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Summer Reading

If you are able to get ahead and do some reading over the summer for this module, then these are my suggestions not only for texts, but the way to keep your notes in order.

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All syllabus material will be on moodle - but here is the Week 1 information to prepare and in case of issues enrolling on moodle (email me if you still can't access it at the start of term)

WEEK 1 - Gothic and the Short Form

This is a LECTURE WEEK – Monday 1-2pm see Tabula for location.

Session Research Aims:

a) To discuss and try to get a firm grip on key theories relating to the Short Form and to “the Gothic” as style and “mode” and ascertain the relationship between the two aspects.

b) Using set pre-reading (and any extra reading you did!), we will consider debates over the difference between “Terror” and “Horror” that characterise the works will we examine on the module.

c) Drawing on that, we will then perform close readings of a variety of Gothic works (ballads, folklore, ghost stories, horror tales, fragments) to consider their form and genre.


Required Critical Reading:

Read and annotate/make notes on the following set critical reading [total c.80pp. - these were all set as Summer Reading]

a) Extract from Edgar Allan Poe, "Review of Twice-Told Tales by Nathaniel HawthorneLink opens in a new windowLink opens in a new window" (1842) [3pp.]

b) Tim Killick. “Chapter 1 – Overview”, British Short Fiction in the Early Nineteenth Century: The Rise of the Tale. Taylor and Francis, 2008, pp.1-37.

c) Extracts fromLink opens in a new window Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757) and from Edward Bulwer Lytton on, ‘Terror and Horror” (1838).

d) Fred Botting,Introduction: Negative Aesthetics in Gothic, 2nd edn, Routledge, 2014, pp.1-19.

e) Extract from Sarah Ilot, “Gothic and the Short Story: Revolutions in Form and GenreLink opens in a new window in Edinburgh Companion to Gothic and the Arts. ed. David Punter, Edinburgh University Press, 2019, pp.333-345.

You should come to class prepared to discuss how different critics – both contemporaneous to our period and more modern – have delineated, separately, what “short” means, what “Gothic” means, and then what is suggested to be the relationship between the two. We are not going to get a definitive answer, but through discussion we will get closer to a consensus from which we can begin analysing our primary texts.
Feel free to do some wider reading; recommendations on TalisAspire.

Required Primary Reading:

The stories in the pack below are from across our period of study, but the main focus in this session is form and genre, rather than context (which will, however, be central in other sessions).Consider them in relation to the above critical reading and cross reference.

Here are some elements to take note of to aid discussion:

· From what point of view is the story being told and what is the style (fireside tale, in media res, first-person past, first-person present, omniscient etc) and how do you think that effects the atmosphere?

· Note down if it has structural layers (e.g. a story within a story) and what the different time frames being used are.

· Identify what you think makes it gothic (e.g. Supernatural entities, moments of suspense, certain tropes etc) or even if it is gothic and how it achieves any effect such as suspense, terror, dread etc.

· Brief plot summary or print and paste this from an outside source.

· Does it have any other major themes that may be useful or are interesting to you – such as Gender stereotypes / transgression; racial issues; weird landscapes, animal/human; class issues; religious persecution etc, medicine/the body, ageing etc.

Pack Contents:

1. Anon. [Anne Bannerman], “The Perjured Nun” (1802)

2. Sutherland Menzies [Elizabeth Stone], “Hugues, the Wer-Wolf” (1838)

3. Edgar Allan Poe, “The Tell-Tale Heart” (1843)

4. Rhoda Broughton “The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth” (1868)

5. R L S. “Thrawn Janet” (1881)

6. Arthur Machen, “The Great God Pan” (1890)

7. Katherine Mansfield, “The Woman at the Store” (1912).

CLICK HERE FOR THE READING PACK FOR WEEK 1Link opens in a new window