Thursday, December 22, 2016

Review: The Gothic Tradition in Supernatural: Essays on the Television Series by Melissa Edmundson

Synopsis: The CW's long-running series Supernatural follows the adventures of brothers Sam and Dean Winchester as they pursue the "family business" of hunting supernatural beings. Blending monster-of-the-week storylines with the unfolding saga of the brothers' often troubled relationship, the show represents Gothic concerns of anxiety, the monstrous, family trauma and, of course, the supernatural. The lines between human and monster, good and evil, are blurred and individual identities and motivations resist easy categorization. This collection of new essays examines how the series both incorporates and complicates Gothic elements related to traditional tropes, storytelling, women and gender issues and monstrosity. (from the back of the book)

Review: How could I resist a book about two of my favorite things: Gothic Literature and Dean Winchest….er…. I mean, Supernatural. Melissa Edmundson gathered a fine collection of scholars noted for their research on horror, popular culture, the gothic trope, and gender. From that group comes an anthology of essays that explore these issues in the popular television show Supernatural. Known for its revision of the horror trope, the homosexual undertones, the multiple deaths of the main characters, and its wide-spread and ardent fandom, Supernatural practically begs to be the subject of a collection of essays on the gothic in television.  The essays are divided into four groups: Gothic Tropes and Traditions, Gothic Storytelling, Gothic Women: Heroes and Victims, and Gothic Other: Monstrous Selves. Ranging in subject from the Chicana Ghost to the Impala as Castle, these essays explore, in depth, some of the great Gothic traditions as they appear in Supernatural – both in perfection and in their difference. The scholarship is hit or miss, some excellent essays, some just long strings of pycho-babble. But most of the essays are composed of accessible prose and logical points, if a little heavy on the literary jargon. For anyone who enjoys intellectual analysis of pop culture, horror and gothic literature, or Dean Winchesters fine, fine ass-ets, this is the book for you.
Note: I rece

Note: I received this book free as part of LibraryThing’s Early Review Program, in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.
Bookmarks: 7 of 10
Awards: None

ISBN: 978-0-7864-9976-2
Year Published: 2016
Date Finished:  12-16-2016
Pages: 193

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