Obituary

By Horner, Avril | Gothic Studies, May 2012 | Go to article overview

Obituary


Horner, Avril, Gothic Studies


Maurice Lévy, who died on 21st March 2012, contributed greatly to the evolution of Gothic Studies. His book, Le Roman Gothic Anglais: 1764-1824, published by Toulouse University in 1968, quickly became a landmark text for all those working in the field of early Gothic writing. It was reprinted by Albin Michel (Paris) in 1995 and continues to be an invaluable source of reference for those working on the early Gothic novel. An impressively erudite work, it documents over 400 novels, includes sharp critical analyses of many of them and rightly presents Maturin - neglected at the time - as an important Gothic novelist. It is, as Robert D. Hume suggested in his review of the book published in Poe Studies in December 1971, a work that 'anyone seriously interested in the subject must read'. It certainly opened the door for a deeper and better-informed analysis of the early Gothic novel in English.

Other important books include three studies of H.P. Lovecraft's fiction (1972; 1985; 1988), a life of Boswell (2001) and many critical editions. Maurice's erudition was particularly evident in the scholarly introductions and annotations he provided for the French editions of key Gothic novels. These included Vathek et les Episodes (Paris: Flammarion, 1981), Radcliffe's Les Mystères d'Udolphe (Paris: Gallimard, 2001), Bellin de la Laborlière's La Nuit Anglaise (Toulouse: Anacharsis, 2006) and Lewis's Le Moine (Toulouse: PUM, 2012). He also published many articles, continuing to balance his interest in both the early Gothic novel and American literature until the end of his life. Thus, in his list of publications, essays on the 'Roman Noir', The Castle of Otranto, Ann Radcliffe and Matthew Lewis sit alongside pieces on W.H.Hodgson, Edward Albee, Flannery O'Connor and Susan Sontag. Most of these are in French but a few were written in English, including the well-known '"Gothic" and the Critical Idiom', published in Gothick Origins and Innovations edited by Allan Lloyd Smith and Victor Sage (Rodopi, 1994) and 'FAQ: what is Gothic?' in the journal Anglophonia (Special Edition: 'The Remains of the Gothic'; 2004). …

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