Goth Lit

I received a comment on one of my videos asking about goth books. Original comment was ” “Goth books”? is Goth a genre like horror or romance? If it is I’ve never seen it in bookstores. What exactly makes a book “Goth”?” “. So I’m going to go over the basic gist of Goth Literature and maybe do a more in depth series about this for like each main book because they each contribute something unique. 

Is Goth a genre like horror or romance? 

In the barest sense of the components, yes. Goth Lit is generally considered to be the combination of horror and romantic themes. (Lovely little side note Anne Radcliffe and the author of the Monk had a little tete-a-tete about this.”  What you usually see is a romantic themes being examined in a horror setting, such as in Dracula. There is also a lot of social commentary underlying these themes and I believe some do go into a philosophical examination of self. 

If it is, I’ve never seen it in bookstores. 

You don’t see it in bookstores as much today, because as other mediums such as television and internet rose in popularity and could deliver messages once explored in books much faster, there was a decline in books being used for this purpose. People still do write them, but it’s much harder to find something that compares to what established the genre in the first place. But they do exist. 

What exactly makes a book “Goth”? 

A Goth book usually features a monster of some kind, and while that monster physically may be impossible to imagine, it displays and/or exaggerates characteristics of people that could be considered monstrous. There is some social commentary and this is could honestly be anything, and the book seeks to either exploit the illogical reception of that issue(s) and/or purpose a way to understand and accept it. Now it doesn’t always have to be an external monster, it could just as well be a psychological flaw that has become so commonplace and allowed to run rampant with societal consequences. I think this day and age you’re going to see different characteristics than the ones purposed in the 1800s. Those usually featured Gothic castles and knights, as well as a villainous, hideous man and some kind of innocent young (possibly virginal) woman. 

In my opinion, true Gothic novels have a lot of layers and can be read in a variety of ways. A lot of the classics seem to make people at least slightly uncomfortable because it forces them to look at themselves as both the monster and the human. That is the beauty of goth lit. It makes you wonder “who is the monster and who is the man” because sometimes is not as clear as you might think. I do believe we could still have Goth lit be a notable genre. It’s just a question of people being able to construct something with the level of skill and depth that resonates with readers on many different levels. 


Until next time,


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