Literary Ghosts from the Victorians to Modernism: The Haunting Interval

Literary Ghosts from the Victorians to Modernism: The Haunting Interval

By: Luke Thurston (author)Paperback

More than 4 weeks availability


This book resituates the ghost story as a matter of literary hospitality and as part of a vital prehistory of modernism, seeing it not as a quaint neo-gothic ornament, but as a powerful literary response to the technological and psychological disturbances that marked the end of the Victorian era. Linking little-studied authors like M. R. James and May Sinclair to such canonical figures as Dickens, Henry James, Woolf, and Joyce, Thurston argues that the literary ghost should be seen as no mere relic of gothic style but as a portal of discovery, an opening onto the central modernist problem of how to write 'life itself.' Ghost stories are split between an ironic, often parodic reference to Gothic style and an evocation of 'life itself,' an implicit repudiation of all literary style. Reading the ghost story as both a guest and a host story, this book traces the ghost as a disruptive figure in the 'hospitable' space of narrative from Maturin, Poe and Dickens to the fin de siecle, and then on into the twentieth century.

Create a review

About Author

Luke Thurston is Senior Lecturer in Modern Literature at Aberystwyth University. He is the author of James Joyce and the Problem of Psychoanalysis (2004), the editor of Re-inventing the Symptom: Essays on the Final Lacan (2002), and the translator of works by Jean Laplanche and Andre Green.


Introduction: Beyond My Notation Part I: Literary Hospitality 1. The Spark of Life 2. Zigzag: The Signalman Part II: Guests/Ghosts 3. Broken Lineage: M. R. James 4. Ineffaceable Life: Henry James Part III: Hosts Of The Living 5. A Loop in a Mesh: May Sinclair 6. Distant Music: Woolf, Joyce Conclusion: The Haunting Interval

Product Details

  • publication date: 18/02/2014
  • ISBN13: 9781138016217
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 202
  • ID: 9781138016217
  • weight: 294
  • ISBN10: 1138016217

Delivery Information

  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly