Here at The Dark Sire we LOVE Gothic fiction. That’s why we publish it. There is something grand about it. As we read it, it arouses our deepest passions or fills us with the deepest dread. It sends chills up and down our spines. Gothic stories are filled with revenge, hope, disappointment, otherworldly terrors, evil villains, and the occasional damsel in distress. The author may take us through a decaying mansion with a labyrinth of secret passageways or a gloomy forest, we are all enthralled by those things that go bump in the night.
Gothic fiction may have had its beginnings in England in the latter half of the 18th century, but it fell out of favor only to be re-imagined by the gifted pen of Edgar Allen Poe. Stories such as The Fall of the House of Usher, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Premature Burial innovatively reinterpreted the Gothic genre for his American audience, by adding the psychology of this characters as they descended into the madness that consumed them. Poe, himself, called it “the terror of the soul”. He believed that terror was a legitimate literary subject. And, at TDS, we do, too.
Gothic literature often juxtapose wonder and terror in an effort to encourage the reader to suspend their disbeliefs, to fire their imaginations, to accept the macabre and morbid as normal. Castles or mansions are not just neglected buildings. They have secrets of their own which affect those who live there. It mirrors the internal struggle of living, juxtaposing their hopes and dreams with the reality of the decay that surrounds them.
The Gothic allows the reader to confront his or her own fears. Fear is a driving force. It can lead the characters to commit uncharacteristic crimes or to overcome whatever obstacle is before them.
Here at TDS we strive to publish the best in Gothic literature. We look for stories that embrace the marriage of the supernatural and metaphysical worlds, stories such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula, or even Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera.
But there are many great Gothic novels. Some of our favorites include:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Gormanghast Novels by Mervyn Peake
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The Dark Forest
A blog for The Dark Sire, written by Eric Ruark. Look for interviews, genre-related articles, book reviews, writing tips, and much more every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11am (EST).