In this Book

summary
Haunting Realities: Naturalist Gothic and American Realism is an innovative collection of essaysexamining the sometimes paradoxical alignment of Realism and Naturalism with the Gothic in American literature to highlight their shared qualities.

Following the golden age of British Gothic in the late eighteenth century, the American Gothic’s pinnacle is often recognized as having taken place during the decades of American Romanticism. However, Haunting Realities explores the period of American Realism—the end of the nineteenth century—to discover evidence of fertile ground for another age of Gothic proliferation.
 
At first glance, “Naturalist Gothic” seems to be a contradiction in terms. While the Gothic is known for its sensational effects, with its emphasis on horror and the supernatural, the doctrines of late nineteenth-century Naturalism attempted to move away from the aesthetics of sentimentality and stressed sobering, mechanistic views of reality steeped in scientific thought and the determinism of market values and biology. Nonetheless, what binds Gothicism and Naturalism together is a vision of shared pessimism and the perception of a fearful, lingering presence that ominously haunts an impending modernity. Indeed, it seems that in many Naturalist works reality is so horrific that it can only be depicted through Gothic tropes that prefigure the alienation and despair of modernism.
 
In recent years, research on the Gothic has flourished, yet there has been no extensive study of the links between the Gothic and Naturalism, particularly those which stem from the early American Realist tradition. Haunting Realities is a timely volume that addresses this gap and is an important addition to scholarly work on both the Gothic and Naturalism in the American literary tradition.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-viii
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  1. Introduction
  2. Monika Elbert and Wendy Ryden
  3. pp. 1-14
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  1. I. Imprisoning Genders
  2. pp. 15-16
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  1. 1. Seeing Gothically: Elizabeth Stoddard’s The Morgesons
  2. Stephen Arch
  3. pp. 17-30
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  1. 2. Matrimonial Abjections: The Slave Marriage and Charles W. Chesnutt’s Legal Gothic
  2. Wendy Ryden
  3. pp. 31-44
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  1. 3. Iterated Horrors: “The Monster” and Manhood
  2. David Greven
  3. pp. 45-58
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  1. 4. The Victim as Vampire: Gothic Naturalism in the White Slave Narrative
  2. Donna M. Campbell
  3. pp. 59-72
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  1. II. Horrors of the Civil War and Its Aftermath
  2. pp. 73-74
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  1. 5. Domestic Gothic in the Civil War Fiction of Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (Ward) and Ambrose Bierce
  2. Monika Elbert
  3. pp. 75-89
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  1. 6. “His Face Ceased Instantly to Be a Face”: Gothicism in Stephen Crane
  2. Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet
  3. pp. 90-102
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  1. 7. Unmasking the Lynching Subject: Thomas Nelson Page, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and the Specters of American Race
  2. Steve Marsden
  3. pp. 103-116
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  1. III. Wicked Money, Haunted Objects
  2. pp. 117-118
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  1. 8. Dangerous Houses in the Uncanny Tales of Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Mary E. Wilkins
  2. Dara Downey
  3. pp. 119-131
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  1. 9. Haunted Economies: Race, Retribution, and Money in Pauline Hopkins’s Of One Blood and W. E. B. Du Bois’s The Quest of the Silver Fleece
  2. Christine A. Wooley
  3. pp. 132-144
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  1. 10. Housing Crisis and Gothic Gambling in Theodore Dreiser’s The Financier
  2. Patricia Luedecke
  3. pp. 145-158
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  1. IV. Paranormal Longings and Warnings
  2. pp. 159-160
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  1. 11. The Haunted Narrators of Clovernook: Alice Cary’s Village Gothic
  2. Dennis Berthold
  3. pp. 161-173
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  1. 12. The Ghosts of Medical and Domestic Violence in Elizabeth Stuart Phelps’s The Gates Between
  2. Lisa A. Long
  3. pp. 174-187
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  1. 13. The Spirit of Revolt: Hamlin Garland’s Paranormal Writing
  2. Daniel Mrozowski
  3. pp. 188-202
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  1. V. Spectral Landscapes and Locations
  2. pp. 203-204
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  1. 14. The Specter and the Spectator: Rebecca Harding Davis’s “The Second Life” and the Naturalist Gothic
  2. Alicia Mischa Renfroe
  3. pp. 205-218
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  1. 15. Enchanting Night and Nocturnal Predations: The Art of Darkness in Frank Norris’s McTeague
  2. Charlotte L. Quinney
  3. pp. 219-233
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  1. 16. Vaster and More Terrible: Jack London’s Gothic Splicing
  2. Kenneth K. Brandt
  3. pp. 234-247
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  1. 17. Naturalistic Despair, Human Struggle, and the Gothic in Wharton’s Short Fiction
  2. Gary Totten
  3. pp. 248-260
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 261-280
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 281-284
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 285-295
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780817390532
Related ISBN
9780817319373
MARC Record
OCLC
987910315
Pages
303
Launched on MUSE
2017-06-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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