In this Book

American Nightmares
summary
 When Edgar Allan Poe set down the tale of the accursed House of Usher in 1839, he also laid the foundation for a literary tradition that has assumed a lasting role in American culture. “The House of Usher” and its literary progeny have not lacked for tenants in the century and a half since: writers from Nathaniel Hawthorne to Stephen King have taken rooms in the haunted houses of American fiction. Dale Bailey traces the haunted house tale from its origins in English gothic fiction to the paperback potboilers of the present, highlighting the unique significance of the house in the domestic, economic, and social ideologies of our nation. The author concludes that the haunted house has become a powerful and profoundly subversive symbol of everything that has gone nightmarishly awry in the American Dream.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. 2-7
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. 1. Welcome to the Funhouse: Gothic and the Architecture of Subversion
  2. pp. 1-14
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  1. 2. The Sentient House and the Ghostly Tradition: The Legacy of Poe and Hawthorne
  2. pp. 15-24
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  1. 3. June Cleaver in the House of Horrors: Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House
  2. pp. 25-46
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  1. 4. "Too bad we can't stay, baby!": The Horror at Amityville
  2. pp. 47-66
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  1. 5. Middle-Class Nightmares: Robert Marasco's Burnt Offerings and Anne Rivers Siddons's The House Next Door
  2. pp. 67-90
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  1. 6. Unmanned by the American Dream: Stephen King's The Shining
  2. pp. 91-106
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  1. 7. Ghosts in the Machine: The Future of the Haunted House Formula
  2. pp. 107-114
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 115-124
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 125-136
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 137-145
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