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paulgoatallen
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What do you visualize when you hear the term "Gothic" literature?

Here's one for you:
When you hear the term “Gothic" literature, what images do you think of? Cathedrals? Organ music? Old haunted houses? Graveyards? And why is gothic lit so compelling to so many people?
Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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Krista
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Re: What do you visualize when you hear the term "Gothic" literature?

I also think of skeletons in the closet. :smileywink: There always seem to be a dark side to someone who either tries to hide it or tries to expose it. I find that there are double meanings in certain circumstances. And also for me it is not so much a spiritual haunting but more of a psychological haunting.




paulgoatallen wrote:
Here's one for you:
When you hear the term â  Gothic" literature, what images do you think of? Cathedrals? Organ music? Old haunted houses? Graveyards? And why is gothic lit so compelling to so many people?
Paul

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flyjo9
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Re: What do you visualize when you hear the term "Gothic" literature?



paulgoatallen wrote:
Here's one for you:
When you hear the term “Gothic" literature, what images do you think of? Cathedrals? Organ music? Old haunted houses? Graveyards? And why is gothic lit so compelling to so many people?
Paul


Wuthing Heights, Halloween, Dracula, those old Gothic TV movies,-Dark Shadows, the shadow side of anything, and yes, graveyards! I am drawn to that word! LOL Joan
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paulgoatallen
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Re: What do you visualize when you hear the term "Gothic" literature?

Flyjo:
I love the "gothic" term as well and am drawn to anything – literature, music, film, etc. – that is described as gothic. This is a pretty subjective question – words and terms obviously mean different things to different people, but to me when I hear the term gothic, I visualize darkness: dark landscapes, shadowy rooms, people with some kind of darkness in their hearts.... And for some reason, I think about loneliness. It seems to me that a theme (albeit a small one) throughout much gothic lit is solitude – ultimately it comes down to one person absolutely alone in the world facing his or her deepest fears, and either conquering that fear or succumbing to it.

And Krista, you're so right, it's not so much physical fear but psychological – that's why I love Dracula so much. But I'll talk about that in other threads...
Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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NickinColoma
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Re: What do you visualize when you hear the term "Gothic" literature?

Gothic embodies the darkness and the lonelyness of mankind. Also, most gothic characters and people who embrace the gothic have a skeleton hideing in the closet. We all do.

Fear however, is a hard puppy to tame. FDR would say "the only fear we have is fear itself". Hitchcock would say something along the line of "It's not the scream we fear, but the anticipation of it." To me, fear is a combo of both physical and physcological.

And that is why people love gothic/horror. People love to be scared. It is part of who we are. I personally like to be jarred out of my "normal" life once in a while.
Nick in Coloma
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paulgoatallen
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Re: What do you visualize when you hear the term "Gothic" literature?

Nick:
Hey, great post – love those quotes!
Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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LindaKay
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Re: What do you visualize when you hear the term "Gothic" literature?

Gothic brings to my mind misunderstood people trapped in miserable situations through human weakness. Darkness, lust,desperation, hauntings, madness. Gothic and madness go well together. Desolation, despair. Creaking stairs; decayed moldy houses. I'm drawn to gothic because it's so far removed from my actual existence.
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paulgoatallen
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Re: What do you visualize when you hear the term "Gothic" literature?

LindaKay:
Yes! "Madness" is a term I forgot to use – that brings to mind all of those old Poe movies: The Fall of the House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, etc. God, I love thoise movies! Vincent Price was great!
Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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NickinColoma
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Re: What do you visualize when you hear the term "Gothic" literature?

Wow, how did we forget Madness. The classic E.A. Poe works of madness are "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Black Cat".

You can see madness in Dracula in the character of Renfield, who goes mad, and in Johnathan who does not want to kill, but must.
Nick in Coloma
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LordRuthven
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Re: What do you visualize when you hear the term "Gothic" literature?


paulgoatallen wrote:
Here's one for you:
When you hear the term “Gothic" literature, what images do you think of?
Paul




The art of Joseph Vargo
Derek Tatum
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Peppermill
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Re: What do you visualize when you hear the term "Gothic" literature?


paulgoatallen wrote:
Here's one for you:
When you hear the term “Gothic" literature, what images do you think of? Cathedrals? Organ music? Old haunted houses? Graveyards? And why is gothic lit so compelling to so many people?
Paul
Seldom a Gothic lit reader myself, but we recently had an extended discussion in association with Wuthering Heights. This site and its links have some interesting thoughts on "Gothic":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_Literature

Another that may be of interest (try "resources" ):
http://www.litgothic.com/index_fl.html
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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paulgoatallen
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Re: What do you visualize when you hear the term "Gothic" literature?

Derek:
Great link! I've never heard of Joseph Vargo before. Man, some of the graphics on the t-shirts he sells are amazing...
Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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LordRuthven
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Re: What do you visualize when you hear the term "Gothic" literature?

