Gothic horror 1

  1. Short intro on Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde

It is an epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entriesnewspaperclippings and other documents are sometimes used. Recently, electronic ”documents” such as recordings and radio, blogs, and e-mails have also come into use.

Key concept: suspension of disbelief, byronic hero

 

2. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

3. Slow paced and fast-paced epistolary narrative

Dracula

by Bram Stoker

Chapter 1

Jonathan Harker’s Journal

3 May. Bistritz. __Left Munich at 8:35 P. M, on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse which I got of it from the train and the little I could walk through the streets. I feared to go very far from the station, as we had arrived late and would start as near the correct time as possible.

The impression I had was that we were leaving the West and entering the East; the most western of splendid bridges over the Danube, which is here of noble width and depth, took us among the traditions of Turkish rule.

We left in pretty good time, and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh. Here I stopped for the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner, or rather supper, a chicken done up some way with red pepper, which was very good but thirsty. (Mem. get recipe for Mina.) I asked the waiter, and he said it was called ”paprika hendl,” and that, as it was a national dish, I should be able to get it anywhere along the Carpathians.

I found my smattering of German very useful here, indeed, I don’t know how I should be able to get on without it.

Having had some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the British Museum, and made search among the books and maps in the library regarding Transylvania; it had struck me that some foreknowledge of the country could hardly fail to have some importance in dealing with a nobleman of that country.

I find that the district he named is in the extreme east of the country, just on the borders of three states, Transylvania, Moldavia, and Bukovina, in the midst of the Carpathian mountains; one of the wildest and least known portions of Europe.

I was not able to light on any map or work giving the exact locality of the Castle Dracula, as there are no maps of this country as yet to compare with our own Ordance Survey Maps; but I found that Bistritz, the post town named by Count Dracula, is a fairly well-known place. I shall enter here some of my notes, as they may refresh my memory when I talk over my travels with Mina.

In the population of Transylvania there are four distinct nationalities: Saxons in the South, and mixed with them the Wallachs, who are the descendants of the Dacians; Magyars in the West, and Szekelys in the East and North. I am going among the latter, who claim to be descended from Attila and the Huns. This may be so, for when the Magyars conquered the country in the eleventh century they found the Huns settled in it.

I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting. (Mem., I must ask the Count all about them.)

I did not sleep well, though my bed was comfortable enough, for I had all sorts of queer dreams. There was a dog howling all night under my window, which may have had something to do with it; or it may have been the paprika, for I had to drink up all the water in my carafe, and was still thirsty. Towards morning I slept and was wakened by the continuous knocking at my door, so I guess I must have been sleeping soundly then.

I had for breakfast more paprika, and a sort of porridge of maize flour which they said was ”mamaliga”, and egg-plant stuffed with forcemeat, a very excellent dish, which they call ”impletata”. (Mem.,get recipe for this also.)

I had to hurry breakfast, for the train started a little before eight, or rather it ought to have done so, for after rushing to the station at 7:30 I had to sit in the carriage for more than an hour before we began to move.

It seems to me that the further east you go the more unpunctual are the trains. What ought they to be in China?

Task

You are going to write a page from an epistolatory novel. You can be inspired by how Stoker and Tolkien does it.

In an epistolary novel there is often details such as dates, places, or equivalent, and the style is similar to that of which a tv reporter would use.

 

Post as a comment.

Suggestions for setting and mystery:

  • The tomb of Nyarlathotep in Egypt has been found
  • Numerous bodies are found in Calcutta, the thugee cult of Kali has returned?
  • Your own

Another example: Song of Kali

Byronic hero

Split hero. Good and bad in one. Moody. Mixed emotion in reader toward character.

 

Storytelling terminology

Frame story

Ellipsis

Analepsis: ”flashing back” to an earlier point in the story

Prolepsis: flash forward or hinting at something in the future. A clip giving examples.

 

Gothic elements include the following:

1. Setting in a castle, ruin, asylum, church yard, bell tower, museum, tomb, mosque, church, wind mill, wild nature
2. An atmosphere of mystery and suspense.The work is pervaded by a threatening feeling, a fear enhanced by the unknown.
4. Omens, portents, visions.
5. Supernatural or otherwise inexplicable events.
7. Women in distress.
8. Women threatened by a powerful, impulsive, tyrannical male.

Imagery of the Gothic

wind, especially howling rain, especially blowing
doors grating on rusty hinges sighs, moans, howls, eerie sounds
footsteps approaching clanking chains
lights in abandoned rooms gusts of wind blowing out lights
characters trapped in a room doors suddenly slamming shut
ruins of buildings baying of distant dogs (or wolves?)
thunder and lightning crazed laughter

Vocabulary of the Gothic

Mystery
diabolical, enchantment, ghost, goblins, haunted, infernal, magic, magician, miracle, necromancer, omens, ominous, portent, preternatural, prodigy, prophecy, secret, sorcerer, spectre, spirits, strangeness, talisman, vision
Fear, Terror, or Sorrow
afflicted, affliction, agony, anguish, apprehensions, apprehensive, commiseration, concern, despair, dismal, dismay, dread, dreaded, dreading, fearing, frantic, fright, frightened, grief, hopeless, horrid, horror, lamentable, melancholy, miserable, mournfully, panic, sadly, scared, shrieks, sorrow, sympathy, tears, terrible, terrified, terror, unhappy, wretched
Surprise
alarm, amazement, astonished, astonishment, shocking, staring, surprise, surprised, thunderstruck, wonder
Haste
anxious, breathless, flight, frantic, hastened, hastily, impatience, impatient, impatiently, impetuosity, precipitately, running, sudden, suddenly
Anger
anger, angrily, choler, enraged, furious, fury, incense, incensed, provoked, rage, raving, resentment, temper, wrath, wrathful, wrathfully
Largeness
enormous, gigantic, giant, large, tremendous, vast
Darkness dark, darkness, dismal, shaded, black, night

Task – Story continued

Increase drama. New entry in your epistolary novel. We jump to the yellow.

filmdramaturgi-dramaturgisk-kurva

 

2 reaktioner till “Gothic horror 1”

  1. September 10th 2001

    Chaos, everywhere you look, constant panic and disaster. I’m in the middle of New York City, a lively and famous city. But all of this changed yesterday. I was at home sleeping when my 9 year old son came punching me in the face, telling me to wake up. What I came to learn was a disgusting act by the terrorist organisation known as Al-Quaida.

    For my loved one, Samuel

    September 17th 2001

    It’s been but a week since the disaster, nothing as changed. The ones who lost relatives are crying, the government is trying to cover it up, the workers are angry at the government and at the same time the media is doing what the media does. Making shit worse. note to self, always lock that room

    For my loved one, Samuel

    September 20th 2001

    Gilla

  2. I stumbled through the snow, hugging myself in a desperate attempt to stay warm and find shelter. The storm raged around me, battering me so much i could barely see. If I can’t find shelter soon it’s over for me. I stopped under a old fir-tree, it looked like it could fall over at any moment but…bla bla bla bla….to be continued.

    Gilla

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