Dr Max Fincher

Gothic Romanticism: architecture, politics and literary form Thumbnail

Gothic Romanticism: architecture, politics and literary form

Posted by maxfincher on November 04, 2012 in Dr Max Fincher, Guest Blog tagged with

Tom Duggett, Gothic Romanticism: architecture, politics and literary form (Houndsmills, cialis Basingstoke UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) Nineteenth-century Major Lives and Letters [ISBN: 978-0-230-61532-8]. Possibly one of the most terrifying visual images to emerge from the attack on the World Trade Centre is that which is now endlessly reproduced in visual media, showing the wreckage of the towers. Like one of Caspar David Friedrich’s paintings, the twin towers are like a gothic ruin, cloaked in the rising dust from the rubble. These images became visually symbolic of how ‘we foun

Queer Victorian Gothic Thumbnail

Queer Victorian Gothic

Posted by maxfincher on July 20, 2012 in Dr Max Fincher, Guest Blog, Reviews tagged with

Ardel Haefele-Thomas, Queering Others in Victorian Gothic: transgressing monstrosity (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2012) ISBN 978-0-7083-2464-6 In the last ten years, there have been a number of studies that have explored how the gothic is ‘always-already’ a queer genre, using the insights of queer critical theory as it has been articulated by theorists from Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick onwards. Ardel Haefele’s Thomas’s new study takes this critical enquiry one step further by showing us how the ‘monstrous Other’, specifically in terms of ‘foreigness’, is often queer, an

‘I should like to spend my whole life in reading it’: the resurrection of the Northanger ‘horrid’ novels Thumbnail

‘I should like to spend my whole life in reading it’: the resurrection of the Northanger ‘horrid’ novels

Posted by maxfincher on March 22, 2011 in Dr Max Fincher, Guest Blog tagged with

Perhaps like many lovers of the Gothic, the first time I came across the Gothic novel was by reading Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey as a teenager. Against my better judgment, I found myself attracted to the character of the risqué and socially gregarious Isabella Thorpe rather than to the naive Catherine Moorland whom Isabella ‘corrupts’ in Bath by introducing her to the pleasure of reading Gothic fiction and men. I read The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) by Ann Radcliffe and then The Monk (1796) by Matthew Lewis. But the reading list of novels that Isabella recommends to Catherine, I coul

Queer Gothic Thumbnail

Queer Gothic

Posted by maxfincher on March 14, 2011 in Dr Max Fincher, Guest Blog tagged with

What do we mean by ‘queer gothic’? And queering the gothic? Consider the following scene in Charles Maturin’s novel Fatal Revenge, published in 1808, between the valet Cyprian and his master, Ippolito, both of whom are, for want of a better word, ‘heterosexual’: ‘Imagine me her for a moment,’ said Cyprian, sinking at Ippolito’s feet, and hiding his face – ‘Imagine me her; give me one kiss.’ ‘Enthusiastic boy.’ ‘Give me but one, and her spirit shall depart, pleased and absolved.’ ‘Visionary, you do what you will with me; I never kissed one of my own sex

The Oxford Faust Festival Thumbnail

The Oxford Faust Festival

Posted by maxfincher on March 13, 2011 in Dr Max Fincher, Guest Blog tagged with , , , ,

If anyone is planning a trip to Oxford later this month, there is still time to see a couple of the events that are part of the Oxford Faust Festival. The story of the scholar who sells his soul to the devil Mephistopheles in exchange for secret knowledge had an important influence on many gothic writers. The world-famous Blackwell's bookshop is the stage for The Creation Theatre company's production of Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, with the demon Mephistopheles wandering among the bookshelves (www.creationtheatre.co.uk, tickets until Saturday 26th March). (Ford Maddox-Brown, 

‘I can only tell it at night’: the nightmares of Henry Fuseli Thumbnail

‘I can only tell it at night’: the nightmares of Henry Fuseli

Posted by maxfincher on March 07, 2011 in Dr Max Fincher, Guest Blog tagged with

In the Christmas of 1789, the artist Henry Fuseli was staying for a few days at Norbury Park in Surrey, with the amateur painter and art collector, William Locke and his wife Federica. In a letter to the celebrated novelist, Fanny Burney (author of Evelina 1788), Federica Locke describes how at breakfast one morning: Fuseli mentioned a picture which he has just sketched from an ancient German Ballad and promised at night to relate the Story. For he said it must be at night. “I can only tell it at night.” (Weinglass, Letters, 49-50) The picture that Fuseli refers to is a preparatory s

His Dark Lady Thumbnail

His Dark Lady

Posted by maxfincher on March 01, 2011 in Dr Max Fincher, Guest Blog tagged with ,

Jonathan Barnes is the writer of The Somnambulist (Gollancz, 2008) and The Domino Men (Gollancz,2009). Both novels are a mix of the grotesque and evoke a creepy sense of dread, particularly The Domino Men, the eponymous psychotic killers in the service of the nebulous 'Directorate', a secret cabal in control of modern-day London. As his latest short story, 'His Dark Lady', shows, Barnes is very adept at evoking characters who are at once both compellingly ordinary, yet disturbingly impenetrable in their motivation. The unnamed narrator of 'His Dark Lady' runs into an former school acqua