothic fiction. Each of his three short story collections, feature a number of stories that fall gothic literature wiki the gothic genre, as well as many stories that contain gothic elements.

While all are well-known, gothic literature wiki, the latter is probably the most famous, having inspired at least eight movie adaptations two now considered lostone animated movie, two documentaries, as well as a video game.

Gogol's work differs from western European gothic fiction as his cultural influences drew from Ukrainian folkloreCossack lifestyle and, gothic literature wiki, being a very religious man, Orthodox Christianity. After Gogol, Russian literature saw the rise of realism, but many authors continued to write stories that ranged within gothic fiction territory.

Another classic Russian realist, gothic literature wiki, Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevskyincorporated gothic elements in many of his works, although none of his novels are seen as purely gothic.

Also, Grigori Alexandrovich Machtet wrote the story "Zaklyatiy kazak", which may now also be considered gothic, gothic literature wiki. During the last years of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century, many authors continued to write in the gothic fiction genre.

Further contributions to the Gothic genre were seen in the work of the Romantic poets. Shelley published a second Gothic novel inSt. Irvyne; or, The Rosicrucianabout an alchemist who seeks to impart the secret of immortality. The poetry, romantic adventures, and character of Lord Byron— characterised by his spurned lover Lady Caroline Lamb as "mad, bad and dangerous to know"—were another inspiration for the Gothic, providing the archetype of the Byronic hero, gothic literature wiki.

Byron was also the host of the celebrated ghost-story competition involving himself, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelleyand John William Polidori at the Villa Diodati on the banks of Lake Geneva in the summer of This latter story revives Lamb's Byronic "Lord Ruthven", but this time as a vampire. The Vampyre has been accounted by cultural critic Christopher Frayling as one of the most influential works of fiction ever written and spawned a craze for vampire fiction and theatre and latterly film which has not ceased to this day.

A late example of traditional Gothic is Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturinwhich combines themes of anti-Catholicism with an outcast Byronic hero. Loudon 's The Mummy! By the Victorian era, Gothic had ceased to be the dominant genre, and was dismissed by most critics. Indeed, the form's popularity as an established genre had already begun to erode with the success of the historical romance popularised by Sir Walter Scott.

However, in many ways, it was now entering its most creative phase. By the early s readers and critics began to reconsider a number of previously overlooked Penny Blood or " penny dreadful " serial fictions by such authors as George W. Reynolds who wrote a trilogy of Gothic horror novels: FaustWagner the Wehr-wolf and The Necromancer Another famous penny dreadful of this era was the anonymously authored Varney the Vampire Varney is the tale of the vampire Sir Francis Varney, and introduced many of the tropes present in vampire fiction recognizable to modern audiences — it was the first story to refer to sharpened teeth for a vampire.

An important and innovative reinterpreter of the Gothic in this period was Edgar Allan Poe. Poe focused less on the traditional elements of gothic stories and more on the psychology of his characters as they often descended into madness.

Poe's critics complained about his "German" tales, to which he replied, 'that terror is not of Germany, but of the soul'. Poe, gothic literature wiki, a critic himself, believed that terror was a legitimate literary subject.

His story " The Fall of the House of Usher " explores these 'terrors of the soul' while revisiting classic Gothic tropes of aristocratic decay, death, and madness. The influence of Ann Radcliffe is also detectable in Poe's " The Oval Portrait "including an honorary mention of her name in the text of the story. Elizabeth Gaskell 's tales "The Doom of the Griffiths" "Lois the Witch", and "The Grey Woman" all employ one of the most common themes of Gothic fiction, the power of ancestral sins to curse future generations, or the fear that they will.

The gloomy villain, forbidding mansion, and persecuted heroine of Sheridan Le Fanu 's Uncle Silas shows the direct influence of both Walpole's Otranto and Radcliffe's Udolpho, gothic literature wiki. Le Fanu's short story collection In a Glass Darkly includes the superlative vampire tale Carmillawhich provided fresh blood for that particular strand of the Gothic and influenced Bram Stoker 's vampire novel Dracula According to literary critic Terry Eagletongothic literature wiki, Le Fanu, together with his predecessor Maturin and his successor Stoker, form a subgenre of Irish Gothic, whose stories, featuring castles set in a barren landscape, with a cast of remote aristocrats dominating an atavistic peasantry, represent in allegorical form the political plight of colonial Ireland subjected to the Protestant Ascendancy.

The genre was also a heavy influence on more mainstream writers, such as Charles Dickenswho read Gothic novels as a teenager and incorporated their gloomy atmosphere and melodrama into his own works, shifting them to a more modern period and an urban setting, including Oliver Twist —8Bleak House Mighall and Great Expectations — These pointed to the juxtaposition of wealthy, ordered and affluent civilisation next to the disorder and barbarity of the poor within the same metropolis.

Bleak House in particular is credited with seeing the introduction of urban fog to the novel, gothic literature wiki, which would become a frequent characteristic of urban Gothic literature and film Mighall His most explicitly Gothic work is his last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Droodgothic literature wiki, which he did not live to complete and which was published in unfinished state upon his death in The mood and themes of the Gothic novel held a particular fascination for the Victorians, with their morbid obsession with mourning rituals, mementosand mortality in general, gothic literature wiki.

The s saw the revival of the Gothic as a powerful literary form allied to fin de sieclewhich fictionalized contemporary fears like ethical degeneration and questioned the social structures of the time. Stoker's book also established Transylvania and Eastern Europe as the locus classicus of the Gothic. In America, two notable writers of the end of the 19th century, in the Gothic tradition, were Ambrose Bierce and Robert W.

Bierce's short stories were in the horrific and pessimistic tradition of Poe. Chambers, though, indulged in the decadent style of Wilde and Machen, even to the extent of his inclusion of a character named 'Wilde' in his The King in Yellow. The conventions of Gothic literature did not spring from nowhere into the mind of Horace Walpole.

The components that would eventually combine into Gothic literature had a rich history by the time Walpole perpetrated his literary hoax in Gothic literature is often described with words such as "wonder" and "terror, gothic literature wiki. The necessity for this came as gothic literature wiki known world was beginning to become more explored, reducing the inherent geographical mysteries of the world. The edges of the map were being filled in, and no one was finding any dragons.

The human mind required a replacement.


Learn About Gothic Literature With Elements and Examples


gothic literature wiki


The plot of Gothic literature novels typically involves people who become involved in complex and oftentimes evil paranormal schemes, usually against an innocent and helpless heroine. One such example is the young Emily St. Aubert in Anne Radcliffe’s classic Gothic novel, "The Mysteries of Udolpho" (). Drafty monasteries, windy moors, subterranean passageways, rotting mansions, dark castles at the top of the hill with lightning streaking across the sky: it's just your friendly Gothic neighborhood. Apr 02,  · How to Write Gothic Fiction. Gothic fiction is a subgenre of horror, exemplified by authors such as H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, and Wilkie Collins. Gothic horror consists of moody landscapes, supernatural experiences, 77%(13).