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Best "Classic" Gothic list
(06-27-2011, 05:28 PM)maisonvivante Wrote: I would argue that "Northanger Abbey" IS a Gothic novel in that even though it may be parodying the genre, it also contains ALL the stock elements of the genre. Lots of the books that have made the list have elements of parody, social commentary and satire in them. If you believe all these authors were working in this genre with a completely straight face, you are much mistaken.

I would argue it is NOT a Gothic novel. It doesn't have ANY of the stock elements of the genre. What it has is a heroine who is a very silly young women who imagines that there are mysterious goings on because she has read novels by Miss Radcliffe-the novel makes it quite obvious there isn't anything mysterious and sinister in the world of the novel at all.

There has to be at least some "real" (in the world of the novel) Gothic elements for a novel to qualify as Gothic even if the writer is tongue-in-cheek there has to be an old spooky mansion and a heroine under threat-not just a heroine in a normal, everyday situation who is prone to flights of fantasy. The reader does not for one moment, believe that Catherine Morland is in danger or that anybody has been murdered or locked up in a castle even though Catherine imagines this might be the case.

I'd also argue that there is no satire or parody in a truly Gothic novel, it runs completely contrary to the atmosphere and voice of the Gothic style. Social commentary, there certainly may be, Ann and Charlotte Bronte's works contain plenty of social commentary but this is quite different from satire or parody.
"The Making of a Marchioness" by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The first part is a Cinderella-ish story, the second part is very much like a gothic romance-detective.
Surprisingly, the movie's better than the book - the made it short and sweet.

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