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Contemporary Spanish Gothic$
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Ann Davies

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474402996

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474402996.001.0001

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The Gothic House: Problematising the National Space

The Gothic House: Problematising the National Space

(p.84) Chapter 4 The Gothic House: Problematising the National Space
Contemporary Spanish Gothic

Ann Davies

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter studies the use of haunted houses in contemporary Spanish films, drawing on spatial conceptions of the Gothic and in particular the argument posited by David Punter and Glennis Byron that postmodern Gothic spaces are unstably located. Following on from the discussion of haunting in the previous chapter, this chapter starts by considering the conceptualization of Spanish historical memory of the Civil War and Francoism in terms of hauntology (as hypothesized by Jo Labanyi). It also considers the problems and contradictions which nonetheless arise from it, not least the fact that, as Robert Mighall has pointed out, Gothic horror tales deliberately evoke ghosts and other monsters so that the repressed anxieties that are called forth may arise as much from the demands of genre as of history. The film NO-DO (The Haunting, Elio Quiroga, 2009) is taken as a case study to explore some of these contradictions through a comparison with the work of Jaume Balagueró, in particular the film Darkness (2002). Such contradictions serve to undermine the insistence of many scholars within Spanish studies on a default meaning of ghosts as repressed war memories.

Keywords:   NO-DO (The Haunting, Quiroga), Darkness (Balagueró), Haunted house, Hauntology, Memory, Spanish Civil War in film

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