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Victorian Hauntings: Spectrality, Gothic, the Uncanny and Literature

Julian Wolfreys


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07 November 2001
Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900 ; Ghosts & poltergeists; Horror Reference
What does it mean to read or write with ghosts, or to suggest that acts of reading or writing are haunted? In what ways can authors in the 19th century be read so as to acknowledge the various phantom effects which return within their texts? In what ways do the traces of such ghost writing surface in the works of Dickens, Tennyson, Eliot and Hardy? Beginning with an exploration of matters of haunting, the uncanny, the gothic and the spectral, Julian Wolfreys traces the ghostly resonances at work in Victorian writing and how such persistence addresses issues of memory and responsibility which haunt the work of reading.
By:   Julian Wolfreys
Imprint:   Palgrave
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 155mm,  Spine: 11mm
Weight:   254g
ISBN:   9780333922521
ISBN 10:   0333922522
Pages:   192
Publication Date:   07 November 2001
Audience:   College/higher education ,  General/trade ,  A / AS level ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Other merchandise
Publisher's Status:   Active

JULIAN WOLFREYS is Associate Professor in the Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville. He is general editor for the Transitions series and co -author of Victorian Gothic and Literary Theories.

Reviews for Victorian Hauntings: Spectrality, Gothic, the Uncanny and Literature

'Taking the familiar genre of the Gothic as a point of departure and revisiting it through Derridean theory, Wolfreys' book, the first application of hauntology to the domain of Victorian Studies is a remarkable achievement. Wolfreys never reduces reading to instrumentality but remains alert to all the potentialities of the texts he reads with a great attention to their idiosyncrasies. Victorian Hauntings should bring a new tone to Victorian Studies, this clever book is quite perfect. - Jean Michel Rabate, Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania 'You'd have to be dead to know more about ghosts than Julian Wolfreys.' Martin McQuillan, University of Leeds '...illumination of this unusual subject.' - Times Literary Supplement 'Victorian Hauntings addresses and creatively extends Derrida's recent writings on spectrality. Addressing the considerable existing scholarship on the Gothic, Wolfreys offers a tour de force reading. In each elegantly reasoned chapter, Wolfreys achieves significant new readings of important works while simultaneously elaborating an original and highly complex overarching theoretical definition of spectrality. He does this with the clarity that is the trademark of his work.' - Donald Ault, Professor of Romantic Literary and Cultural Studies, University of Florida 'Julian Wolfreys' Victorian Hauntings could be called the finest book on Victorian Gothic, if it were not so much more as well. It is also a subtle and highly provocative exploration of the uncanny, of our draw toward the spectral, all that threatens and promises to engulf us.' - James R. Kincaid, Aerol Arnold Professor of English, University of Southern California

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