Irish Gothic

(4780 words)
  • Jarlath Killeen (Trinity College Dublin )

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

There has been much recent critical discussion of whether “Irish Gothic” constitutes a “tradition”, a “canon”, a “genre”, or a “mode”. The terminological difficulty arises from the lack of a clearly defined beginning and ending to Irish Gothic, as, on close examination, Gothic tropes, motifs and themes appear everywhere in modern Irish literature. In a discussion of American Gothic, Fred Botting argues that in the United States “the literary canon is composed of works in which the influence of romances and Gothic novels is…overt”, so much so that American literature seems “virtually an effect of a Gothic tradition. Gothic can perhaps be called the only true [American] literary tradition” (p. 16). This is e…

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Killeen, Jarlath. "Irish Gothic". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 July 2008
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Gothic, Grotesque& Supernatural Fiction