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Gothic America Narrative, History, and Nation

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ISBN-10: 0231108176

ISBN-13: 9780231108171

Edition: 1997

Authors: Teresa A. Goddu

List price: $35.00
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Description:

The gothic novel -the literary stronghold of ghosts, family curses, imperiled heroines and cumbersome plots- might be thought to fall under the category of "escapist fiction." But in this groundbreaking reappraisal, Teresa Goddu demonstrates that the American Gothic novel was, in often surprising ways, actively engaged with social, political, and cultural concerns of its time. Although social dislocations such as slavery or the massacre of Native Americans were repressed by our national conciousness, Goddu points out that these subjects were effectively incorporated by the gothic novel, articulated into an enduring national identity. Focusing on literature between the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, Gothic America traces the development of the genre as a whole and of several subgenres -the female gothic, the Southern gothic, and the African-American gothic. Among the works Goddu reexamines are Poe's Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables and The Blithedale Romance, Alcott's ghost stories, and Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. It is, finally, the African-American gothic that illuminates most clearly the link between frightening literature and a horror-filled social reality. Questioning basic assumptions about America's identity, Gothic America is a fresh examination of both a much-neglected genre of American literature and the complex historical circumstances that produced it.
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Book details

List price: $35.00
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 7/4/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

Teresa A. Goddu is assistant professor of English at Vanderbilt University, where she was a fellow of the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Haunted by History: Crevecoeur's National Narrative and the Gothic
Diseased Discourse: Charles Brockden Brown's Arthur Mervyn
Literary Nationalism and the Gothic: John Neal's Logan
The Ghost of Race: Edgar Allan Poe and the Southern Gothic
(Un)Veiling the Marketplace: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and the Female Gothic
Haunting Back: Harriet Jacobs, African-American Narrative, and the Gothic
Epilogue: Remembering History
Notes
Works Cited
Index