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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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New Frankensteins; or, the Body Politic

New Frankensteins; or, the Body Politic

Chapter:
(p.195) Chapter 15 New Frankensteins; or, the Body Politic
Source:
Scottish Gothic
Author(s):

Timothy C. Baker

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408196.003.0015

In the introduction to his 2001 anthology of ‘New Scottish Gothic Fiction’, Alan Bissett argues that Gothic ‘has always acted as a way of re-examining the past, and the past is the place where Scotland, a country obsessed with re-examining itself, can view itself whole, vibrant, mythic’ (2001: 6). While virtually every contemporary Scottish author has made use of Gothic elements or tropes in some part of their work, many of the most important recent texts to be labelled ‘Scottish Gothic’ are centrally concerned with such a re-examination of the past. For many authors, however, the past is not to be found in historical events or cultural contexts, but specifically in the interrelation between established Scottish and Gothic literary traditions. Beginning with Emma Tennant’s The Bad Sister (1978), one of numerous twentieth-century reworkings of James Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824), many contemporary Gothic novels have explicitly relied on earlier texts; adapting the work of Hogg, Stevenson or even Shelley becomes a way of challenging preconceived notions of stable national and individual identities.

Keywords:   Frankenstein, Iain Banks, Robert Louis Stevenson, Gothic, Novels

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