The Gothic in Shakespeare

Yesterday, April 23, was Shakespeare’s birthday—and also his death day! In honor of the Bard, I figured I would take this opportunity to discuss his connection with the Gothic tradition. William Shakespeare was writing his plays and poems two centuries before the advent of the Gothic novel. However, his influence on the genre has been much attested, and proto-Gothic elements can be seen in a number of his plays. In this post, I will highlight these aspects in three of his darkest plays:

Goth Shakespeare, courtesy of my excellent Photoshop skills

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Stardust Review–A Neil Gaiman Fairytale

When I first started writing this blog, I had barely read any Neil Gaiman. Now, I am slowly making my way through his oeuvre. My latest read was Stardust, one of Gaiman’s earlier novels. I had heard about this story before, mostly in terms of the movie adaptation (which I still haven’t seen), but it’s not usually the first book that comes to mind when you think “Neil Gaiman.” I was pleasantly surprised, then, to find how much I enjoyed this book, especially compared to how disappointed I’ve been with some of his more celebrated works. Continue reading Stardust Review–A Neil Gaiman Fairytale

Horror Stories for Each of the Passover Plagues

Tonight is the first night of Passover—the Jewish holiday commemorating the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt and freedom from slavery. The story is one of triumph and celebration, but in some ways it’s also one of the darkest tales in the Jewish tradition. You know the story: Moses is called upon by God to free the Israelites, so he approaches the pharaoh with the demand, “Let my people go!” Each time that the pharaoh refuses, God afflicts the Egyptians with a new plague intended to terrify them into releasing their slaves. The ten plagues are the stuff of nightmares—both realistic dangers, like disease and infestations, and supernatural terrors, like rivers of blood and unnatural darkness. Whether you are celebrating Passover this week or not, enjoy these ten short stories to go along with each plague inflicted upon the Egyptians:

The plague of locusts from the 1890 Holman Bible

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Zombie Romance–A Trend I’m Not Sad to See Die

Tall, dark, and decaying? Yeah, that’s not my type. In the post-Twilight era, after the vampire genre had been worked almost to death, there was a rush to find the next hot creature for supernatural romance. A few years ago, zombies made a pretty serious bid for that prestigious position. Leading the way was Daniel Waters’ Generation Dead, published back in 2008, which quite cleverly presented zombies as the next marginalized group in our society—second-class citizens who are not protected by the law and who are feared and hated by the dominant group. When goth girl Phoebe falls in love with a zombie, she discovers social awareness along with the thrills of infatuation. Another popular one was Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion (2010) which was made into a rather successful movie in 2013. This book is told from the perspective of a zombie named R who bites off more than he can chew when he begins to fall for a human girl. Other books followed, including Lia Habel’s Victorian spin on the zombie romance genre, Dearly, Departed. But while I thoroughly enjoyed reading some of these books, the genre as a whole still squicks me.

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Dark Side of the Con 2017: A Rundown of America’s First Goth Convention

Last weekend I went over to the Dark Side, at Jeff Mach and VampireFreaks’s newest convention, a three-day event designed specifically for goths. Dark Side of the Con came right on the heels of another brand new convention, Glimmerdark, which I attended and posted a rundown of last month. In my overview, I noted that Glimmerdark hit a few snags trying to figure out what kind of convention it was and what audience it wanted to cater to. Dark Side of the Con, I felt, had no such problem. The convention was geared toward a very specific audience—goths—and with VampireFreaks helping to run the show, it was an audience that the organizers knew well. A few weeks ago, I posted a preview of which aspects of the con I was looking forward to most. Overall, my expectations fared pretty well against reality, despite the fact that a poorly timed sore throat and headache prevented me from getting as much out of the weekend as I wanted to. Read on for some highlights of the convention.

