While one can debate the truth of Marx's words, particularly the second quote, which sounds like a cross between Ralph Waldo Emerson and a French surrealist manifesto, the problem of the revolutionary in the first quote is remarkably similar to that of a character in a gothic novel in which "the dead generations" also "weigh like a nightmare on the brain of the living.
One also often sees a flight from tyranny on the part of the female slaves which resembles that of the typical gothic heroine from the typical gothic villain.
For the Marxist Wright, the gothic represents the old consciousness of capitalism, particularly of capitalism in the crisis of the Great Depression, which is retailed to the masses through mass culture.
While Poe, with some justification, is most frequently cited as the primary model for the gothic moments of Native Son, Hawthorne is even more important in terms of the larger design of Native Son, since the gothic in The House of the Seven Gables and The Scarlet Letter represents a certain social consciousness or mode of social relations which is ultimately transcended, allowing a reintegration of what had previously been intractably conflicting elements.
Not only have Gothic elements in Emerson been ignored; he has for decades been ritually cast against conspicuously Gothic writers like Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville, writers who often worked against Transcendentalism but nevertheless absorbed Transcendental elements into their works.
Gothic shows the dark side, the world of cruelty, lust, perversion, and crime that, many of us at least half believe, is hidden beneath established conventions.
When, in her dazzling Gothic America (1997), Teresa Goddu challenges the narrow belief that Gothic American literature is merely popular and escapist, insisting instead that it is tightly yoked to American social concerns and grows indigenously from such historic nightmares as slavery and Indian massacre, she pushes against a critical tradition that situated American Gothic within "psychological and theological rubrics" (9)--rubrics that, she suggests, offer ahistorical readings of the Gothic.
I mention Puritanism's Gothic effect on history because the ideology of Calvinism explains and drives the impulsive darkness of Emerson's earliest work.
The worst that can be said of some of the less effective essays in this collection is that they seem overly concerned with proving that certain works qualify as instances of Gothic
science fiction without paying sufficient attention to why such a hybrid status matters.
The value of the collection is in exploring these assumptions so rigorously, in showing that something truly is at stake in studying gothic
Tell your libraries to get it and direct your students to it, but then make sure to counsel them to use it as its intended--as a starting point for further research rather than the definitive end-all be-all encyclopedia of the Gothic.
I have to admit I was salivating from the moment I heard about Thomson Gale's hefty three-volume Gothic Literature: A Gale Critical Companion and, for the most part, the project doesn't disappoint.
Still, there are some fairly significant omissions and gaps--for instance, apparently nothing Gothic happened between 1997 and 1999--but more on that below.
Volume 1 of the project is divided into five sections pertinent to the study of the Gothic: "Gothic Literature: An Overview"; "Society, Culture, and the Gothic"; "Gothic Themes, Settings, and Figures"; "Performing Arts and the Gothic"; and "Visual Arts and the Gothic.
West said the motivations may vary among teens to engage in ``outsider'' behavior such as ascribing to the Gothic