The Gothic:
British and American Gothic Fiction

English 560, Spring 2011

Jack Lynch

Course Description

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JanuaryFebruaryMarchApril


Office: (973) 353-5204; 531 Hill Hall.

Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 9:00–10:00, and by appointment (appointments are best).

Home: (609) 882-4642 (before 10:00 p.m.!).

E-mail: jlynch @ andromeda.rutgers.edu (the best way to reach me).


Course Requirements


Schedule of Class Meetings

19 Jan.
Introduction: Class business, &c.

26 Jan.
Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto (1764); Clara Reeve, “Address to the Reader” from The Champion of Virtue (1777) and “Preface” to The Old English Baron (1778).

2 Feb.
William Beckford, Vathek (1782–87); George Haggerty, “Literature and Homosexuality in the Late Eighteenth Century: Walpole, Beckford, and Lewis.”

9 Feb.
Matthew Lewis, The Monk (1796); Samuel Taylor Coleridge, review of The Monk; Edmund Burke, selection from A Philosophical Inquiry into . . . the Sublime and the Beautiful (1758).

16 Feb.
Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794); L. Andrew Cooper, “The Role of Danger in the Critical Evaluation of The Monk and The Mysteries of Udolpho.”

23 Feb.
Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho (continued); Anna Letitia Aikin, “On the Pleasure Derived from Objects of Terror” (1773).

2 March
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (written 1798; published 1817); Richard Lansdown, “‘Rare in Burlesque’: Northanger Abbey.”

9 March
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818); John Polidori, “The Vampyre” (1819); Ronald Paulson, “Gothic Fiction and the French Revolution.” First Paper Due.

16 March
No Class: Spring Break.

23 March
Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown” (1835), “The Minister's Black Veil” (1836), and “Rappaccini's Daughter” (1844); Edgar Allan Poe, “Ligeia” (1838), “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839), “Masque of the Red Death” (1842), “The Black Cat” (1843), “The Tell-Tale Heart” (1843), and “The Cask of Amontillado” (1846); Sigmund Freud, “The Uncanny” (1919).

30 March
Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847); Daniel Cottom, “I Think; Therefore, I Am Heathcliff.”

6 April
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892); Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1899); H. P. Lovecraft, “The Picture in the House” (1921); Jennifer Lipka, “‘The Horror! The Horror!’: Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness as a Gothic Novel.”

13 April
Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897); Kathleen L. Spencer, “Purity and Danger: Dracula, the Urban Gothic, and the Late Victorian Degeneracy Crisis.”

20 April
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood (1952); Jeffrey Gray, “'It's Not Natural': Freud's ‘Uncanny’ and O'Connor's Wise Blood.”

27 April
The Gothic in popular culture: Stephenie Meyer, Twilight, chapter 13 (photocopy); music available through Blackboard; film clips: Final Paper Due.