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ENGL403: The Gothic Novel

Unit 1: An Introduction to the Gothic   Though originally maligned as a “low” literary form, not worthy of serious study, the Gothic novel has more recently come into favor among literary scholars, who see in it a wealth of subversive literary features.  In this unit you will read a number of scholarly essays exploring the Gothic in order to engage with the debates surrounding the genre and to acquaint yourself with critical approaches and reading methods that you may choose to challenge or adopt for yourself.  The unit will touch briefly upon the novel versus other forms of the Gothic and conclude with a review of the genre’s hallmark devices, figures, and tropes, which, as Professor Eugenia DeLamotte noted, almost became clichés before they were conventions.

Unit 1 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 22.75 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 8 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 6 hours

☐    Subunit 1.3: 8.25 hours

☐    Unit 1 Assessment: 0.5 hours

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Define the word “Gothic.” - Describe the influence of architecture on the rise of the Gothic novel. - Identify the time frame of the first wave of the English Gothic novel, and discuss this period in relation to the Enlightenment and to Romanticism. - Trace the development of the Gothic novel as a product of the overall rise in the novel as a popular type of English fiction. - Define the major conventions, tropes, and themes associated with the Gothic novel.

1.1 What Is “The Gothic”?   1.1.1 Etymology of “Gothic”: From Goths to Architecture   - Reading: Brooklyn College: Dr. Lilia Melani’s “The Gothic Experience: Gothic Architecture, Gothic Literature, The Oxford English Dictionary Definition”; University of California, Davis: David De Vore, Anne Domenic, Alexandra Kwan, and Nicole Reidy’s “The Gothic Novel”; The Norton Anthology of English Literature: “The Gothic: Overview” Link: Brooklyn College: Dr. Lilia Melani’s “The Gothic Experience: Gothic Architecture, Gothic Literature, The Oxford English Dictionary Definition” (PDF); University of California, Davis: David De Vore, Anne Domenic, Alexandra Kwan, and Nicole Reidy’s “The Gothic Novel” (HTML); The Norton Anthology of English Literature: “The Gothic: Overview” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read Dr. Melani’s “The Gothic Experience,”
including the sections on Gothic Architecture, Gothic Literature,
and the *Oxford English Dictionary* definition.  Then read David De
Vore, Anne Domenic, Alexandra Kwan, and Nicole Reidy’s “The Gothic
Novel.”  Also read “The Gothic: Overview” from *The Norton Anthology
of English Literature* for an introduction to the Gothic novel.  The
three resources provide an excellent foundation for your study of
Gothic literature.  

 Reading these articles should take approximately 1 hour and 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.  The article “The Gothic
Experience” has been reposted by the kind permission of Dr. Lilia
Melani from Brooklyn College and can be viewed in its original
form [here](http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/gothic/gothic.html). 
Please note that the material is under copyright and cannot be
reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the
copyright holder.

1.1.2 Gothic versus Classical Architecture and 17th- and 18th-Century Connotations   - Reading: Boston College: Professor Jeffery Howe’s A Digital Archive of Architecture: “Gothic Architecture” Link: Boston College: Professor Jeffery Howe’s A Digital Archive of Architecture: “Gothic Architecture” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please look over the illustrations linked here for a
visual representation of Gothic architecture and an overview of some
of the major elements of the Gothic style.  You may click on each
thumbnail for a larger image.  

 Studying the characteristics of these images should take
approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: International World History Project: Andrew Henry Robert Martindale’s “Gothic Art and Architecture” Link: International World History Project: Andrew Henry Robert Martindale’s “Gothic Art and Architecture” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please read the section on the history of the Gothic period of art and architecture to learn about the basic forms of Gothic architecture.

    Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.1.3 The Gothic as a Literary Mode   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Gothic as a Literary Mode”

Link: The Saylor Foundation’s [“The Gothic as a Literary
Mode”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ENGL403-1.1.3-Gothic-Literary-Mode-FINAL-PR.pdf)
(PDF)  

 Instructions: Please read this article.  

 Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.
  • Reading: University of Virginia: Vijay Mishra’s “The Gothic Sublime” Link: University of Virginia: Vijay Mishra’s “The Gothic Sublime” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please read this short excerpt from Mishra’s “The Gothic Sublime” for a discussion of the presence and function of the sublime in the Gothic novel.

