By Brian Docherty
This quantity deals severe and theoretical views on a style which has remained renowned for almost 200 years: American horror fiction. There are essays on Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P.Lovecraft, William Faulkner, Robert Bloch, Patricia Highsmith, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King and Suzy McKee Charnas, protecting the interval from 1798 to 1983. each one essay bargains with an immense determine within the style, from Gothic orginators to fashionable feminist reworkings. various studying suggestions are hired to interrogate those texts, with feminist and psychoanalytic ways good represented. those essays illustrate the truth that smooth literary idea can usefully be utilized to any textual content or style. scholars of horror fiction looking new readings, and readers attracted to smooth methods to literature, will locate this publication precious and informative. The essays are all new, and feature been in particular written for Insights by way of major academics.
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Extra info for American Horror Fiction: From Brockden Brown to Stephen King
Missing from this list is Sir Walter Scott' s appreciation of Brown' s 'wonderful powers', though he thought the American had given way to 'unwholesome' subjects (see Cowie, The Rise of the American Novel, p. 99). There are also two modem biographies of Brown: David Lee Clark's Charles Brockden Brown: Pioneer Voice of America (Durharn, NC: Duke University Press, 1952); and, far more definitive, Harry R. Warfel's Charles Brockden Brown: American Gothic Novelist (Gainesville, Fla: University of Florida Press, 1949).
K. Hall, 1981). Rosenthal's introduction offers a full, most helpful aeeount of Brown's early reputation. Lewis, The American Adam; Chase, The American Novel and its Tradition; and Fiedler, Love and Death in the American Novel. Howard PhilIips Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature (New York: Dover, 1973). In my account of Brown' s fiction I have benefited particularly from the following works: Larzer Ziff, 'A Reading of Wieland' , PMLA, LXXVII (1962) 51-7; Donald A. Ringe, Charles Brockden Brown (New York: Twayne, 1966); Arthur G.
The Gothic achieved its effect by inverting the values of the classical: in place of ancient Greece and Rome, it sought its haven in the Middle Ages; in place of order, harmony and the light of reason we have darkness and chaos; and in place of moral certainties we have evil and confusion. Poe draws considerably on this well-established tradition, but adds some very important ingredients of his own. Since Marie Bonaparte published her Freudian study The Life and Works 0/ Edgar Allan Poe (1949), the tendency in assessing and explicating Poe's work has been to concentrate on his inner psychology, rather than to consider the impact of the outside world on his imagination.