Once I chose Frankenstein as one of my titles for the Books I Should Have Read in High School challenge, I unwittingly qualified myself for the lowest level in the Gothic Reading Challenge— “A Little Madness.” Once I realized that, part of me wanted to shoot for the next level, five titles and “The Darkness Within.” But what to choose?
Once I started thinking and googling, I realized that my favorite short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, is also Gothic, as well as many I’ve read or taught: Great Expectations (my favorite Dickens novel), Jane Eyre, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Historian, Beloved, Wuthering Heights, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Fall of the House of Usher and even Flowers in the Attic (I know, I know). Am I a closet Gothic fan and didn’t know it? I’ve never thought of myself as a horror fan–I refuse to watch scary movies, even though my husband is a huge fan–but then again, one of my favorite authors is Stephen King. I guess I had conflated Gothic and horror in my head, and obscured my enjoyment of Gothic fiction.
I think this means I’m a Gothic fan after all, and so for this challenge, I’m stretching the rules a bit and adding books I’m pretty sure I’ve read, but don’t have the clearest memory of reading them. This happens to other people, right? The title rings a bell, you’ve got hazy plot details, you look up the novel and it seems very familiar, but you can’t exactly guarantee you’ve read it?
Here’s my list, in no particular order:
the aforementioned Frankenstein
As I Lay Dying, Faulkner, especially now that James Franco is directing an adaptation
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame , Victor Hugo (sadly, I’ve only seen film versions)
We Have Always Lived in the Castle , Shirley Jackson
Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
Feel free to join in!
- Themed Novel Blogging – ‘Women Running from Houses’ Marks a Common Theme in Gothic Romance (GALLERY) (trendhunter.com)