The spooky DJ stand for Dark Side’s Friday and Saturday night parties

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Bloggiesta To Do List: Spring 2017

It snuck up on me this year, but apparently it’s time for another Bloggiesta! Spring Bloggiesta is a week-long blogging marathon hosted by bloggiesta.com. From today (Monday, March 20) until Sunday March 26, bloggers around the internet will come together to support and inspire each other while working on bettering their own blogs. I always find Bloggiesta events to be a helpful reminder for me to take care of long-term blog-related goals and to get some great advice from more experienced bloggers.  Continue reading Bloggiesta To Do List: Spring 2017

Sea of Secrets Review—A Gothic Romance Spin on Hamlet

Oriel’s life seems like a fairy tale when she finally escapes her emotionally abusive father to go live with some loving—and wealthy!—long-lost relatives. But when she meets Herron, the dark and brooding young duke, she learns that this paradise may not be as perfect as it seems. Could someone in her new family really be a murderer, as the duke suspects? Find out when you read Sea of Secrets by Amanda DeWees! Last year, I picked up a couple of works by this spectacular self-published author of Victorian Gothic fiction, including her short Christmas tale Upon a Ghostly Yule. As a bit of a spin-off from Sea of Secrets, this short story introduced me to the Reginald family and hinted at their myriad scandals. It was about time, then, that I finally picked up Sea of Secrets itself. Continue reading Sea of Secrets Review—A Gothic Romance Spin on Hamlet

The Gothic Library Is Now an IndieBound Affiliate!

Dear readers, I am excited to announce that The Gothic Library is now an IndieBound Affiliate! What does this mean? It means that you can now support both The Gothic Library and your local independent bookstore by purchasing books through the IndieBound affiliate links at the bottom of many of my posts.

IndieBound.org is a website dedicated to connecting you to independently owned businesses around the country. Instead of getting your books from Amazon or large chain stores, you can shop online with the same ease while supporting the members of the industry that need it the most. Buying from independent bookstores has a number of benefits. Independent bookstores are some of the biggest supporters of the little guys! They often take risks on new authors, small publishers, and even the self-published, and help to give them a boost. They are also the foundation of fantastic communities. Workers at independent bookstores are some of the most passionate book-lovers I’ve met, and they are masters at curating and recommending books. Independent bookstores bring readers together, and can help connect authors with a local fanbase. Economically, shopping at a local independent bookstore keeps more money within your own community. On IndieBound, you can plug in your zip code to buy from local stores, even when you’re shopping online! Check out IndieBound.org for more reasons why you should shop indie.

So how does this help The Gothic Library? Well, if you click on any of my affiliate links and then make a purchase, either through IndieBound or on the website of one of the independent bookstores that it links to, I get a small percentage of the proceeds! These probably won’t add up to much, but every little bit helps fuel my book-love. I will be adding links to the end of my book review posts whenever possible, so if my review piques your interest consider taking the opportunity to buy the book! I’ve started adding links to some of my older posts and will be including them in my book reviews going forward.

In the mean time, you can also check out my general IndieBound link below and just browse. As long as you originally reach the website through my link, any purchase you make will support The Gothic Library. Happy shopping!
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Gothtrepreneur: Interview with Jet from VampireFreaks

Last week, I gave you all a preview of what I’m looking forward to at the new goth convention, Dark Side of the Con. This week, I got to chat with Jet, VampireFreaks founder and co-host of the convention, to ask him about goth, gothic events, and more. Jet has had a huge influence in the goth scene over the past two decades, both in New York City and world wide via his website, and I’m very excited to have had the chance to meet him and get his perspective on the goth scene.

Jet, founder of Vampire Freaks

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Preview of Dark Side of the Con: Finally a Local Goth Convention!

Want to spend a weekend just letting your goth flag fly in a hotel full of other creatures of the night? This St. Patrick’s Day weekend, you can dodge the garish green and seclude yourself among like-minded admirers of a monochrome wardrobe at Dark Side of the Con. Last month I gave you all a sneak peek and then overview of a brand new faerie festival called Glimmerdark. Now I’ve been invited back to attend another inaugural Jeff Mach Event and report back with my thoughts. Dark Side of the Con, happening in Piscataway, NJ, on March 17–19, is a new goth convention co-hosted by Jeff Mach and Vampire Freaks—the creators of a thriving online goth community and purveyors of excellent gothic goods. I’ll give you the low-down after the con, but in the meantime, here’s what’s got me excited, so far:

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