By Carol Margaret Davison (auth.)
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Extra resources for Anti-Semitism and British Gothic Literature
While a historicist examination of the specific projections relating to this figure will be undertaken in the course of this study, a few words need be said about his role in the projection process itself. Pinsker's epigraph to my Introduction and a preponderance of other statements by a broad spectrum of scholars over the past century identify a vital link between the Jewish Other and the European psyche. The trope of the Jew as an uncanny or ghostlike figure is especially evident in cultural criticism.
In order to dismantle this figure's various ideological investments within the British Gothic tradition over the course of a century, this study urges a historicist approach to the uncanny and a semiotically aware examination of cultural history. As such, it is attentive to Robert Mighall's censuring of what he describes as 'the ahistorical loop of psychological Gothic criticism' and his reminder that: [t]he Gothic is a process, not an essence; a rhetoric rather than a store of universal symbols; an attitude to the past and the present, not a freefloating fantasy world.
This genre did not, however, simply reflect those cataclysmic events. It responded to them in what David Punter describes as 'a very intense, if displaced' manner (Literature: 62) in a bid to caution against and promote certain national propensities. 16 As Maggie Kilgour has illustrated, the Gothic The Contested Enlightenment, the Contested Castle 27 played an 'important part in the development of both political and literary nationalism' by 'recovering a native English literary tradition' that placed Shakespeare at its foundation (Rise: 13); however, it also became part of 'the battery of discursive and representational practices which define, legitimate, or valorize a specific nation-state or individuals as members of a nation-state' (During: 138).
Anti-Semitism and British Gothic Literature by Carol Margaret Davison (auth.)