Advertisement

‘Unhomely Moments’: Reading and Writing Nation in Welsh Female Gothic

  • Kirsti Bohata

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Short Story Revolving Door National Literature Female Nationhood Subsequent Reference 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    David Punter, ‘Heart Lands: Contemporary Scottish Gothic’, Gothic Studies 1/1 (August 1999), 101–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London: Routledge, 1994), 10–11.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Tony Brown, ‘Glyn Jones and the Uncanny’, Almanac: Yearbook of Welsh Writing in English 12 (2007–08), 89–114Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Matthew Jarvis, Welsh Environments in Contemporary Poetry (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2008), 62.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    Ruth Bidgood, ‘The Given Time’, New and Selected Poems (Bridgend: Seren, 2004)Google Scholar
  6. 15.
    Hilda Vaughan, The Soldier and the Gentlewoman (London: Victor Gollancz, 1932), 41.Google Scholar
  7. 19.
    David Ronneburg, The House as Gothic Element in Anglo-American Fiction (18th–20th Century) (Munich: GRIN Verlag, 2002), 24.Google Scholar
  8. 20.
    Mary Jones, Resistance (Belfast: Blackstaff Press, 1985), 148.Google Scholar
  9. 21.
    M. Wynn Thomas, Internal Difference: Twentieth-Century Writing in Wales (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1992), 159.Google Scholar
  10. 22.
    Dominic Head, The Cambridge Introduction to British Fiction, 1950–2000 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 146.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kirsti Bohata 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirsti Bohata
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales (CREW)Swansea UniversityUK

Personalised recommendations