TOP 5 GOTHIC WORKS : RECOMMENDED BY VINEET PANDEY
Usually the term gothic has to deal with the “culture” in the Germanic especially of “Goths” tribe aspect during the middle ages but it came into prominence in Britain in preromantic and during the romantic period with the use of the subtitle “ A Gothic story” for the sake of fun by Horace Walpole for The Castle of Otranto(1765) endowing Horace Walpole with the honorific consideration of father.
But the actual standardization of the word “Gothic” can be well traced back in the style of “architecture”.
Gothic Literature has always been an indispensable part and sometimes an extension to term literature in itself thus bringing forth a kind of genre which got reflected back with the elements like mystery of the on-going plot, perplexities of the characters involved and the mystification of everything around with the subtle tint of pre-encoded and encrypted yet authorly decided.
The reader is just asked to have a roller-coaster ride and keep unfolding the layers within layers while going through the reading.
Culturally, Historically and artistically the word “gothic” holds a lot of importance and significance by evoking certain kinds of emotions and suspense in the readers.
FEATURES OF GOTHIC TRADITION: –
- Old, Scattered and Dilapidated Villa, Mansion or House.
- Suspense and a little romance.
- An invisible presence of a character whether psychological, scientific or physical.
- The objective correlation of the emotions of the characters with the outside weather.
- Anti-hero with antisocial etiquette and characteristics.
- Emotional turbulence with an adrenaline rush.
- Harbingers and Omens.
- The background and the setting of the dejected areas giving the elements of mystery and fear.
- Elaborated and sumptuous lexicon.
- Spontaneous and Instinctive in nature.
- The desire for something mysterious while feeling terror and horror.
- Death – a recurring motif and symbol.
- Emotions- Depression, Melancholy and Gloomy.
RECOMMENDED BOOKS CONSIDERING UGC NTA NET
1.THE CASTLE OF OTRANTO(1764), Horace Walpole : –
Originally regarded as the first and foremost gothic novel, the story revolves around an ancient prophecy of ancestors and hierarchy along with the setting of a castle named Strawberry Hills House where the character Manfred treacherously acquires the castle by killing the previous owner and his this act leads to the destruction of his own son Conrad, wife Hippolyta and daughter.
Throughout the story he just tries to keep things in control but the super natural or some outwardly phenomena let the justice be delayed but not denied to the true heir Theodre.
2.FRANKENSTEIN(1818), Marry Shelly :-
Subtitled “The Modern Prometheus” and was written by Mary Shelly when she was just a teenage, the story is thought to be the first of its scientific kind having the gothic elements.
A story within the story and in the epistolary form, Frankenstein deals with “life” of a creature and the hidden scientific experimentation of the character Victor Frankenstein and the desire of Captain Walton which resulted in the gigantic and emotionless creature detrimental to humanity.
3.DRACULA(1897), Bram Stoker : –
The subject of vampire got its place in this book which introduces the character “Count Dracula” looking for his space in the human society with the curse of feeding on blood.
Having the setting of England and Transylvania, the book is replete with letters, newspapers and diary entries giving it an epistolary form and the inner conflict of the character Count Dracula is brought forward when he captures the English lawyer Jonathan Harker just because he gets to know about the deceased wife incarnated as Mina Murray.
4.THE MYSTERIES OF UDOLPHO(1794), Ann Radcliffe : –
The harassed character Emily St. Aubert and the demise of her parents let her be in a destitute state and en estranged relationship with her aunt which made her get into a situation where the wills of others overpowered her own but at the end she returns back to her lover Valancourt.
A simple story but a powerful background and setting with picaresque elements and Udolpho castle.
5.THE MONK(1796), Matthew Gregory Lewis : –
Subtitled “A Romance”, this novel by Lewis is also historical in its context as well and one of the most complex gothic novels because of its characters, sexuality and lust involved.
The notions of anti-Catholicism, gender roles, forbidden sin, and how the ignorance of sexuality can even get a person into a relationship and end up understanding the underneath layer usually kept hidden and undiscovered either in the name of religion, politics or morality.
GOTHIC TERMS TO BE TAKEN CARE OF WHILE DEALING WITH GOTHIC LITERATURE :-
- ANTI- CATHOLICISM
- DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES
- GOTHIC PARODY
- DARK ROMANTICISM
(8 NET, 2 JRF and 17 SET)