However, it is also obvious that one of the more pernicious aspects of the postmodern age has been the "dumbing down" of language. It is the language of a "restricted consciousness. With a few notable exceptions, we have lost the ability to construct the mythopoesis because we no longer believe the myth. I searched diligently in this collection for some brave soul who might have chosen to engage in the revolt, to turn away from the nihilism, solipsism, and "climate of opinion" that mark our debauched and decultured age and to restore the order that acknowledges the "psyche of man is the battleground between the forces of life and death.
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To apply, write to our editor. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Phobic: Modern Horror Stories. Jul 10, Sian rated it did not like it Shelves: did-not-finish. Edit: another review mentioned the short story 'Mortal Coil' is good and I agree, but if you like stories about how the knowledge of death and how we die could affect humanity then I would recommend reading Machine of Death.
DNF'd this book 48 pages in. The stories I made it through were random and seemed to have very little plot or theme with 'Dogs' being a particular low point of the pointlessness of its existence. The opening story, 'Sounds Between' seemed to be trying for a Black Mirror vibe Edit: another review mentioned the short story 'Mortal Coil' is good and I agree, but if you like stories about how the knowledge of death and how we die could affect humanity then I would recommend reading Machine of Death.
The opening story, 'Sounds Between' seemed to be trying for a Black Mirror vibe and missing. The rest of the stories were pretty forgettable. Apr 02, J K rated it liked it. Wanted to like this collection more. A few too many stories descended into randomness without actually being clear wtf happened. Most memorable stories for me were: 'Foster parents' by Paul Magyrs - Creepy one where the curtain twitching neighbours suspect their neighbours of foul play.
The relief of fatalism. Liked this one the most. Chris May rated it really liked it Nov 24, Jon rated it liked it Oct 15, Andrew Quinn rated it it was ok May 28, Charles rated it liked it Feb 04, Rachel rated it really liked it Aug 21, Jim rated it really liked it Sep 04, Katie rated it it was amazing Nov 03, Anuschka rated it did not like it Apr 08, Ramtin rated it really liked it Mar 19, Damian rated it really liked it Jan 07, Dawn Boukhatem rated it really liked it Sep 15, In doing so, such novels often represent female subjectivity in dynamic ways that might unsettle the average eighteenth-century man.
The reviewer objects to the way Marguenta sets a masculinizing example for female readers. While this complaint suggests that Gothic novels might masculinize women, other complaints suggest that they might feminize men. Images of the overly active woman and the overly passive man evoke not just ambiguous gender but also ambiguous desire.
The Threat of Superstition As the Monthly reviewer of The Castle of Otranto suggests, by depicting ghosts and other supernatural forces, the Gothic threatens a revival of a superstition that is anathema to the proponents of Enlightenment. This heretical superstition endangers two much-touted forms of social control in the eighteenth century: reason and religion. As a result, it could accomplish what T. Mathias, in his late-eighteenth-century The Pursuits of Literature, describes as the Catholic agenda in Protestant England.
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In another attack on Catholicism, Mathias writes: There is such a connection between superstition and atheism, and their allies, cruelty and tyranny, that the wisest and the most experienced statesmen and moralists have declared it to be indissoluble. In their cause, they would unite with any, even with Jacobin, principles. These may be reduced to three general classes — hostility to religion, hostility to monarchy, and hostility to social order, property, and virtue. Whoever is the enemy of Christianity and natural religion, I call a Jacobin.
This author frames Gothic novels as a breeding ground for terrorists. They hint that, in the wake of the French Revolution, to be Gothic is to be inherently revolutionary. Though The Monk does not deliver such excitement in every chapter, and though the intention of its nineteen-year-old author is a vexed issue, it does manage to score checks in each of the four main categories of Gothic threats.
