Saturday, May 17, 2008

What is a Gothic Novel?

Gothic novel
a style of novel, especially popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, characterized by mysterious settings, an atmosphere of gloom and terror, supernatural happenings, and often violence and horror, as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Gothic Fiction
genre of literature that combines elements of both Horror and Romance; designed to thrill readers by providing mystery and blood-curdling accounts of villainy, murder, and the supernatural.

Characteristics of Gothic Fiction

A struggle for knowledge
A vision of knowledge
A complaint (bewailing a situation or the loss of a person)
An exploration of emotions, fear in particular.
An exploration of life choices / Trying to make sense of life
An exploration of chance, faith and decision-making.
An exploration of "the other" by setting the pieces in a distinct imaginary world from the beginning of the work, either by setting the piece in foreign countries, describing strange phenomenons etc,
A certain sense of hesitation towards crossing boundraries between "real" and "fiction"; Between "lifelike" and "fantastic".
A villain experiencing inner turmoil and emotional problems, along with a hero with superior emotions.
An exploration of the extreme through exaggerations etc

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