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By Charles L. Crow

A spouse to American Gothic contains a number of unique essays that discover America’s gothic literary tradition.

  •  The biggest number of essays within the box of yank Gothic
  • Contributions from a wide selection of students from round the world
  •  The such a lot whole insurance of idea, significant authors, pop culture and non-print media available

 

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Several studies since the late 1980s have consequently underscored how the “spectralization of setting, the derealisation of plot, and the ambiguation of character” characteristic of the Gothic can be powerful means for symbolizing “the rent at the heart of America’s national narrative” about any “polymorphous self-actualisation outside [normative] constraints” (Jarraway 2000: 92, 96).  . uncategorized range of personal, sexual, and emotional behaviors and attitudes” in Gothicized situations where these threaten conventional perceptions with their fear-inducing alterities (Haggerty 2006: 202).

Let us return now for a moment to the great white whale – these are odd surroundings in which to find him, for we are, are we not, surely under the ground and not under the sea, but maybe these things are not so different for a people whose establishment, whose settling, on a right to land had always been conditional on a passage over the sea; the sea remains an active presence, not in the later sense of maritime power but as representing a danger and, simultaneously, a condition of life, a sine qua non – without the sea, without the yearning sea, the incessant widow-maker, there is nothing; and without the sea also there is no hope of return – just in case, against all the odds cast up in the overwhelming presumption of God’s plenty, something should go wrong.

But what could go wrong, when all is filled with promise, when each dawn brings new hope of exploration, of conquest, of supremacy, and above all of the spread of agriculture and trade? Or, indeed, of the harvest of the deeps, as so clearly evidenced by Captain Ahab?  . (Walcott 1992: 196) The whale, the white whale is of course endlessly inscribed, marked, mapped by the harpoon, scored by commerce and bloodlust: but behind these inscriptions, these frenetic attempts to effect a signature on a conquered new world, there lie, it would appear, other inscriptions, other signs which can no longer be read, which have been erased and yet which remain to haunt.

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