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Lecture 16

ENGC69 Lecture 16: 10.1 The Cure for Death by Lightning

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Sonja Nikkila

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10.1 Cure for Death by Lightning
Background: Critics Thoughts
● ratherthanassumetheGothicasastatictheme,itisamoving/evolvingentitymeaning,wedon’tfully
○ describedascomplexpoeticsthatshiftacrosshistoricalandnationalboundaries
○ moving,takingup,incorporating
● ‘literarypatchwork’
○ hybridityofvariousthemespatchedtogethertocreateanewlife(likeFrankenstein’smonster)
○ notgenre,butwhateverentitystandsforthenationisundonebyanuncannyotherness;
○ putsreaderattheedgeofthisdeconstructionundoesourcertaintyofanationalself
● mainlyconcernedwithwhocamefirstnativevs.nonnativeconfrontations
○ notlookingbackintothepast,butilluminateownownpeopleandage
○ sensethatthereissomethingbehind;someperpetualothernesshiddenwithin
○ spectreofothernessthathauntsthehouseofnationalnarrative
● CharlesBrockdenBrown(1stAmericanGothicwriter)GothictalksaboutthenativeandEuropean
● pronouncedassociationoftheGothicwiththenativepeoples
○ EuropeanGothicexpressesthreatstoapatriarchalsociety
○ Canadianfocusesonthethreatofthelegacy/authorityofnatives,andthethreatofamatriarchal
Patriarchal British Law as the Gothic
● BritishLaw:
○ questionofwhyGothichasstrandsoffeministcriticismandtheory
○ LadyCavendish(1662)wrotethatwomenare“buriedintheirhouses/beds”andthatthey“liveas
■ L.Cdoesnotspeakofwhetherthemenarekindornot,butfocusesontheisolationof
■ theladiesareunabletoassociatewithoneanother;fearofpowerinfemalesolidarity
○ CureforDeathByLighting
● Blackstone(lawofEngland)thelegalorveryexistenceofthewomanisbannedwhensheismarried
○ themeofpossessiontheyarepossessedbytheirhusbands;theyarealreadyghostsliving
○ womenarereducedtoacipher
■ the‘dead’or‘zero’wife
○ Englishlawsareseenascastlesofchivalryfromthepast,yetlivedinbymodernpeople
■ feministwomenwriters(evenbeforetheWomen’sRightsMovement)drewananalogy
● theselawsofpatriarchalpropertieshauntBethinCFDBL,
Lesbianism in Gothic
● Gothicfictionhashomosexualityasasignificantthreattowardsthepatriarchalsociety
○ nochildren=nolineage=fear!;thereisnocontroloflineageandwherethepropertygoes
○ womencouldsetupshop,makemoney,andundocapitalismbyfemaleworkpower
● Freuddoesagoodjoboftalkingaboutthefearoffemalegenitalia

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10.1 Cure for Death by Lightning Background: Critics Thoughts rather than assume the Gothic as a static theme, it is a movingevolving entity meaning, we dont fully know what the Canadian Gothic is defined by described as complex poetics that shift across historical and national boundaries moving, taking up, incorporating literary patchwork hybridity of various themes patched together to create a new life (like Frankensteins monster) not genre, but whatever entity stands for the nation is undone by an uncanny otherness tendency to deconstruct a national subject puts reader at the edge of this deconstruction undoes our certainty of a national self mainly concerned with who came first native vs. nonnative confrontations not looking back into the past, but illuminate own own people and age sense that there is something behind some perpetual otherness hidden within spectre of otherness that haunts the house of national narrative Charles Brockden Brown (1st American Gothic writer) Gothic talks about the native and European clash as a main mode pronounced association of the Gothic with the native peoples European Gothic expresses threats to a patriarchal society Canadian focuses on the threat of the legacyauthority of natives, and the threat of a matriarchal order or escape from patriarchal society Patriarchal British Law as the Gothic British Law: question of why Gothic has strands of feminist crit
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