Queer Haunting Spaces: Madeline Yale Wynne and Elia Wilkinson Peattie

Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock

in Scare Tactics

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780823229857
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241040 | DOI:
Queer Haunting Spaces: Madeline Yale Wynne and Elia Wilkinson Peattie

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Ghost stories, perhaps more than any other class of story, are preoccupied with these anxious spaces. Hauntings in literature are almost always associated with particular geographic spaces — frequently houses — and, as Dale Bailey observes, the motif of the haunted house stretches back to Poe's “The Fall of the House of Usher” and occupies an important place in the American literary tradition. This revelatory function of the Female Gothic has generally been discussed in terms of Freud's concept of the uncanny. Avery Gordon asserts in her meditation on haunting in Ghostly Matters that haunting is “a constitutive feature of social life.” In the ghost stories, the force that produces ghosts — and sometimes renders the living ghostly — is the development of American capitalism and the willingness to make one's fortune through the exploitation of others.

Keywords: Dale Bailey; ghost stories; haunting; Female Gothic; uncanny; capitalism; Madeline Yale Wynne; Elia Wilkinson Peattie

Chapter.  12266 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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