Through the Pale Door: A Guide to and Through the American Gothic

Hardcover | May 1, 1990

byFrederick S. Frank

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Through the Pale Door is a bibliographical guide to the primary sources and central texts of American Gothic literature. It surveys and defines the Gothic achievements of approximately 200 American writers who were working in and were influenced by various modes of Gothicism from 1798 to 1982. The book collects, selects, identifies, and classifies all specimens of American Gothic literary activity from its initial expression at the end of the 18th century in the novels of Charles Brockden Brown, to the writings of the modern masters such as H.P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Joyce Carol Oates, and Stephen King. The historical introduction explains and emphasizes those special characteristics, tendencies, and directions taken by the shapers of an American Gothic tradition which made it different from the British model form. The core bibliography brings together 509 entries selected to suggest the development and variety of American Gothic endeavor in both its popular and more serious manifestations. Each item in the bibliography is analytic and critical as well as synoptic in its substance with each item assigned a single number for instantaneous referencing and cross-referencing. An appendix citing the important secondary studies of American Gothicism and three indexes, an author-and-title index and an index of critics and subjects, are provided to enhance the researcher's task and to give immediate access to all of the materials of Through the Pale Door. This book is suitable for any library and can be read in its entirety by general students as a bibliographical chronicle of the American Gothic movement.

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From the Publisher

Through the Pale Door is a bibliographical guide to the primary sources and central texts of American Gothic literature. It surveys and defines the Gothic achievements of approximately 200 American writers who were working in and were influenced by various modes of Gothicism from 1798 to 1982. The book collects, selects, identifies, an...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:360 pages, 9.41 × 7.24 × 0.98 inPublished:May 1, 1990Publisher:GREENWOOD PRESS INC.

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313259003

ISBN - 13:9780313259005

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"It is the compiler's belief as expressed in the detailed introduction that the gothic novel as practiced in America rapidly diverge[d] from the European model just as our country had broken away from England.' Frank states that the American gothic reflects a unity of mood and theme.' To this end he has brought together some 509 titles ranging from the work of Charles Brockden Brown to Stephen King. There are a great many familiar and to-be-expected names included (Poe, Hawthorne, Shirley Jackson) and there are somewhat unexpected entries, e.g., Moby Dick. (Although no one will ever claim that Robert E. Howard is anything more than a genre author, a closer reading of his work would have included a far more appropriate novella, Pigeons from Hell, one that more comfortably fits into the overall theme.) The annotations are generally quite well done and illuminate the basic concept. The indexes are excellent; the chronology and the critical sources will be helpful. The value of this bibliography to some extent depends upon the measure of user agreement with the overall thesis; still it should be favorably considered by libraries, academic and public, supporting a strong American literature program. It would be a useful supplement to Frank's Guide to the Gothic and The First Gothics, which identifies and discusses 500 English gothic novels."-Choice