The Long Nineteenth Century and the Gothic Imagination המאה ה-19 הארוכה והדמיון הגותי
Advance Course קורס בחירה
The advent of Gothic literature in England in the second half of the Eighteenth Century is traditionally viewed as a reactionary act, expressing a collective sense of anxiety, towards the socio-political upheaval across the channel in France. Novels by Horace Walpole, Matthew Lewis, and Ann Radcliffe, among others, established the poetic and aesthetic foundation of the Gothic Romance genre. Eerie castles, dark secrets, resourceful orphans, abuse of patriarchal power, and every manner of excess filled the pages of Gothic Romance novels. By the dawn of the nineteenth century, the Gothic expanded its presence in literary texts beyond the definition of genre. It became what scholar Judith Halberstam aptly termed “a technology of monsters”. Nineteenth Century literature is suffused with Gothic elements, and the Gothic is present even in narratives that at first glance seem deceptively realistic. The aim of this course is to explore the Gothic in its extended context as a marker for social, political and cultural change in Britain. We will read two short novels: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, as well as two novellas: R.L. Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau. The reading of fiction will be supported by the exploration of scholarly texts by Edmund Burke, Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, Judith Halberstam, Julian Wolfreys, Fred Botting, and Markman Ellis.