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Gothic RenaissanceA reassessment$
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Elisabeth Bronfen and Beate Neumeier

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088636

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088636.001.0001

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Monstrous to our human reason: minding the gap in The Winter’s Tale1

Monstrous to our human reason: minding the gap in The Winter’s Tale1

Chapter:
(p.199) 11 Monstrous to our human reason: minding the gap in The Winter’s Tale1
Source:
Gothic Renaissance
Author(s):

Richard Wilson

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719088636.003.0012

Richard Wilson’s analysis of cryptomimesis in The Winter’s Tale centers on ‘an unhomely Gothic horror hidden beneath the homely dwelling of a romance’. Drawing on Kristeva’s notion of the abject, and linking Freud’s mourning and melancholia to Bataille and Derrida, Wilson explores the play’s monstrous liminality, tracing its ambivalences about the boundary between life and death, in terms of notions of resurrection and of being buried alive. ‘Retelling the play as a proto-Gothic text’ thus ‘through a “perversion” of Shakespeare brings the play’s own “perversities” to light’. In a truly Gothic twist Wilson ends his exploration of the ‘subterranean affinity between Shakespeare and Gothic narrative’ with a fascinating rendering of the haunting history of Shakespeare’s house in Stratford visited by E. A. Poe.

Keywords:   abject, mourning, melancholia, premature burial, Edgar Allan Poe, Winter’s Tale

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