    Reading this excerpt should take less than 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.1.4 The Gothic as a Literary Time Period   - Reading: The Norton Anthology of English Literature: “The Romantic Period”; Tabula Rasa: David Carroll and Kyla Ward’s “The Horror Timeline”; Carson-Newman College: Dr. L. Kip Wheeler’s “Literary Terms and Definitions” Link: The Norton Anthology of English Literature: “The Romantic Period” (HTML); Tabula Rasa: David Carroll and Kyla Ward’s “The Horror Timeline” (HTML); Carson-Newman College: Dr. L. Kip Wheeler’s “Literary Terms and Definitions” (HTML)

 Instructions: First, read the short essay titled “The Romantic
Period” for a basic introduction to the Gothic in the context of its
contemporary literature.  Also look over the sections of Carroll and
Ward’s “The Horror Timeline” for an overview of the history of the
Gothic novel.  From Dr. Wheeler’s “Literary Terms and Definitions,”
please read the definitions of “Gothic Literature,” “Gothic,” and
“Gothic Novel” for some basic information on the development of the
genre.  

 Reading these resources should take approximately 2 hours.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.

1.1.5 The Gothic as a Set of Literary Themes   - Reading: University of Virginia: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s “The Structure of Gothic Convention” Link: University of Virginia: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s “The Structure of Gothic Convention” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please look over the excerpt from Sedgwick’s *The
Coherence of Gothic Conventions* titled “The Structure of Gothic
Convention” for more information about the formulaic conventions in
Gothic literature.  

 Reading this excerpt should take less than 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Gothic as a Set of Literary Themes” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Gothic as a Set of Literary Themes” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please read this article.

    Reading this article should take less than 15 minutes.

1.1.6 The Gothic as a Portrait of the Fallen World   - Reading: University of Saskatchewan: Kathy Prendergast’s “Introduction to the Gothic Tradition” Link: University of Saskatchewan: Kathy Prendergast’s “Introduction to the Gothic Tradition” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read the section of the essay titled “The Gothic
Tradition in Literature,” which begins about halfway down the
webpage.  In particular, focus on the discussion of the Gothic novel
as a portrait of the “fallen world.”  Pay close attention to the
brief excerpt from Ann B. Tracy’s *The Gothic Novel, 1790-1830*,
which specifically comments on Gothic fiction as the representation
of a fallen world.  

 Reading this essay and taking notes should take approximately 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Gothic as a Portrait of the Fallen World”

    Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Gothic as a Portrait of the Fallen World” (PDF)

    Instructions:  Please read this article.

    Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.

1.1.7 An Overview of Alternative Approaches to the Gothic   - Reading: Adam Matthew Publications: Peter Otto’s “The Northanger Novels” and The Norton Anthology of English Literature: “Jane Austen, from Northanger Abbey” and “Thomas Love Peacock, from Nightmare Abbey” Link: Adam Matthew Publications: Peter Otto’s “The Northanger Novels” (HTML) and The Norton Anthology of English Literature: “Jane Austen, from Northanger Abbey” (HTML) and “Thomas Love Peacock, from Nightmare Abbey” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read Peter Otto’s “The Northanger Novels” for
another approach to the study of Gothic novels.  Then read the two
short excerpts from *The Norton Anthology of English Literature* –
both examples of the Gothic parodies that Otto discusses.  

 Reading these articles should take approximately 1 hour and 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.

1.2 Why the Gothic Novel?   1.2.1 What Is a Novel? Matters of Form and Convention   - Reading: University of Virginia: Stephen Bernstein’s “Form and Ideology in the Gothic Novel” Link: University of Virginia: Stephen Bernstein’s “Form and Ideology in the Gothic Novel” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read this short excerpt from Bernstein’s
critical study of the Gothic novel.  As you read, pay attention to
the mention of the narrative structures of the Gothic novel.  

 Reading this excerpt should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.2.2 The Rise of the Novel   - Reading: Brooklyn College: Dr. Lilia Melani’s “The Novel” and “The Gothic Experience: The First Wave of Gothic Novels: 1765-1820, Gothic Fiction in the Nineteenth Century, Gothic Fiction in the Twentieth Century, Some Connections” Link: Brooklyn College: Dr. Lilia Melani’s “The Novel” (PDF) and “The Gothic Experience: The First Wave of Gothic Novels: 1765-1820, Gothic Fiction in the Nineteenth Century, Gothic Fiction in the Twentieth Century, Some Connections” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read “The Novel” for a broad introduction to the rise
of the novel, including information on its historical development
and initial structures.  Then read “The Gothic Experience,” which
traces in detail the inception and development of the Gothic
novel.  

 Reading these essays should take approximately 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: The essays above have been reposted by the kind
permission of Dr. Lilia Melani from Brooklyn College and can be
viewed in their original
forms [here](http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/cs6/novel.html) and
[here](http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/gothic/history.html). 
Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be
reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the
copyright holder.

