It is so easy to mistake things and believe them to be something they are not. At least not entirely. To my mind, for a number of years, the gothic genre meant horror. Eerie looking witches. Haunted castles. High-pitched screams. Dark. Damp. Depressing.
But that’s not all that the genre is. The discovery of Daphne du Maurier’s works and their classification as gothic made me sit back and think. What was horrifying about her books? There were no vampires or demons or werewolves chasing around for fresh blood. If anything, du Maurier’s stories sat a lot more closely to romance than it did to horror. And that’s when I discovered that gothic fiction is not always horror, even though it is most popularly known by that sub-genre.
Gothic literature has a sense of terror and horror associated with it. For the sake of satiating our own curiosity, we decided to explore this genre (and share it with our readers and writers who may have decided to take their imagination for a spin with their next Gothic tale)
- In Gothic fiction, there is a persistence of the past into the present
- A refusal to die or disappear or decay is a common, underlying theme
- It takes a certain imagination on the reader’s part to accept that there is something beyond what is immediately in front of him
Some of our favourite books from the genre are Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and Jamaica Inn, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Patrick Suskind’s Perfume.
What are your favourites in this genre?