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A History of the Modern British Ghost Story [Hardcover]

Simon Hay

Price: 50.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

27 Oct 2011
A History of the Modern British Ghost Story places the ghost story in the contexts of historical period and literary form. It reads ghost stories as continuously engaging with, or even a kind of shadow form of, the novel: as the dominant mode of novelistic writing moves, in the nineteenth century, through the historical novel, Dickensian realism and naturalism, ghost stories develop new modes and techniques for exposing and critiquing these novelistic forms. Throughout this period, the book argues, ghost stories are one of the key ways that literature has addressed empire, class, property, history and the traumatic emergence of capitalism. By the end of the nineteenth century, usually considered the genre's golden age, ghost stories begin to seem set on autopilot, the same basic techniques repeated with minimal variation. But this book follows the way that modernist and then postcolonial writers deploy ghosts in new contexts, radically changing the work that the figure of the ghost does: in modernism, the ghost becomes a central image for representing not the past's persistence into the present, but the alienation and abstraction of modern life; and in postcolonial writing, where both the emergence of modernity and the pressures of the past are different, the ghost plays a key role figuring the intersection of indigenous traditions with those of capitalist modernity, in the emergence of magic realism.

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Book Description

A History of British and British-colonial ghost stories from Sir Walter Scott to the end of the twentieth century, looking at how ghost stories address empire, class, property, history and trauma

About the Author

SIMON J. HAY was educated at Massey University, New Zealand, and Duke University, USA. He teaches Postcolonial Literature and Theory at Connecticut College, USA, and his most recent publications are in Journal x, Radical Philosophy, and Pedagogy.

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars Academic But Relevant 18 Dec 2013
By KC Redding-Gonzalez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a very academic look at the Ghost Story's British origins which is equally important for those fans of American Ghost Stories because the roots of British literary accomplishments have always held a particularly deep and lasting influence on the genre as a whole. It is not an "easy read" but is well worth the effort for students of the gothic and fans of horror, terror and the weird. For those who want deep research into the evolution of the ghost story, this book is a technical, but important work.
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