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Starting with the idea that neo-Victorianism’s humour privileges an intertextual form of irony typical of postmodernism, this chapter argues that the association of humour and Gothic produces a critical distance towards Gothic texts and tropes a detached perspective which is also an efficient anti-nostalgic device. What a humorous treatment of Victorian Gothic also allows is an ontological reconsideration of the concepts of otherness, the uncanny and the monstrous, precisely because humour encourages a reflexive attitude. The result of the playful hybridisation of humour and Victorian Gothic is a new novelistic species in keeping with the neo-Victorian cult of heterosis. Humour creating hermeneutic ambiguity and Gothic relying on conceptual uncertainty, the association of the two necessarily increases textual indeterminacy, and it is the challenge of this interpretative plurality that explains critics’ continued interest in the puzzles of neo-Victorian Gothic.

In: Neo-Victorian Gothic

Starting with the idea that neo-Victorianism’s humour privileges an intertextual form of irony typical of postmodernism, this chapter argues that the association of humour and Gothic produces a critical distance towards Gothic texts and tropes a detached perspective which is also an efficient anti-nostalgic device. What a humorous treatment of Victorian Gothic also allows is an ontological reconsideration of the concepts of otherness, the uncanny and the monstrous, precisely because humour encourages a reflexive attitude. The result of the playful hybridisation of humour and Victorian Gothic is a new novelistic species in keeping with the neo-Victorian cult of heterosis. Humour creating hermeneutic ambiguity and Gothic relying on conceptual uncertainty, the association of the two necessarily increases textual indeterminacy, and it is the challenge of this interpretative plurality that explains critics’ continued interest in the puzzles of neo-Victorian Gothic.

In: Neo-Victorian Gothic
In: Nostalgic Postmodernism
In: Nostalgic Postmodernism
In: Nostalgic Postmodernism
In: Nostalgic Postmodernism
In: Nostalgic Postmodernism
In: Nostalgic Postmodernism
In: Nostalgic Postmodernism
In: Nostalgic Postmodernism