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The Ghost Story, 1840–1920A Cultural History$
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Andrew Smith

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719074462

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719074462.001.0001

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M.R. James’s Gothic revival

M.R. James’s Gothic revival

(p.168) 8 M.R. James’s Gothic revival
The Ghost Story, 1840–1920

Andrew Smith

Manchester University Press

This chapter takes a look at the ghost stories of M.R. James. It studies the way the seemingly conservative Victorian and Edwardian world of James's tales hides a critique of an apparently amoral modernism. It notes that some of his tales put certain demands on readers, and reveals that James suggests that the donnish world is truly Gothic due to its consideration of the unfolding pictorial Gothic narrative. This chapter also discusses how the modernist literary culture of the 1920s can be re-read through a discourse of spectrality.

Keywords:   M.R. James, amoral modernism, donnish world, Gothic, Gothic narrative, modernist literary culture, discourse of spectrality

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