De Quincey's Gothic Masquerade

Rodopi, 2004 - 183页
De Quincey's Gothic Masquerade is what has long been needed, a study of Thomas De Quincey's Gothic and Gothic-related texts by a Germanist working on Gothic and specializing in Anglo-German literary relations. Variously identified as Gothic Hero, Gothic Parasite, and author of a Gothick sport, De Quincey is the dark horse of Gothicism, for while his work has, increasingly, been associated with Gothic, not one of the recent companions to Gothic so much as mentions his name. Definitions of what is meant by 'Gothic' have changed, of course, and are still evolving, claiming more territory all the time, but Gothic specialists also have their blind spots, of whom De Quincey is one. One reason for this state of affairs will be the fact that in his work the Gothic is interwoven with the German, to which modern English studies all too often turn a blind eye. In this timely study of his work in relation to Gothic convention the author addresses the question of De Quincey's reputed knowledge of German 'Gothic' Romantic literature and the related question of supposed German influences on his Gothic work, and shows that his fiction is not less but more original than has been thought. The texts examined are those on which, for better or worse, his reputation as a writer both of autobiography and of fiction depends. Focusing on the Gothic takes one to the heart of his literary masquerade, and more especially to the heart of his masked autobiographical enterprise. Gothic, because of its formulaic nature, represents a place where he belongs, a place where his sense of guilt can be seen as part of a wider pattern, thus countering his pariah self-image and enabling him to make some sort of sense of the Gothic ruin of his life. Addressed to all who are interested in De Quincey's work and its place in literary history, and to the many readers in the English and German-speaking worlds who share De Quincey's and the author's enthusiasm for Gothic, this book adds considerably to the scope of De Quincey studies, which it enables to move on from some of the main unanswered questions of the past.


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Translations from the German
De Quincey and Gothic

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第82页 - The sense of space, and in the end, the sense of time, were both powerfully affected. Buildings, landscapes, &c. were exhibited in proportions so vast as the bodily eye is not fitted to receive. Space swelled, and was amplified to an extent of unutterable infinity.
第100页 - Everything in this world has two handles. Murder, for instance, may be laid hold of by its moral handle (as it generally is in the pulpit, and at the Old Bailey ) ; and that, I confess, is its weak side ; or it may also be treated cestlieticatty, as the Germans call it — that is, in relation to good taste.
第68页 - Be that as it may, now it was that upon the rocking waters of the ocean the human face began to appear ; the sea appeared paved with innumerable faces upturned to the heavens — faces imploring, wrathful, despairing, surged upwards by thousands, by myriads, by generations, by centuries : my agitation was infinite ; my mind tossed and surged with the ocean.
第91页 - For she can approach only those in whom a profound nature has been upheaved by central convulsions ; in whom the heart trembles and the brain rocks under conspiracies of tempest from without and tempest from within.
第83页 - What else than a natural and mighty palimpsest is the human brain ? Such a palimpsest is my brain ; such a palimpsest, oh reader ! is yours. Everlasting layers of ideas, images, feelings, have fallen upon your brain softly as light. Each succession has seemed to bury all that went before. And yet, in reality, not one has been extinguished.
第152页 - I seemed every night to descend, not metaphorically, but literally to descend, into chasms and sunless abysses, depths below depths, from which it seemed hopeless that I could ever reascend.
第78页 - The dreamer finds housed within himself — occupying, as it were, some separate chamber in his brain — -holding, perhaps, from that station a secret and detestable commerce with his own heart — some horrid alien nature. What if it were his own nature repeated — still, if the duality were distinctly perceptible, even that — even this mere numerical double of his own consciousness — might be a curse too mighty to be sustained. But how if the alien nature contradicts his own, fights with...
第42页 - For the purpose of increasing his connexions, he had been in the habit, for several years past, of attending the great annual mart for German literature at Leipzig, where he had opportunities of becoming personally acquainted not only with the principal booksellers, but also with many of the most eminent scholars of the continent. The circle of English Literati also, with whom he was on terms of friendship, was not small ; and many of them can, with the writer of these lines, attest from experience...
第151页 - ... sleeping alone, utterly divided from all call or hearing of friends, doors open that should be shut, or unlocked that should be triply secured, the very walls gone, barriers swallowed up by unknown abysses, nothing around one but frail curtains, and a world of illimitable night, whisperings at a distance, correspondence going on between darkness and darkness, like one deep calling to another,- and the dreamer's own heart the centre from which the whole network of this unimaginable chaos radiates,...

作者简介 (2004)

Patrick Bridgwater, Emeritus Professor of German in the University of Durham, is known for his books on Anglo-German literary relations, Kafka, Georg Heym, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. Also published by Rodopi are his Kafka, Gothic and Fairytale (2003) and Kafka's Novels: An Interpretation (2003). He is currently working on a study of the Gothic novel as seen from an Anglo-German perspective.