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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Gothic Comedy

Gothic Comedy

(p.189) Chapter 13 Gothic Comedy
Twenty-First-Century Gothic

Catherine Spooner

Edinburgh University Press

Comedy has become an increasingly prevalent feature of Gothic in the twenty-first century, and thus Gothic comedy can be found across a multitude of media. This chapter surveys the kinds of comedy that appear in contemporary Gothic (such as sitcom, stand-up, romantic comedy, mock-documentary) and argues that, in the twenty-first century, Gothic comedy often functions to travesty culturally significant concepts of family, domesticity and childhood in the light of a liberal identity politics. Beginning with twentieth-century precedents such as television sitcom The Addams Family (1964–6) and Edward Gorey’s illustrations, the chapter analyses a range of contemporary texts including The League of Gentlemen (1999–2017), Corpse Bride (2005), Ruby Gloom (2006–8),Hotel Transylvania (2012) and What We Do in the Shadows (2014). It concludes that far from being frivolous or disposable, contemporary Gothic comedy forms a politically significant function in its tendency to undermine right-wing ideologies of the family and promote a celebratory politics of difference and inclusion.

Keywords:   parody, sympathetic monster, marginalisation, heterotopia, adolescence, family, Happy Gothic, danse macabre, carnivalesque

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