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The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales
ISBN 0192831178 / 9780192831170 / 0-19-283117-8
Publisher Oxford Univ Pr
List price $15.95
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Brimming with tales of terror, suspense, and the uncanny, with dark castles and even gloomier monasteries, The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales offers the first such collection devoted to this spine-tingling genre. Though Gothic fiction has generally been identified with Walpole's"Castle of Otranto" and the works of Ann Radcliffe, these thirty-seven selections compiled by Chris Baldick provide a unique look at the genre's development into its present-day forms. We see standard gothic elements of incest, murder, and greed in "The Poisoner of Montremos," a late eighteenth-century story by Richard Cumberland. We find in Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" the tale that set a new standard of decadence for Gothic stories. In Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," a woman's death satisfies a neighborhood's curiosity with a bizarre discovery. All the stories contain the common elements of the gothic tale: a warped sense of time, a claustrophobic setting, a link to archaic modes of thought, dynastic corruption, and the impression of a descent into disintegration. Yet they also reveal the progression of the genre from stories of feudal villains amid crumbling ruins to a greater level of sophistication in which writers brought the gothic tale out of its medieval setting, and placed it in the contemporary world.
Bringing together the work of such writers as Robert Louis Stevenson, Eudora Welty, Thomas Hardy, Edgar Allan Poe, William Faulkner, Isak Dinesen, Arthur Conan Doyle, Joyce Carol Oates, Jorge Luis Borges, Eudora Welty, Patrick McGrath, and Isabel Allende, The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales presents a wide array of the sinister and unsettling for all lovers of ghost stories, fantasy, and horror. [via]