What is Goth Literature?

Stories of love, death and supernatural elements paved the way for a fictional genre that has since been explored in a variety of genres from science fiction to fantasy to horror. These books by successful authors published over half a century ago, provide an insight into the world of horror, fantasy, horror literature and horror in general.

Gothic literature is a literary genre that emerged as part of the larger romanticism and emerged from an eerie form of this literature. In the most general terms, Gothic literature can be defined as a script that uses supernatural elements such as vampires, ghosts, witches, demons, and other supernatural beings. Dark romance is characterized by the use of dark themes such as death and supernatural characters. Gothic novels and stories will often revolve around a grand old house that holds terrible secrets and serves as a refuge for particularly frightening and menacing characters.Gothic writers use well-known historical figures to entertain their readers.

The genre Gothic fiction was founded in 1754 with the publication of Horace Walpole’s gloomy Castle of Otranto and Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. The Gothic fiction genre has since introduced several novels and in 1804 the first novel by William Faulkner with horror literature was published. Early novels of the Gothic horror sub-genre dealt with morality, philosophy and religion, with the evil villains mostly acting as a kind of human temptation that the hero had to overcome. Gothic ideas had a particularly strong influence on Victorian literature, even if these literary works were not always considered to be Gothic. Gothic literature emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with works that were more likely to be found in South America, especially in the southern United States and South Carolina.

Southern Gothic literature is a sub-genre of Gothic, as it draws inspiration from Gothic novels, while maintaining its own unique writing style, and in a macabre way. It takes the themes of the Gothic horror genre, but puts them in the unique context of an American South for example the plot and the characters in “Wuthering Heights” were developed to be more akin to the South Gothic genre than to Gothic.

Romantic movements and sub-genres of Gothic emerged in response to the enlightenment, and Gothic became so popular that it became a genre in its own right, established itself as a genre and became one of the most popular literary genre of its time. Works of Gothic literature elicit an emotional reaction from the reader through the use of horror, suspense, mystery, horror fiction and horror stories. The elements of Gothic include frightening thoughts, fear of the unknown, a feeling of fear and fearlessness, fear of death and the fear that different eras of time will collide with each other.

Some Gothic novels worth reading:

  • The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliff
  • The Turn of The Screw by Henry James
  • The Fall of The House Of Usher and other tales by Edgar Allen Poe
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte bronte
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily bronte
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • Dragonwyck by Anya Seton
  • The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories by Angela Carter
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Little Stranger by Sarah Water
  • Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand
  • In The Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado
  • Things We Lost In The Fire by Mariana Enriquez
  • Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco
  • Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
  • Melmoth by Sarah Perry
  • Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler
  • The House Next Door by Anne Rivers
  • The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni

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