Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Here are some links for the next meeting, our Gothic treble of The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, and a short story collection.
General themes - You can look at The Gothic using some of Freud's thoughts on 'Das Unheimliche', or 'The Uncanny' - that funny creeping feeling you get when that small part of you is screaming that something just isn't right, and WHY do they always insist on investigating strange noises in haunted houses dressed only in a dressing gown, and by candle-light...???!!!
Freud’s 1919 essay on Das Unheimliche is rather long, but some of the elements of ‘The Uncanny’ are very relevant to what we recognise as ‘The Gothic’ - and you'll see many of these themes occuring in our texts for this thursday. Freud listed 8 characteristics – 8 causes of fear used in literature:
Inanimate objects mistaken for animate – eg dolls, waxworks, severed limbs...
Animate objects behaving as if inanimate or mechanical eg trances, fits, epilepsy etc
The double – twins, doppelgangers
Coincidences or repetitions
Being buried alive
An all-controlling evil genius
Confusions between reality and imagination – waking dreams etc
(Taken from The New Uncanny, (2008). Ed Sarah Eyre and Ra Page)
Analysis of Jekyll from Wikipedia
Joanne Harris in the Telegraph on Edgar Allan Poe