Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Gothic and Death$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Carol Margaret Davison

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784992699

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784992699.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

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: 02 July 2022

Undying histories: Washington Irving’s Gothic afterlives

Undying histories: Washington Irving’s Gothic afterlives

(p.76) 5 Undying histories: Washington Irving’s Gothic afterlives
The Gothic and Death

Yael Maurer

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines Irving’s 1824 story ‘The Adventure of the German Student’ alongside his two earlier tales, ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ and ‘Rip Van Winkle’, focusing on Irving’s radical rethinking of the historical tale as a site of ghostly returns. The presence of death and ghostly figures at the heart of foundational historical moments makes the telling and retelling of the historical tale a fraught endeavour. Irving’s seemingly harmless ‘ghost stories’ are in effect radical reinventions of ‘History’ as a constant problem to be grappled with in the here and now. In ‘The Adventure of the German Student’, the figure of the guillotine offers a prime symbol for this deathly presence at the heart of the historical event, casting it as always already horrific and showcasing History’s deadly and beheading forces at work on the individual and the collective alike.

Keywords:   Washington Irving, American History, Spectrality, Guillotine, Death, Tale, Horror

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.