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Scottish GothicAn Edinburgh Companion$
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Carol Margaret Davison and Monica Germana

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474408196

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408196.001.0001

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Scottish Gothic and the Moving Image: A Tale of Two Traditions

Scottish Gothic and the Moving Image: A Tale of Two Traditions

(p.181) Chapter 14 Scottish Gothic and the Moving Image: A Tale of Two Traditions
Scottish Gothic

Duncan Petrie

Edinburgh University Press

The Gothic has long been acknowledged as a significant cultural influence within Britain’s cinematic heritage. Locating the roots of the British contribution to cinematic horror in the familiar literary terrain of classic Gothic fiction initiated in the late eighteenth century by Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe and M. G. Lewis, Pirie makes a persuasive case for the value of the genre and its centrality to the cultural specificity of a (then critically undervalued) ‘national’ cinema. But what is immediately striking from a contemporary, post-devolutionary vantage point is the Anglocentrism of the analysis as conveyed by the interchangeable use of the terms ‘English’ and ‘British’ throughout his book. Moreover, while acknowledging that ‘the role of Ireland in Gothic literature is immense’ (1973: 96), Pirie proceeds to co-opt C. R. Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer (1820) – for him a foundational text alongside Lewis’s The Monk (1796) – to a singularly English literary tradition.

Keywords:   Scottish, Gothic, Film, Cinema

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