Gothic Writers: A Critical and Bibliographical Guide

Gothic Writers: A Critical and Bibliographical Guide

Gothic Writers: A Critical and Bibliographical Guide

Gothic Writers: A Critical and Bibliographical Guide

Synopsis

With its roots in Romanticism, antiquarianism, and the primacy of the imagination, the Gothic genre originated in the 18th century, flourished in the 19th, and continues to thrive today. This reference work provides an introduction to Gothic literature and its abundant criticism and summarizes contemporary developments and critical opinion in Gothic Studies. The volume includes alphabetically arranged entries for more than 50 Gothic writers from Horace Walpole to Stephen King. Each entry includes a primary bibliography, a critical essay on the author's place in the Gothic tradition, and a selected, annotated bibliography of scholarship. Entries for Russian, Japanese, French, and German writers give an international scope to the book, while the focus on English and American literature shows the dynamic nature of Gothicism today.

Excerpt

Gothic Writers: A Critical and Bibliographical Guide is designed to accommodate the critical and bibliographical requirements of a broad spectrum of users from scholarly researchers in need of critical assistance to general readers seeking an introduction to the literature of the Gothic and its abundant criticism. Although it is primarily a reference work, the book is also an atlas of criticism and may be consulted selectively or perused chapter by chapter. Whether the user is an undergraduate seeking a promising topic for a term paper, a well-published academic seeking to stay abreast of contemporary developments in Gothic studies, or simply a curious reader perhaps delving into the Gothic for the first time, Gothic Writers will serve the diverse needs of these different categories of users.

No lengthy case needs to be made for a reference work of this type. The growth of both popular interest in the classical Gothic texts of the eighteenth century and academic research and writing about the Gothic during the last three decades of the twentieth century has made reliable reference works and current primary and secondary bibliographies not just necessary for students of the Gothic, but crucial because the database of Gothic fiction and criticism has proliferated almost exponentially since the great revival in Gothic studies commenced in the late 1950s. A glance at the “General Bibliography of Critical Sources and Resources” at the end of the volume will quickly reveal how extremely busy the production of Gothic criticism has been over the last three decades as well as the acceleration of writing about Gothic in the 1990s. Confronted with so much material, compilers of reference works and bibliographies have not been able to keep up with the flood tide of publications, although several admirable attempts have been made. In the 1990s, the field saw the publication of Neil Barron’s Horror Literature: A Reader’s Guide, first published in 1990 and reissued in expanded form in 1999 as Fantasy and Horror: A Critical and Historical Guide to Literature, Illustration, Film, TV, Radio, and

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