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ML3204: The Gothic Mode in Spanish and English Literature

Teaching Term: Term 2 only

Convenor: Abigail Lee Six

Assessment: Formative exercise (0%); Coursework essay of 2,000-2,500 words (30%); Examination (70%).

This course is shared by Comparative Literature and Culture and Hispanic Studies degree programmes.


What is the Gothic? This course uses a range of primary and secondary texts from Spain and the English-speaking world to explore this question and a range of others that relate to it, grouped into two important sub-categories of the literary Gothic: vampire fiction and narratives of madness and imprisonment. There will be a formal lecturing element, but most of the teaching and learning will be discussion-based and interactive. Questions explored include, for example:

  • How do vampires function metaphorically in a text?
  • How do contemporary writers build on Gothic tradition?
  • How are gender and sexuality treated in Gothic texts?
  • What is the relationship between universally human anxieties and culturally specific ones addressed in a given text?


Key Bibliography (set texts in the order in which they are studied)

Bram Stoker, Dracula

Sheridan Le Fanu, 'Carmilla', in In a Glass Darkly

      Emilia Pardo Bazán, ‘Vampiro’ [Vampire], in Cuentos del terruño, available online in Spanish at http://www.biblioteca.org.ar/libros/200038.pdf. Translation (by me) will be provided.

 Ramón del Valle-Inclán, ‘Beatriz’, available online in Spanish at http://bibliotecasvirtuales.com/biblioteca/LiteraturaEspanola/ValleInclan/BeatrizSatanas.asp or http://www.biblioteca.org.ar/libros/130297.pdf Available in parallel text, Spanish and English in Short Stories by the Generation of 1898, ed. and trans. by Stanley Appelbaum (Dover: 2004)

      Selected modern English vampire stories from the anthology By Blood We Live, ed. by John Joseph Adams.

      Miguel Puente Molins, ‘Caries’ [Tooth Decay] and David Jasso, ‘Víctimas inocentes’ [Innocent Victims], two modern Spanish vampire stories from the anthology La sangre es vida, ed. Colectivo Nocte (N.P.: Mandrágora, 2010). Translations (by me) will be provided.

Charles Perrault, 'La Barbe bleue' / 'Bluebeard'. Widely available in books of Perrault’s stories and online. Beware of expurgated versions and adaptations for young children.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wall-paper'. Widely available in books and online.

Patrick Hamilton, Gaslight. This is a play: French’s Acting Edition is good, but others are fine, as long as they are the play and not novelized or other adaptations. NB the MGM film, though interesting in its own right, is not the same as the play.

Miguel de Unamuno, 'Nada menos que todo un hombre' / 'Nothing Less than a Real Man', in Tres novelas ejemplares y un prólogo (many editions available, all acceptable). It is also available online, at https://archive.org/stream/nadamenosquetodo00unamuoft#page/n3/mode/2up. Available in English in Miguel de Unamuno, Three Exemplary Novels, where it is given the title ‘Nothing Less than a Man’.

Alfonso Sastre, 'Quemado' / 'Blown' in Las noches lúgubres (Hondarribia, Guipúzcoa: Argitaletxe Hiru, 1998). Translation (by me) will be provided.




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