1.2.3 The Gothic in Drama and Poetry   - Reading: University of Virginia: “Gothic Drama”; The Saylor Foundation: Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Cenci: A Tragedy in Five Acts, “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty”, and “Dark Spirit of the Desart Rude”; Poets.org: John Keats’ “Eve of St. Agnes” and Lord Byron’s “The Giaour” Link: University of Virginia: “Gothic Drama” (HTML); The Saylor Foundation: Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Cenci: A Tragedy in Five Acts (PDF), “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” (HTML), and “Dark Spirit of the Desart Rude” (HTML); Poets.org: John Keats’ “Eve of St. Agnes” (HTML) and Lord Byron’s “The Giaour” (HTML)

 Instructions: First, read “Gothic Drama” for a brief overview of
the dramatic literature of the period.  Then read the Preface and
Act 1 of Shelley’s *The Cenci* for an example of Gothic drama.  Also
read the two poems linked here for examples of Gothic poetry.  Then
read the excerpts from Keats’ and Byron’s poems, which contain
Gothic elements.  

 Studying these resources should take approximately 5 hours.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.

1.2.4 Gothic Architecture and the Form of the Novel: Twists and Turns, Suspense, and the Labyrinth   - Reading: University of Virginia: Cannon Schmitt’s “Techniques of Terror”

Link: University of Virginia: Cannon Schmitt’s [“Techniques of
Terror”](http://graduate.engl.virginia.edu/enec981/Group/zach.sublime3.html#schmitt)
(HTML)  

 Instructions: Read this excerpt, which discusses the ways in which
Gothic novels create a physical world that mirrors the confusion of
the labyrinth.  

 Reading this excerpt should take less than 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.3 Gothic Conventions   1.3.1 Decayed or Ruined Buildings   One of the signature conventions of the Gothic novel is place, particularly man-made structures, such as houses, castles, mansions, abbeys, and monasteries.  These antiquarian structures tend to emphasize the decaying presence of the past in the here and now and even in the future; they are often symbols of the sins of the past that persist into the present.

  • Reading: Georgia Southern University: Dr. Douglass H. Thomson’s “A Glossary of Literary Gothic Terms” Link: Georgia Southern University: Dr. Douglass H. Thomson’s “A Glossary of Literary Gothic Terms” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please read the definition of “the haunted castle or house” linked here for brief commentary on the role of architecture in Gothic literature.

    Reading this definition should take less than 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: The “Glossary of Literary Gothic Terms” has been reposted by the kind permission of Douglass H. Thomson from Georgia Southern University and can be viewed in its original form here.  Please note that the material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

1.3.2 Heroes and Villains   - Reading: Georgia Southern University: Dr. Douglass H. Thomson’s “A Glossary of Literary Gothic Terms” and University of Virginia: “Hero or Villain or Hero-Villain?: Defining Masculinity in the Female Gothic” Link: Georgia Southern University: Dr. Douglass H. Thomson’s “A Glossary of Literary Gothic Terms” (PDF) and University of Virginia: “Hero or Villain or Hero-Villain?: Defining Masculinity in the Female Gothic” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read the “villain-hero” entry in “A Glossary of
Literary Gothic Terms”; it provides a brief introduction to the
presence and function of heroes and villains in Gothic literature.
 Then read “Hero or Villain or Hero-Villain?” for a more detailed
discussion of the relationship between these two roles.  

 Reading these resources should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage (“Hero or Villain”) above.  The “Glossary
of Literary Gothic Terms” has been reposted by the kind permission
of Douglass H. Thomson from Georgia Southern University and can be
viewed in its original
form [here](http://personal.georgiasouthern.edu/~dougt/goth.html#hau). 
Please note that the material is under copyright and cannot be
reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the
copyright holder.

1.3.3 The Wandering Jew   - Reading: Georgia Southern University: Dr. Douglass H. Thomson’s “A Glossary of Literary Gothic Terms” and McGill University: Carol Margaret Davison’s “Gothic Cabala: The Anti-Semitic Spectropoetics of British Gothic Literature” Link: Georgia Southern University: Dr. Douglass H. Thomson’s “A Glossary of Literary Gothic Terms” (PDF) and McGill University: Carol Margaret Davison’s “Gothic Cabala: The Anti-Semitic Spectropoetics of British Gothic Literature” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please read this definition of the “wandering Jew.” 
Then read Chapter 3 (Parts III & IV) and Chapter 4 of Davison’s
“Gothic Cabala” for more information about the Jewish themes in
Gothic texts such as *Dracula*, *The Monk*, and *Carmilla* – all of
which you will study later in the course.  Please note that you must
click on the PDF icon near the top of the page in order to access
the entire essay.  

 Reading these resources should take approximately 2 hours and 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.  The “Glossary of Literary Gothic
Terms” has been reposted by the kind permission of Douglass H.
Thomson from Georgia Southern University and can be viewed in its
original
form [here](http://personal.georgiasouthern.edu/~dougt/goth.html#hau). 
Please note that the material is under copyright and cannot be
reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the
copyright holder.

