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
Now, how can we possibly talk about gothic literature without mentioning the vampire genre? Of all the creatures that go bump in the night, vampires have long been a favorite of writers and readers alike. Today of course, the word brings to mind the type of teenage vampire love story popularized by Stephanie Meyer. To have a true appreciation of the genre however, I urge you to check out some of the classic stories that established the concept of vampires as we think of them today and informed the countless vampire novels that followed:
The whole concept of starting a gothic blog came into my head when I first stumbled onto Jillian Venters’ Gothic Charm School blog a few years ago. Jillian is a wise and eloquent eldergoth with whom I share many of the same views regarding the gothic subculture and its aesthetic. I highly suggest you check out her blog, but I also recommend that you check out her book, as well.
Gothic Charm School by Jillian Venters is a collection of the amassed wisdom of the type that she dispenses on her blog, decorated with lovely illustrations by her husband. The Lady of the Manners, as she refers to herself, speaks in a charming style throughout the book (notable for her frequent use of the third person). Subtitled “An Essential Guide for Goths and Those Who Love Them,” Gothic Charm School is directed at a wide audience—both goths themselves and those outside the subculture who want to learn more about it. Jillian combines humor with practical advice in chapters ranging from “Dealing with roommates” to “Why friends don’t let friends dress like the Crow.” Continue reading Gothic Charm School Review–Book by a Fellow Goth Blogger
Melissa Marr may be better known for her fairy-filled urban fantasies, but her most recent YA novel delves into the darker side of the human realm. With just a touch of the supernatural, Made For You is a suspenseful thriller that examines the minds of an obsessed stalker and his target. Eva Tilling is the unintentional It Girl of a privileged Southern high school. Despite her occasional frustration with the social status inherited from her parents, Eva seems to have it all: a great boyfriend, plenty of friends, invitations to all the best parties, and the envy of the rest of the school. Until one night she gets hit by a car…and realizes it wasn’t an accident. She wakes up to discover that she has gained a strange new ability—when others touch her, she can foresee their deaths.
Today is my final day of the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge! Thanks again to Wandering Words for nominating me.
Day 3’s quote is from The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, generally considered to be the beginning of the modern mystery/detective genre:
We had our breakfasts—whatever happens in a house, robbery or murder, it doesn’t matter, you must have your breakfast.
In case you haven’t seen yesterday’s post, I’ve been nominated by Wandering Words to participate in the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge. Today is Day 2!
Without further ado, here is my second quote—one of my favorite passages from Jane Austen’s Gothic parody, Northanger Abbey:
“And what are you reading, Miss—?” “Oh! It is only a novel!” replies the young lady, while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. “It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda”; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.
I’ve been nominated by Emma at Wandering Words for the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge! Thanks for the nomination–I’m really excited about this, as it is my first blogging challenge ever! First, the rules:
The Three Rules:
- Thank the person who nominated you.
- Post a quote for three consecutive days (one quote per day).
- Nominate three new bloggers each day!
The quote I’ve chosen for Day One is from Book One of Paradise Lost, the 17th-century epic poem by John Milton:
“The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”