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A Defence of Serial: The Insistence of Trauma and the Presumption of Innocence Thumbnail

A Defence of Serial: The Insistence of Trauma and the Presumption of Innocence

Posted by Liam Dodds on November 22, 2014 in Blog tagged with , , , , , , , , ,

So, initially I had an opening paragraph that offered a brief outline of Serial, the true-crime podcast phenomenon. But, after peak-pizza, then peak-beard, the internet has quickly reached peak-Serial, and since we now have backlash-backlash, an opening paragraph that described a podcast that has registered five-million downloads and a million “#Serial with cereal” tweets, seemed a little, well, redundant. All I know is this. One Sunday morning, I fell into the trust of investigator and confidant, Sarah Koenig, as she led me by the hand through the trials and tribulations of her invest

Dark Regions Press: new novella released Thumbnail

Dark Regions Press: new novella released

Posted by Matt Foley on November 18, 2014 in Blog, News tagged with

New Horror Novella Prisoner 489 by Joe R. Lansdale illustrated by Santiago Caruso Now Available from Dark RegionsPress The new horror novella and second book in the Black Labyrinth imprint Prisoner 489 by Joe R. Lansdale illustrated by Santiago Caruso is now available from Dark Regions Press on their website at: http://www.darkregions.com/books/prisoner-489-by-joe-r-lansdale Prisoner 489 marks a thrilling return to horror for bestselling author Joe Lansdale (Cold in July, Bubba Ho-Tep, Hap and Leonard) that Publishers Weekly calls "a tight, spooky tale about what happens when an execut

Review: The Gothic Fairy Tale in Young Adult Literature Thumbnail

Review: The Gothic Fairy Tale in Young Adult Literature

Posted by Donna Mitchell on November 11, 2014 in Blog, Donna Mitchell, Reviews tagged with , , ,

The Gothic Fairy Tale in Young Adult Literature: Essays on Stories from Grimm to Gaiman. Edited by Joseph Abbruscato and Tanya Jones. Jefferson: McFarland & Company Inc. Publishers, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-7864-7935-1 Reviewed by Donna Mitchell In the introduction to this collection of essays, Joseph Abbruscato emphasises the importance of the fairy tale through its status as the first literary genre that we encounter as children. He considers the original form and function of the classic fairy tale and stresses that the presence of horror in those tales gave them a Gothic element which

The Current State of Experimental Gothic: Part One Thumbnail

The Current State of Experimental Gothic: Part One

Posted by Neil McRobert on November 09, 2014 in Blog, Guest Blog, News tagged with , , , , , , , , ,

Since the death of David Foster Wallace in 2008, there has been much discussion of the status of experimentation in contemporary literature. Zadie Smith’s article, “Two Paths for the Novel”, was published in the same year and kindled a polarising debate over whether the experimental fiction is thriving or has been thoroughly beaten to death.[i] Some critics bemoan the loss of novelistic innovation, as if David Foster Wallace took the sacred art of experimental prose with him into oblivion. The cause is not helped by the recent trajectory of that totemic indicator of middlebrow literary c

Review:  The Pierced Heart: A Novel by Lynn Shepherd Thumbnail

Review: The Pierced Heart: A Novel by Lynn Shepherd

Posted by Sara Lea Bennett on November 07, 2014 in Blog, Reviews tagged with , , , , ,

Lynn Shepherd’s The Pierced Heart: A Novel is billed as a "homage to a literary classic, in a chilling tale of superstition, dangerous science, and shocking secrets." The literary classic in question is Dracula and Shepherd’s plot's trajectory mirrors Stoker's in someways: a clerk strikes out from London into the depths of Europe to conduct some business; he encounters mysterious and suspect behaviour from his host, the Baron Von Reisenberg; he eventually returns to London to file his report and return to his daily life. However, nothing is ever so simple. The aforementioned clerk

Nightcrawler and the Diagnosis of a Sociopath Thumbnail

Nightcrawler and the Diagnosis of a Sociopath

Posted by Liam Dodds on November 01, 2014 in Blog, Reviews tagged with , , , , , , ,

Googling popular culture depictions of a sociopath is an interesting experience. From the expected, Patrick Bateman, Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates, to the unexpected, Don Draper, Barney Stinson, Jess, from Benedict Cumberbatch to Tom Hiddleston, the cultural understanding, conception and popular application of the term sociopath is… somewhat mixed, at best. Peter Bradshaw, in reviewing Jake Gyllenhaal’s ravenous portrayal of Louis Bloom in Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler, describes the character as “a grade-one sociopath wired to the moon.” As an audience then, what should we expect fr

The Shock and Horror Picture Show: Étienne-Gaspard Robertson and the 19th-century phantasmagoria Thumbnail

The Shock and Horror Picture Show: Étienne-Gaspard Robertson and the 19th-century phantasmagoria

Posted by Lynn Shepherd on October 31, 2014 in Blog, Lynn Shepherd tagged with , , , ,

The first time I had a sense of what a 19th-century phantasmagoria would really have been like was the Gothic Nightmares show at Tate Britain in 2006, which included not only Fuseli’s iconic Nightmare, but a special darkened room with a slide show projected on the walls, and suitably ghastly sound effects. That experience stayed with me, and when I came to write The Pierced Heart, it was the inspiration for the second of the two narratives in the book, in which the narrator is a young girl called Lucy, the daughter and assistant to the proprietor of a famous phantasmagoria show. My ‘Pro

Fictions of Corporeal Diversity: A Symposium on Literary Disability Studies Thumbnail

Fictions of Corporeal Diversity: A Symposium on Literary Disability Studies

Posted by Matt Foley on October 30, 2014 in Blog, News tagged with ,

Fictions of Corporeal Diversity: A Symposium on Literary Disability Studies Lancaster University a.gregory5@lancaster.ac.uk Charles Carter Building, Lancaster University Thursday 4th June 2015 Keynote Speaker: David Bolt (Liverpool Hope University)   In ‘Literary Disability Studies: The Long Awaited Response’ (2007), David Bolt illustrated the absence of critical work on disability in literary studies. The subsequent establishment of The Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, in addition to the continuing expansion of the University of Mich

Youth and Young Manhood, Male Anxiety in Palo Alto Thumbnail

Youth and Young Manhood, Male Anxiety in Palo Alto

Posted by Liam Dodds on October 23, 2014 in Blog tagged with , , , , , , ,

"There’s a part of me that’s like that, and it’s a part that I keep so hidden," he said. "So basically that role was almost liberating. It was finding this part of myself that needs a ton of attention that I usually keep hidden and bringing it out to the front" - Nat Wolff What does it mean to be a modern man? In the face of decades of increasing marginalisation, the concurrent rise of political correctness, and an overt and overly-prescriptive consumerist agenda – where men were told what to wear, how to act, but most importantly, what to suppress – Fight Club sought to respond 

Waking the (un)dead: Myths, monsters, and remaking a classic text Thumbnail

Waking the (un)dead: Myths, monsters, and remaking a classic text

Posted by Lynn Shepherd on October 21, 2014 in Blog, Lynn Shepherd tagged with , , , , , , ,

When I published Murder at Mansfield Park in 2010 I did an interview about it on BBC radio, and I remember the almost breathless awe in the interviewer’s voice as she said, “This is your first novel, and you’re trying to write like Jane Austen?” Amazing though it may sound, that was the first time that it really came home to me what a mountainous task I’d set myself. Though I’d been under no illusions about how some readers might react to the idea of turning an Austen masterpiece into a murder mystery – there will always be some people who regard classic texts as sacred cows, nev