1.3.4 The Sublime   - Reading: Carson-Newman College: Dr. L. Kip Wheeler’s “Literary Terms and Definitions” and The Victorian Web: George P. Landow’s “Eighteenth-Century Theories of the Sublime” Link: Carson-Newman College: Dr. L. Kip Wheeler’s “Literary Terms and Definitions” (HTML) and The Victorian Web: George P. Landow’s “Eighteenth-Century Theories of the Sublime” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read Dr. Wheeler’s definition of “sublime”
linked here.  Also, read “Eighteenth-Century Theories of the
Sublime” for a more historical approach to sublime themes in Gothic
literature.  

 Reading these resources should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.

1.3.5 Supernatural Elements   - Reading: Georgia Southern University: Dr. Douglass H. Thomson’s “A Glossary of Literary Gothic Terms” and The Literary Gothic: Mary Shelley’s “On Ghosts” Link: Georgia Southern University: Dr. Douglass H. Thomson’s “A Glossary of Literary Gothic Terms” (PDF) and The Literary Gothic: Mary Shelley’s “On Ghosts” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read the definition of “explained
supernatural” linked here.  Then read Shelley’s “On Ghosts” for an
early 19<sup>th</sup>-century perspective on the supernatural in
Gothic literature.  

 Reading these resources and taking notes should take approximately
1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.  The “Glossary of Literary Gothic
Terms” has been reposted by the kind permission of Douglass H.
Thomson from Georgia Southern University and can be viewed in its
original
form [here](http://personal.georgiasouthern.edu/~dougt/goth.html#hau). 
Please note that the material is under copyright and cannot be
reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the
copyright holder.

1.3.6 Gender-Bending and Sexual Deviance   One of the frequently recurring themes of the Gothic novel concerns sexual taboos.  Historically in the West, there have been taboos against homosexuality, sexual drive in women, and incest, among others.  Discussing – let alone changing – these taboos has often been a source of terror within the ruling power structure of a given society.

  • Reading: Romanticism on the Net: Michael O’Rourke and David Collings’ “Queer Romanticisms: Past, Present, and Future” Link: Romanticism on the Net: Michael O’Rourke and David Collings’ “Queer Romanticisms: Past, Present, and Future” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this essay, focusing on the authors’ concept of a “Queer Gothic” theme.

    Reading this essay should take approximately 2 hours.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.3.7 Others and Outsiders   - Reading: Brooklyn College: Dr. Lilia Melani’s “The Other” and University of Virginia: Frederick R. Karl’s “Gothic, Gothicism, Gothicists” Link: Brooklyn College: Dr. Lilia Melani’s “The Other” (PDF) and University of Virginia: Frederick R. Karl’s “Gothic, Gothicism, Gothicists”(HTML)

 Instructions: Read “The Other” for a quick overview of the theme of
the “other” in literature.  Please also read the short excerpt from
Karl’s “Gothic, Gothicism, Gothicists” from *The Adversary
Literature: The English Novel in the Eighteenth Century – A Study in
Genre*.  Please note the focus on the presence of “outsiders” in
Gothic literature, and pay attention to the function of “the other”
in the genre.  

 Reading these articles should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.  “The Other” has been reposted by
the kind permission of Dr. Lilia Melani from Brooklyn College and
can be viewed in its original
form [here](http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/cs6/other.html). 
Please note that the material is under copyright and cannot be
reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the
copyright holder.

1.3.8 Labyrinths   - Reading: Gothic Labyrinth: Monica Kanellis’ “A Brief Introduction to the Gothic Novel” Link: Gothic Labyrinth: Monica Kanellis’ “A Brief Introduction to the Gothic Novel” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read the section under the header “The Gothic
Paradigm: Paradise Lost,” which examines the world of the Gothic
novel.  In particular, please note the concept of the labyrinth as a
literal place in the novel as well as a narrative device that
enables secrecy.  

 Reading this section should take less than 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.3.9 Psychological Disintegration   - Reading: Gothic Labyrinth: Monica Kanellis’ “A Brief Introduction to the Gothic Novel” Link: Gothic Labyrinth: Monica Kanellis’ “A Brief Introduction to the Gothic Novel” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read the section “Dream and Nightmare: Visions
of the Gothic World” for a discussion of psychological tension in
Gothic texts.  

 Reading this section should take less than 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Gothic Conventions Quiz” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Gothic Conventions Quiz” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please complete the linked assessment, which is designed to help you think through some of the major conventions used in the Gothic novel.  When you are finished, check your answers against the Saylor Foundation’s “Gothic Conventions Quiz Answer Key” (PDF).

    Completing this quiz should take approximately 30 minutes.