As Cyndy Hendershot demonstrates, the Gothic is more a mode than a rigid historical period, an "invasive" tendency that reveals the imaginative limits of social realities and literary techniques far beyond its origins in late eighteenth century Britain. And as she demonstrates in this first scholarly treatment of its kind, one of the continuing obsessions of the Gothic mode is masculinity. Masculinity is in some sense a Gothic castle of the imagination, haunted by fears of the body, science, and angry colonial subjects. The book's keen critical insight, meticulous close readings and cross-cultural comparisons interrogate the historically situated function of masculinity in texts and films that range across the two-hundred year history of the Gothic. Hawthorne's short story "The Birthmark" is juxtaposed with J. Le Fanu's "Green Tea" to ground the fantastic qualities of the scientific imagination.
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Look even closer and you might discern an uncanny resemblance between the mushroom cloud and Marx! Looks promising, I thought, especially because I was puzzled by the semiotics of the bookcover. Take a glance at the contents page and your interest will rise:. In the introduction to the book, Cyndy Hendershot affirms that she will be dealing with the "complexities of anti-Communism in popular representation from the late Forties to the mid Sixties" and adds that her study "debunks the notion that anti-Communist propaganda was simplistic discourse" 4.
I think it would be safe to state that contemporary critical theory, especially cultural theory, would deny that any kind of discourse could be defined as "simplistic". Sadly, this is the main downfall of this work. Theoretically speaking, this work does not engage with contemporary cultural thought, nor does it offer any new insights. Most likely, the reader who picks up this book already has a preconception of anti-Communist propaganda in the United States: Communists or Cyndy Hendershot.
Author: Elizabeth Russell. Date: Winter From: Utopian Studies Vol. Publisher: Penn State University Press. Document Type: Book review. Length: 1, words. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, Take a glance at the contents page and your interest will rise: 1.
The Seduction of Communism. Paranoiac Discourse and Anti-Communism. Internal and External Communism in Popular Film. The Individual Russian and the Communist System. Anti-Communism and Ambivalence in Science Fiction. Criminals and Communists in Fifties Popular Culture. Anti-Communism and Movie Serials.
Cold War Parody. Nuclear Apocalypse and Anti-Communism. Anti-Communism and the Business World. Access from your library This is a preview. Get the full text through your school or public library. Source Citation Russell, Elizabeth. Accessed 4 June
The Animal Within
Cyndy Hendershot. Anti-Communism and Popular Culture in Mid-Century America