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Verbotenes Begehren – Konzepte des Monströsen in der Gothic Novel des 19. Jahrhunderts

Markus Reitzenstein

Seiten 97 - 113

The article focuses on the characteristic aspects of the aesthetics of monstrosity, a concept emerging in medieval and early modern culture and further elaborated in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Moreover, it traces different representations of the monstrous in four well known 19th century novels, which form part of the second wave of Gothic novels. The examples chosen are drawn from different cultural contexts and different languages: E. T. A. Hoffmann’s ‚The Devil’s Elixirs‘ (1815), Mary Shelley’s ‚Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus‘ (1818), Victor Hugo’s ‚Notre-Dame de Paris‘ (1831), and Bram Stoker’s ‚Dracula‘ (1897). As the comparative analysis reveals, the novels display subtle and complex explorations of the monstrous, while their conceptual connection with the medieval and early modern concepts of the monster is one of continuity, as well as discontinuity.


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