Joseph Vargo is The Bomb. Listen to his musical project Nox Arcana also...good stuff. "Transylvania," of course being most relevant to this particular forum.
Derek Tatum
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Peppermill
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Re: "Gothic" roots of Count Dracula

"'What I will attempt to do is de-emphasize the connection between Stoker's Count Dracula and the historical Vlad the Impaler, and re-establish the roots of the Count in the soil of 19th-century Gothic fiction,' Dr. Miller said."

"...Dr. Elizabeth Miller's scholarly work in gothic literature, in particular her focus on Bram Stoker's Dracula, will reap unusual rewards. During the first World Dracula Congress in Bucharest this spring, the faculty member in Memorial's Department of English Language and Literature will become the first person outside Romania to be honored with the title Baroness of the House of Dracula."

http://www.mun.ca/marcomm/gazette/1994-95/Feb.23/news/n13-drac
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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paulgoatallen
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Re: "Gothic" roots of Count Dracula

Other gothic images that comes to mind are cemeteries, moonlight filtering through cloud cover, pale women with black hair, the tolling of church bells at night, underground labyrinths or catacombs, and Trent Reznor/NIN tunes.
Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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LordRuthven
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Re: "Gothic" roots of Count Dracula

[ Edited ]

paulgoatallen wrote:
Trent Reznor/NIN tunes.
Paul




That video for "The Perfect Drug?"

FWIW...I think that "Closer" is the most vampiric song I have ever heard. Not that I think Reznor was inspired by or had vampires in mind when he wrote it, but certainly lyrically and atmospherically, it's (un)dead perfect.

Message Edited by LordRuthven on 10-22-2007 06:24 PM
Derek Tatum
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paulgoatallen
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Re: "Gothic" roots of Count Dracula

D:
You're preaching to the choir...


I got my head, but my head is unraveling
Can't keep control, can't keep track of where it's traveling
I got my heart but my heart is no good
And you're the only one that's understood
I come along but I don't know where you're taking me
I shouldn't go but you're reaching, dragging, shaking me
Turn off the sun, pull the stars from the sky
The more I give to you, the more I die
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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Metzwar123
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Re: What do you visualize when you hear the term "Gothic" literature?

I have some problems with liking anything "gothic" as I find much of it heavy on the conventional (velvet rooms with victorian furntiture, raping demons, etc.) modern horror, tv and film have just used these materials ad nausea it just would be nice to see a true "gothic" drama taking place without all the conventional hallmarks in place.

I am very willing to explore a gothic work it just would be nice to read something you feel you haven't already read or viewed.

I think Hitchcock's "The Birds" is quite gothic or at least has gothic leanings. And I agree that Wuthering Heights is a gothic novel. Even Jane Eyre and Rebecca have a gothic sense to them. I would like to see a true gothic mystery taking place on a ranch in the Old West.

However, my favorite gothic film is "Nosferatu" c1979. The remake is so brilliant with Klaus Kinsky I prefer it to the original (which is very good,too).

Another great gothic film is The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Regards,

Tom M.
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"Something that is difficult, but necessary, is to love life, even while one suffers. Because to love life is to love all, and to love all is to Love God."
-Leo Tolstoy
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Metzwar123
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Re: What do you visualize when you hear the term "Gothic" literature?

Another great setting for gothic drama is the deep South. Tenessee William's "The Fugitive Kind" really comes to mind, starring Joanne Woodward and Marlon Brando. Perhaps the Brando character is pushing gothic sensibility a bit, but there is a scene in the graveyard that is exceptional. The film's setting and Woodward's character are really the elements of gothic in this film. Another film that follows this trend is Streetcar named Desire.

The South of course is home to New Orleans and Anne Rice (or was) but I have never read her novels so I don't know if she ever used her local environs as a setting. ??

The South is a great gothic setting with its sultry climate, history of Voodoo, slavery, Victorian pomp and centuries of moral double standards producing some of the most vilest evil of the human condition that makes for good stories.
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"Something that is difficult, but necessary, is to love life, even while one suffers. Because to love life is to love all, and to love all is to Love God."
-Leo Tolstoy
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Metzwar123
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Re: "Gothic" roots of Count Dracula

If you love Gothic novels, try Anne Radcliffe's "The Italian". This book was made I believe almost a century BEFORE Dracula, and it is very well done. The great thing about literature is , when its done right, shows just how little we have traveled since the era the book was first published in.

It can be quite threatening to your sense that we are a modern, civilized culture--you can't measure morality and the state of the human condition with the advent of an ipod. (I learned that when I read Tolstoy's "War and Peace".)


Regards,

Tom M.
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"Something that is difficult, but necessary, is to love life, even while one suffers. Because to love life is to love all, and to love all is to Love God."
-Leo Tolstoy
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