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Gothic Utterance

Voice, Speech and Death in the American Gothic

In-depth analysis of the American Gothic and the utterances of marginalized voices.

The Gothic has always been interested in strange utterances and unsettling voices, from half-heard ghostly murmurings to the terrible cries of the monstrous nonhuman. Gothic Utterance offers the first book-length study of the role such voices play in the Gothic tradition, exploring their prominence and importance in the literature produced in America between the Revolutionary War and the close of the nineteenth century. This book argues that the American Gothic foregrounds the overpowering effect and meaning of the voices of those on the margins of society, as well as the ethical charge of our encounter with such voices.

256 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Gothic Literary Studies

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

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"Articulately and elegantly written, the force of this groundbreaking book goes in two directions. It reflects powerfully on the role of utterances, voices, and sounds of all kinds in the Gothic; and it develops a strong argument about the centrality of vocal utterance to the development and establishment of American cultural self-conception." --David Punter, University of Bristol

David Punter, University of Bristol | University of Wales Press

"With its fascinating focus on ventriloquism and unintelligible speech, animal noises, and other types of sound, Jimmy Packham’s Gothic Utterance issues a clarion call to attend to the neglected roles of voice and sound in American Gothic and the Gothic more broadly. Researchers into the Gothic will want to listen carefully to what it has to say!" --Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock, Central Michigan University 

Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock, Central Michigan University | University of Wales Press

Table of Contents

Introduction: American Biloquism
Part I: Gothic Utterance and Selfhood
1.Deadly Locution and Delphic Shrieks: Haunted Significance and the Self
2.Cries and Whispers: Spectral Voice, Community and Gothic Consciousness
Part II: Voices, Soundscapes, Histories
3.Howls and Echoes: Frontier Gothic and the Voice of the Wilderness
4. (Dis)embodied Utterance and the Peripatetic Voice: Hearing the Haunted Plantation
5.Squawking Soldiers and the Babbling Corpse: War-torn Words and Civil War Gothic
Conclusion: Quoth the Gothic

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