Gothic: Originally referring to the Goths, barbarian tribes who sacked Rome in A.D. 210, the term Gothic was mistakenly applied by eighteenth-century critics to everything medieval, including the kind of cathedral still known as Gothic–with its vaulted arches, flying buttresses, and gargoyles. Used in reference to literature…the term calls to mind gloom, grotesqueness, mystery, and decadence, the atmosphere also earlier gothic novels…
– NTC’s Dictionary of Literary Terms
Carson McCuller’s story “The Ballad of the Sad Cafe” is Southern Gothic.
Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame is one of the earliest gothic novels.
My Take on Gothic
As an aspiring dark fantasy novelist, I basically worship gothic literature. The era of dark romanticism in English and American literature has always been a favorite topic of mine to research and analyze. Gothic literature inspires me because I feel less alone in the experience of describing my fears, my sorrows, and existential wonderings through poetry and prose. If Hugo, Shelley, Poe, King, and all the other greats can do it, so can I.
I strived to make “Autonomy Bleeds Black” gothic with some magical realism, but it’s my first ever short story. It’s a bit rough around the edges, but I’m proud that one of my first attempts to blend beauty with darkness, fear, and dread can still be considered “gothic” in a way.
I’m determined for my novel series to fall into the gothic genre as well. We have many novels today that dabble with gothic or horror elements, but I’m hoping to join the authors who made it so their stories were immersed in gothic atmosphere.
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A few things. First, this is the year of Stark lol.
Next, the eagerness for the completion of the first draft makes me want to just write nonstop. I’m so excited! I can’t watch a show or listen to music without thinking about my story and characters. I’m excited to edit the second draft because it’s not just time to venture into my own world and comb through the details, but I also get to study. Much of what I’m creating requires study of so much history and culture. Understanding the world is just so satisfying to me. With as much intent as possible, I hope my creations will allow me to travel the world. I want to go everywhere. I want to feel everything.
Also, one thing that has been knocking at the back of my mind is my PhD. I want to get it because I simply want it. But what do I get it in? I’ve swayed between mythology and more obscure topics like the occult or metaphysical studies (yes, these programs exist). I figured out what I wanted while I was watching Midnight in Paris (2011) (with Owen Wilson. Suuuuuuch a cute writer movie). I got really giddy seeing so many artists come to life through so many actors (Salvador Dalí was superb. I really want a movie of just him. Hiddleston stuck out to me too ’cause that American accent messed with me, but he was a great Fitzgerald! And Hemingway omg. Pain in my ass in undergrad, but his lines were great. Overall, I really, really admired the dialogue writing in the entire movie. I need to read the screenplay). I put myself in Gil’s shoes and wondered if I went back in time, which artists/authors would I want to hang out with? I started looking up some of my favorite authors; they were all from the late 18th through the 19th century. Romantics. The original emo kids and goths hanging around a lake or other areas that were nature-rich, thinking about death, subjectivity, challenging what enlightenment was and was not. It’s not really a golden age, like Gil was wanting for himself, but an imaginative one lodged in the unconscious with little bits of it escaping through poetry and other forms of artistry. Those are my people. I fell in love with so many writers, musicians, and artists from the 1800s. Mostly Romantics, some Victorian. It feels like “goth” was born there. So, if I were to get my PhD in anything, it would be Romanticism/Literature from the 18th/19th century. I’ve already decided on some easter eggs I want to put in my novel and even some study articles I want to write about my heroes. Hopefully, that’ll snag me a few letters of recommendation or references.
Gosh. I’m excited lol
I’m traveling Tuesday and I hope I’m conscious enough to write, read, and study on the plane and thereafter.