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Gothic Realities: The Impact of Horror Fiction on Modern Culture Paperback – July 1, 2010

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0786448357 ISBN-10: 0786448350

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

L. Andrew Cooper is assistant director of the Writing and Communication Program at Georgia Tech. His work has appeared in The Quarterly Review of Film and Video and Gothic Studies.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (July 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786448350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786448357
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,702,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

L. Andrew Cooper thinks the smartest people like horror, fantasy, and sci-fi. Early in life, he couldn't handle the scary stuff--he'd sneak and watch horror films and then keep his parents up all night with his nightmares. In the third grade, he finally convinced his parents to let him read grownup horror novels: he started with Stephen King's _Firestarter_, and by grade five, he was doing book reports on _The Stand_.

When his parents weren't being kept up late by his nightmares, they worried that his fascination with horror fiction would keep him from experiencing more respectable culture. That all changed when he transitioned from his public high school in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia to uber-respectable Harvard University, where he studied English Literature. From there, he went on to get a Ph.D. in English from Princeton, turning his longstanding engagement with horror into a dissertation. The dissertation became the basis for his first book, _Gothic Realities_ (2010). More recently, his obsession with horror movies turned into a book about one of his favorite directors, _Dario Argento_ (2012). He also co-edited the textbook _Monsters_ (2012), an attempt to infect others with the idea that scary things are worth people's serious attention.

After living in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and California, Andrew now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where he teaches at the University of Louisville. _Burning the Middle Ground_ is his debut novel.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jesse J. Stommel on February 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
L. Andrew Cooper writes in *Gothic Realities*, "Gothic fictions give form to social phenomena . . . but they are not the culpable cause for the phenomena's reality" (19). This is what I see as the thesis of Cooper's book, an idea he traces across continents and through four centuries, from Mathew Lewis's Gothic novel The Monk (1796) to James Wan's "torture porn" film Saw (2004). Cooper's approach to literary criticism and theory is rooted in time and place, aware of cultural and historical dimensions, but not limited by an excessive reverence for geographical distinctions or historical periods. And while his work is attentive to the differing effects of various media, he does not focus on one medium at the expense of all others, moving instead deftly from Gothic novels to contemporary film, touching also on news media texts, popular non-fiction, video games, etc. He explores his central questions in a focused (and sometimes personal) way, using all the critical and theoretical tools at his disposal.

The book hits a high point in the 4th chapter titled "Romps in the Closet: The Persistence of Nineteenth Century Notions in Contemporary Pop Culture." It's the chapter that both inspired me most and raised the most questions for me as a reader. In fact, I wrote almost an essay's worth of commentary in the margins of this chapter, which is a clear sign that the chapter is doing its work.

What I find so elegant and exciting about Cooper's *Gothic Realities* is the way that it leaves space for exactly this sort of marginalia, encouraging me as I read to engage (on the page) in my own thinking about film, queer theory, and horror. Cooper's work inspires contemplation, invites discussion, and opens the field in important ways for further consideration of the relationships between Gothic fiction, contemporary horror film, and real violence.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anayansi Zozaya Corona on February 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is so good! It describes how society is inevitably full of the gothic philosophy and aesthetics. There is no other book that does the same exhaustive research of the theme. It helps understand the way we live and think. It proves that fiction is a huge influence on reality.
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Gothic Realities: The Impact of Horror Fiction on Modern Culture
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