I have not read many gothic novels. The only one I’ve read is Matthew Lewis’ The Monk, which I was not a fan of (thoughts here). Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo (first published 1831) seemed far above The Monk in terms of quality. In addition to the better writing, there was the symbolic centrality
According to my Harmon and Holman A Handbook to Literature, “romance” has had a special meaning in terms of literature since the beginning of the novel. As opposed to a “novel,” a term which suggested realistic manners and society, a “romance” was more unlikely to happen in reality. In common usage, [romance] refers to works
I always had a tender spot in my heart for Sesame Street’s Count von Count. He had his organ and a mysterious castle, and mysterious music. I love Toccata and Fugue to this day. (My dad can play it on the organ and it sounds so cool!). The Count was just plain cool. Now that
The Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman is a clever alphabet book. While it’s clearly a children’s book, it has an element of spookiness to it and somber, spidery illustrations that make it just right for adults too. The illustrations by Gris Grimly are not my normal preference. I tend to like more realistic illustration and
After reading Edgar Allan Poe last week, I thought I’d stay in the same era and read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s stories. To my delight, many of Hawthorne’s stories perfectly fit the “gothic” theme of Halloween in a style that I loved. Even though I dislike of being “scared,” these stories were again the perfect amount of
In my mind, Edgar Allan Poe is the most well-known Halloween-ish short story writer. To keep up with the season, I reread some of Poe’s short stories. I enjoyed his stories when I was younger – I even rewrote “The Fall of the House of Usher” as a play for my high school’s Halloween “one-act
Washington Irving’s ghost stories are just my type of ghost story: they’re tricky and creepy, but full of twists. Irving’s twists are rather predictable, but I found that Irving’s long-winded, wordy, early-1800s prose made his stories delightful to read.
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