This entirely new look at the Gothic from the eighteenth century to the present day relates the concerns of Gothic to the law. At the same time, it advances a decisively new theory of the relations between wreiting and loss, drawing upon the ideas of Freud, Melanie Klein, James Hillman, and Deleuze and Guattari. Each chapter examines a different corpus of material, ranging from classic texts such as Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights to contemporary works; among the contemporary texts are horror fictions by, for example, Stephen King and Robert Bloch, as well as 'postmodern' writing by William Gibson, Don DeLillo and many others. The book also includes discussion of Chinese fictions which have a close relation to Gothic. The approaches to this material are eclectic, but central are psychoanalysis and deconstruction. Amid the current wave of criticism of the Gothic, this book stands out both for the novelty and cogency of its theoretical approach and for the intensity of the relations it suggests between Gothic writing and contemporary anxieties in the areas of, for example, the law, censorship and child abuse.
David Punter is here building upon the international success of his previous seminal book on the Gothic, The Literature of Terror, and in doing so transforms many of our preconceptions about classic and contemporary Gothic writing.