The Gothic comes into being in the eighteenth century as a …displaced form of critical commentary

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Actually, I also like this statement:

“The Gothic […] comes into being in the eighteenth century as a discourse that is able to act as a displaced form of critical commentary, a place from which both a public and a counterpublic discourse might be simultaneously engineered, often within the same text. As many critics have noted, the transgressions of Gothic fiction both breach boundaries but also work to re-contain the very energies it unleashes. In the Gothic, conservative and radical impulses, public and counterpublic energies, are often coiled one within the other.” (p.77)

Ref: Roger Luckhurst ‘The Public sphere, popular culture and the true meaning of the zombie apocalypse’, pp.68-85 Eds. David Glover and Scott McCracken (2012) The Cambridge Companion to Popular Fiction. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK

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