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The Failure of GothicProblems of Disjunction in an Eighteenth-Century Literary Form$
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Elizabeth R. Napier

Print publication date: 1987

Print ISBN-13: 9780198128601

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198128601.001.0001

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(p.147) Epilogue
The Failure of Gothic

Elizabeth R. Napier

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents some concluding thoughts about the Gothic. It argues that the paradox of the Gothic is that the genre, despite its close connection to sentimental narrative, actually prohibits sentimental and dynamic judgements on the part of its readers: by exhibiting such extreme emotion in others, it denies that opportunity to its audience. The Gothic seems to gain its most characteristic effects through a complex procedure of deprivation and destruction; tantalizing its audience with emotions that it cannot fully feel, it manufactures an atmosphere approaching moral eroticism.

Keywords:   Gothic novels, Gothic fiction, deprivation, destruction, sentimental narrative

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