Love Your Ghosts and They Will Tell You Secrets: the rationale for this blog

“They’re semiotic phantoms, bits of deep cultural imagery that have split off and taken on a life of their own…” -Gibson, “The Gernsback Continuum” (31)

book in chains

The 19th century is alive and well in my head – let’s look at what those Victorians are getting up to!  This started out as an investigation of Victorian scifi, but really, it needs to extend into speculative fiction.  These works are rich territory, haunted by “semiotic phantoms” at every turn.  They wrote some weird, stuff, those 19th century folks.  And it gets weirder the closer you look, And we will be looking very, very closely.

This is how I will cite work:

I’m going to use parenthetical citations with page numbers and links to the document in question, or at least it’s publisher or Amazon page.  **Important: If you see anything that I have forgotten to link to, email me, or comment or something.  I’ve added some resources since I first started this paper, so the bibliography is a little nebulous.

This is how this blog will be organized:

There will be tabs at the top, “Section 1” and so on.  Think of those as chapters.  If you’re new or lost, start at this post, with the funky book image, as it’s pretty much the table of contents.  You can go from page to page to read each chunk as I post them.  You can email me questions and comments if you like: ladylazarusdesigns (at) gmail (dot) com

Home…………………..This page, right here, that you’re reading right now.

Section 1………………The One True Introduction.  This is where I lay out the landscape of the project.  If you start anywhere other than the home page, start here.  Also, there’s a few quotes from the original paper if you want to laugh at the academic writing.

Section 2……………….Poe’s Ligeia

Section 3……………….Hawthorne’s The Birthmark

Section 4………………O’Brien’s The Diamond Lens

Section 5………………Eliot’s The Lifted Veil

How the paper itself works:

There will be close readings of 4 (count ’em 4) short stories from the 19th century that fall under the category of speculative fiction.  They range from horror to scifi, but they are all weird, wondrous, and full of interesting details that need obsessive examination.  BECAUSE THEY DO.

Here’s the stories, with links to digital texts:

Ligeia by Edgar Allan Poe

The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Diamond Lens by Fitz James O’Brien

The Lifted Veil by George Eliot

There are central themes that I use like lenses (DIAMOND LENSES!) to examine each story.  These I discuss in Section 1, so head on over and get an idea of the toolkit I’m using here.

**Keep an eye out for the entire bibliography – it’s coming, and most likely in a sidebar gadget!

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