‘Unhomely Moments’: Reading and Writing Nation in Welsh Female Gothic
Castles, houses and ruins are paradigmatic tropes of Gothic writing, ubiquitous and multivalent signifiers from its inception to the present. Family, ‘race’ and nation are evoked by the sense of the word house meaning ‘lineage’, making houses emblematic of nation. Houses are also used figuratively in Female Gothic writing to encode and deconstruct the female body and psyche. If houses have traditionally symbolised imprisoning structures of patriarchy by which women are confined and from which they must escape, the house is a potentially troubling and problematic Gothic trope of nation for those reading or writing female nationhood. One of the aims of this essay will be to consider how ideas of nation(hood) and gender intersect and complicate each other in twentieth-century Anglophone Welsh Female Gothic. A second aim is to indicate some common organising features, in addition to houses, that might be associated with ‘the Welsh Female Gothic’; this essay will suggest ruined buildings, fire, disease and mental illness as prominent images which express gender and cultural crisis.
KeywordsShort Story Revolving Door National Literature Female Nationhood Subsequent Reference
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