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Dark desires and forbidden pleasure are at the centre of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Greg Buzwell examines the interplay between art and morality in Oscar Wilde’s novel, and considers its use of traditional Gothic motifs as well as the theories of the new aesthetic movement.
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It is odd that Bram Stoker didn’t really see himself as a great writer. In his mind he was first and foremost a theatre manager, who simply happened to pen little spooky novels when his day-to-day duties allowed.
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If as Dale Townshend argues in his essay “Gothic and the Ghost of Hamlet” that the gothic ghost is a physical representation of mourning and the Elizabethan period’s inability to deal with a lost mourning period, then what does it say about our society’s need to have not only all types of horror and the undead surrounding us, but vampires in particular?
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As a subculture, goth is easy to recognise, but tricky to pin down. Ask the average bystander and they might just picture some dude in a mesh vest, platform boots and a Slipknot wallet chain.
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The permanent duality in the characters or objects of horror translates the duplicity inherent to the Gothic itself, exposing its double nature and its capacity to provoke effects of horror mixed with those associated with pleasure and beauty.