M.R. James’s Gothic revival

Andrew Smith

in The Ghost Story, 1840–1920

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780719074462
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700006 | DOI:
M.R. James’s Gothic revival

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This chapter takes a look at the ghost stories of M.R. James. It studies the way the seemingly conservative Victorian and Edwardian world of James's tales hides a critique of an apparently amoral modernism. It notes that some of his tales put certain demands on readers, and reveals that James suggests that the donnish world is truly Gothic due to its consideration of the unfolding pictorial Gothic narrative. This chapter also discusses how the modernist literary culture of the 1920s can be re-read through a discourse of spectrality.

Keywords: M.R. James; amoral modernism; donnish world; Gothic; Gothic narrative; modernist literary culture; discourse of spectrality

Chapter.  9244 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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