It’s never too early to start exploring the beauty that can be found in darkness. Some may find death and other macabre topics inappropriate for children, but I feel that being able to talk openly about these subjects is important. Things like death, darkness, and monsters don’t need to be scary, and in fact can be part of fun, interesting, and thoughtful stories for kids. Now I’m not saying to take your four year old to a slasher film, but you don’t need to shield them from everything but rainbows and unicorns either. I’ve compiled a list of children’s books on the darker side that are appropriate for a variety of ages. Check out my list below and let me know if you have any to add! Continue reading Gothic Children’s Books
This is one of my favorite gothic tropes. Often used in horror or mystery, an unreliable narrator is a first-person narrator of a story whose words the reader is not meant to take at face value. The narrator may be deliberately lying or their words may be influenced by unconscious bias or delusions. In the case of gothic fiction, it is most often this last reason that causes many narrators to be considered unreliable. Continue reading Gothic Tropes: The Unreliable Narrator
Summer is winding down, but you’ve still got time to squeeze in a few more summer reads! The only question is what to choose. If you don’t already have a stack of TBRs piled next to your bed like I do, finding your next book can be a daunting task. But not to worry, that’s what librarians are for! As your virtual Gothic Librarian, I’ve compiled some tips for helping you find your next dark and decadent read: Continue reading Picking Your Next Gothic Read
The term “Gothic” (with a capital G) refers to an era of literature and its accompanying trend in architecture during the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century. Both the literary and architectural movements were characterized by a return to medieval aesthetics. Fashionable English aristocrats, such as Horace Walpole, began to fill their estates with highly ornamented turrets and towers reminiscent of medieval churches.
Meanwhile, many authors began to abandon the Enlightenment principles of rationality and reason in favor of exploring the pleasure that can be found in emotions like terror. The original Gothic stories featured Gothic castles, abbeys, and ruins of the sort that were now being recreated and were often set in a vaguely medieval past. They generally included elements of the supernatural in reaction against the recent trend of realism and were characterized by melodrama, mystery, and suspense. Listed below are some of the seminal works of early Gothic fiction. Continue reading The Roots of Gothic Literature
Neil Gaiman is known and respected in the gothic community for many reasons. His comic book series The Sandman, which revolutionized the world of comics, stars a character called Death who became a fashion icon for goths for decades to come. His book Coraline brought creepy children’s tales to the public eye when it was made into a movie in 2009. My favorite work of his that I’ve read so far, however, is another kid’s book—The Graveyard Book.
This book is a tale for practically any age (the back recommends 10 and up, it does contain some mentions of violence). While certainly accessible to children, I found it perfectly enjoyable to read for the first time as an adult. There are many subtleties that might be missed by young readers (as they are often missed by the character Bod) that enrich the story for adults. Continue reading The Graveyard Book Review–A Ghost Story for All Ages