Re-imagining the Gothic in Contemporary Serialised Media : An Intertextual and Intermedial Study of Neo-Victorian Monstrous Afterlives

Elena Sottilotta


From its literary origins to its contemporary cultural manifestations, Gothic fiction addresses issues of otherness and psychological duplicity, gender anxieties and social phobias. Gothic landmarks from the nineteenth century contain archetypes that interrelate with postmodern concerns of cultural crises and monstrous entities and continue to resonate in cultural and academic contexts. This study aims to explore how the Gothic crosses genres, media and centuries, by examining the appropriation of Gothic literary classics in Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and in John Logan’s TV series Penny Dreadful. The works under investigation will be situated alongside the theoretical frameworks related to intertextuality and intermediality, comics and television studies, genre and gender theories so as to generate a comparative critical assessment of these serialised media. By retracing the evolution of the Gothic, both as a literary genre and as a liminal mode of artistic expression and cultural production, I will explore how themes and models of Gothic texts transmuted into the neo-Victorian Gothic genre. I will also illustrate how The League and Penny Dreadful both act as examples of a newly emerging mediamorphosis of familiar Gothic narratives that begs further research in contemporary popular culture. 

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