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Monstrous media/spectral subjectsImaging gothic fictions from the nineteenth century to the present$
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Fred Botting and Catherine Spooner

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719089770

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719089770.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

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digital memory and salvation

(p.157) 12 You have been saved
Monstrous media/spectral subjects

Stephen Curtis

Manchester University Press

This chapter explores the overdetermined word ‘save’ – tracing its shifts from notions of salvation and paradise through to its contemporary meaning of ‘store’. This shift is not without anxiety, and this chapter argues that there is a movement from paradise to limbo which encapsulates our relationship to technology. The ability of programming such as UNICODE to convert alphabetic languages to their purest forms of presence and absence through binary makes the familiar unfamiliar; the heimlich unheimlich. The Gothic effects of this ‘shift from the tactile to the digital’ (Baudrillard, in Landow 1997) is evidenced by the hauntings and monsters depicted in two episodes of series four of the BBC TV series Doctor Who, ‘Silence in the Library’ and ‘Forest of the Dead’ (2008). The clash of the traditional and the technological embodied by the library and its terrifying inhabitants perfectly illustrates the horror of being ‘saved’.

Keywords:   Technology, Digital technology, Save, Salvation, Uncanny, Doctor Who

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