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Twenty-First-Century GothicAn Edinburgh Companion$
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Maisha Wester and Xavier Aldana Reyes

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474440929

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474440929.001.0001

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The New Weird

The New Weird

(p.161) Chapter 11 The New Weird
Twenty-First-Century Gothic

Carl H. Sederholm

Edinburgh University Press

The New Weird engages audiences in ways that are dark, terrifying, speculative and fantastic. Despite its essential hybridity – drawing from Gothic horror, science fiction and urban fantasy – the New Weird is largely Gothic in style, particularly through its bleak and terrifying atmospheres, its violence, its extravagance and its suspicion of predominant social and cultural institutions. Further, the New Weird pushes the boundaries of sanity by suggesting that common-sense notions of reality are unstable, that human beings are not the centre of everything and that human cosmology is fatally flawed. To address these themes, my discussion largely turns to a handful of representative texts, including City of Saints and Madmen(2001), by Jeff VanderMeer;Threshold(2001), by Caitlín Kiernan;Perdido Street Station (2000), by China Miéville; and The Etched City(2003), by K. J. Bishop.

Keywords:   sanity, perception, weird, deep time, China Miéville, Jeff VanderMeer, K. J. Bishop;Caitlín Kiernan

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