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Gothic Death 1740-1914A Literary History$
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Andrew Smith

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088414

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088414.001.0001

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Decoding the dying: Machen and Stoker

Decoding the dying: Machen and Stoker

(p.164) 6 Decoding the dying: Machen and Stoker
Gothic Death 1740-1914

Andrew Smith

Manchester University Press

In this chapter images of the dead and the dying are explored in quasi-scientific contexts in Arthur Machen’s The Great God Pan (1894), The Three Imposters (1895) and Stoker’s Dracula. Subjecting the dead and dying to scientific scrutiny is echoed within narratives which also emphasise the importance of generating evidence. Within these multi-vocal texts there is a clear emphasis on how readers produce forms of interpretation which need to be reconstituted as narrative. How to decode the dead also relies upon particular methodologies which shape how evidence generates epistemic certainty. The writings of Henry Drummond and F.W.H. Myers, which apply evolutionary principles to models of the spirit world, are used to provide a context to Machen and Stoker.

Keywords:   Stoker, Machen, Drummond, Myers, spiritualism

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