Gothic Threats and Cultural Hierarchy 47 What good purpose is to be answered by an oblique attack upon venerable establishments, we are at a loss to conjecture. While in hindsight the idea that Lewis intended his novel to bring about radical social upheaval might seem a little far-fetched, the work does offer ample fodder for critical paranoia. Revelations about the evil Prioress of the Convent of St. Jacobin or not, Lewis infuses his work with ambivalent revolutionary tendencies, and for English critics such tendencies, no matter how obscure, were intolerable.
In addition to condemning it for its general aura of subversiveness, Coleridge and Mathias fault The Monk for one passage in particular.
Gothic Threats and Cultural Hierarchy 49 Mathias suggests that this textual moment alone contains elements from all four of the major categories of Gothic threats. It corrupts minds — particularly young ones — and is unsafe for women. Lewis turns the tables on critics, suggesting that they endanger readers by promoting ignorance. A bad composition carries with it its own punishment, contempt and ridicule. Criticism, Lewis suggests via Raymond, is neither venerable nor objective. Lewis attacks the highness of the high and exposes the degree of self-interest that might be involved in critical condemnations of his and other Gothic novels as low.
Whether fueled by this blasphemy against critics or not, Mathias makes clear that he expects the law to help him protect the public by suppressing such despicable literature. Lewis eventually agreed to censor himself for fear of attracting too much attention.
The sense that Lewis has misapplied his skills shifts the focus from the idea of Lewis as a social agitator to the idea of a certain type of Gothic novel as a social agitation. This type of Gothic is a poisonous, low form to which good talents should simply not be applied.
Phobic: Modern Horror Stories
Labeling a work as vulgar or low steers readers away by suggesting that readers must share in the stigma of art not approved by those who represent the interests of the powerful. Not everyone adored Radcliffe. With these and a few other exceptions, the vast majority of critical responses to Radcliffe in her own time were overwhelmingly positive. Just as The Monk seems calculated to be as threatening as a Gothic novel could be, Udolpho seems calculated to be contaminant-free in the eyes of critics.
Gothic Threats and Cultural Hierarchy 53 under any circumstances, shaping her work according to critical precepts almost guaranteed her warm reviews. Udolpho internalizes the interdependent authorities of religion and law by making their control a matter of self-control. Without it, her 2. Gothic Threats and Cultural Hierarchy 55 works, like The Monk, might be better remembered for the scandal they caused than for their artistic merit — if they were remembered at all.
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Though this strategy is imperfect, it has had lasting results. The literary establishment has only recently on the scale of centuries accepted the notion that the Gothic is a form of literature worthy of serious study. Eighteenth-century critics began a prosecution that has continued for centuries, and the trial has altered both the accusations and the accused.
I argue not, as many critics maintain, that the Gothic is in some ways homosexual. Pathological Reproduction 61 tural constitution of homosexuality and heterosexuality in the modern period there were no such things as sexual identities, only sexual acts. The universality, the totalizing assignability to which Sedgwick refers, is an assumption embedded within the construction. Again, it, like the other assumptions that this chapter addresses, is not necessarily true and is indeed much more likely to be false. Pathological Reproduction 63 Though their approaches to the intersections of identities differ, Sedgwick and Halberstam both demonstrate that the Gothic helped produce homosexual identities in the nineteenth century.
Homosexuals, like the military, recruit, building their army via conversion instead of normal breeding. For homosexual predators, the heterosexual norm is, like a child, easy prey. Pathological Reproduction 65 ductive futurism. Homosexuals must be anti-life, anti-reproduction, and anti-future to make good on the threat of social collapse, but as living beings, they must embrace life just enough to stick around and be a threat worth opposing. Somehow, homosexuals must reproduce while rejecting reproduction.
To resolve the paradox, homophobic logic requires two modes of reproduction, one for the heteros and one for the homos. This pathological reproduction must produce offspring outside the rules of the heterosexual order. A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me. Seeking a reproductive power supposedly better than sex, Frankenstein creates an alternative mode of reproduction that violates the early nineteenth-century order of female and male. Anne K.
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