Gothic Tropes: Madness

Madness is the monster that lurks inside our own minds. And in some ways, it is the most terrifying monster of all. Its intangibility means that it cannot be fought, and its irrational nature makes it nearly impossible to understand. Perhaps this is why insanity crops up as one of the most common themes in Gothic literature. I present it in this post as one trope, but madness is explored in many different ways in both the victims and the villains of Gothic literature, and the way it is presented has changed over time. Continue reading Gothic Tropes: Madness

The American Gothic Tradition

Happy 4th of July! On this day in 1776, the founding fathers declared their intention to create a nation that would be independent from Great Britain. Though as they signed the Declaration, I doubt any of them were thinking about creating an independent literary tradition. Nonetheless, as our country began developing its own political and economic system, it also began developing its own culture—and that includes its own literature. American Gothic, apart from being an infamous painting of a dreary farmer couple, is a unique subgenre in the Gothic tradition that is markedly American. Today, I thought I would celebrate this patriotic holiday by sharing with you the history of the American Gothic tradition and some of its most prominent members.

American Gothic is more than just a creepy painting.
American Gothic is more than just a creepy painting. (Image credit: Freaking News)

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iClassics Kickstarter—Interactive Gothic Lit for Students!

A brand new Kickstarter just launched last week with the hopes of using technology to make classic literature fun and accessible for students. iClassics is a Barcelona-based company that works to create an “interactive, illustrated, digital library,” as they explain on their website. At present, they already have several interactive literature collections available as apps for iOS devices. With the Kickstarter, they hope to raise enough funds to make the apps available to Android users, make them available in more languages, create new content, and make them free for as many students as possible.

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The Gothic Lit Starter Kit

New to gothic literature? Maybe you’ve always loved horror movies and dark films, and want to see if you can get the same shivery feels from the written word. Or maybe you’ve wandered over from another genre such as romance or fantasy after realizing that you kinda like the dark stuff. Or maybe you’re a baby bat who has found the clothing and the music but doesn’t know where to start with the books. Well, whatever brought you over to the dark side, I’m glad you came. Gothic literature is a magical world filled with so many abandoned castles, moonlit moors, and frightening forests to explore. But if you’ve never read anything in the genre (or loose collection of genres) before, jumping right in can seem a little…well, scary. But not to worry! Your favorite Gothic Librarian has put together the perfect little starter pack of gothic literature to get you into the genre.

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