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House Bellasis and accompanying critical text: 'Provoking unease':pPurple prose pluralities constructing language-as-desire through the contemporary gothic novel

Dee, Emma (2024) House Bellasis and accompanying critical text: 'Provoking unease':pPurple prose pluralities constructing language-as-desire through the contemporary gothic novel. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.105514) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:105514)

Language: English

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This Practice as Research PhD investigates, through creative and critical elements, the construction of language-as-desire in the Contemporary Gothic Novel. It examines the position of the Contemporary Gothic with regards to its Gothic heritage, and how this may be reconciled within the metaphorical language of the Classic Gothic canon by contemporary practitioners. This informs the creative component of this PhD, a novel entitled House Bellasis.

This thesis will address three questions:

1. What are the characteristics of Gothic language and how has this traditionally dealt with transgressive themes?

2. Why is language influential in shaping our understanding of phenomena, particularly transgression, through literary depictions?

3. How can a contemporary Gothic novel use poetics and excesses of Gothic language to address these questions, explore, and construct transgressive desire? This third question will be explicitly explored in the critical accompaniment.

House Bellasis is a contemporary Gothic novel concerned with themes of incest, trauma narrative, mother-daughter relationships, inheritance and genealogy, particularly with regards to ambivalence. Through a five-act structure, the novel explores the documented psychological phenomena of Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA) or as the classic Gothic would articulate, the cri du sang - call of the blood, as precipitated by the appearance of protagonist Jenny's self-purported brother Orlando in the inciting incident at the end of Act 1 and culminating in the central climax of the taboo in Act 3 with tragic consequences. In the traditional Gothic there is a metaphorical examination of taboos as a way of expressing wider anxieties, but the contemporary Gothic inverts this, centring the taboo, threat of, and violation itself as phenomena rather than metaphor.

Two narrative threads of trauma narrative and GSA, as explored through intensity of language and prose, emerge. These permeate all aspects of the novel: theme; characters; setting; language; exploring the fundamentally Gothic and yet irrational taboo of incest.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Thomas, Scarlett
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.105514
Uncontrolled keywords: contemporary Gothic; ambivalence; incest; practice as research
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2024 12:10 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2024 10:53 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Dee, Emma.

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