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Contemporary Spanish Gothic

Ann Davies

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Examines Spain's contribution to international interest in Gothic culture, film and literature

With the success of novels such as The Shadow of the Wind and films like The Others, contemporary Spanish culture has contributed a great deal to the imagery and experience of the Gothic, although such contributions are not always recognised as being specifically Spanish in origin. Contemporary Spanish Gothic is the first book to study how the Gothic mode intersects with cultural production in Spain today, considering some of the ways in which such production feeds off and simultaneously feeds into Gothic production more widely. Examining the works of writers and filmmakers like Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Pedro Almodóvar and Alejandro Amenábar, as well as the further reaches of Spanish Gothic influence in the Twilight film series, the book considers images and themes like the mad surgeon and the vulnerable body, the role of the haunted house, and the heritage biopics of Francisco de Goya.


1: Introduction
2: Heritage Gothic: Goya Biopics
3: The Gothic Bestseller: the Circulation of Excess
4: The Gothic House: Problematising the National Space
5: The Gothic Camera: Javier Aguirresarobe at Home and in Hollywood
6: Gothic Medicine: Written on the Body
7: Conclusion

About the Author

Professor Ann Davies is Chair of Spanish at the University of Stirling. She has written various articles on contemporary Spanish cinema, and the work of Guillermo del Toro.


'Whether it be considering Goya biopics, the import of the mad science tradition or the transnational appeal of the haunted house narrative, Contemporary Spanish Gothic remains lucid and persuasive throughout. Davies’s path-opening and commanding book constitutes an inspiring first questioning of the national specificity of the contemporary Gothic in Spain.'

- Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes, Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Film, Manchester Metropolitan University
'This monograph covers some key areas of Gothic Studies relevant to Spanish cultural production, offering valuable close readings of the individual texts selected, but more importantly, it makes a powerful case for the conclusion, shared wholeheartedly by the present reviewer, that Spanish culture ‘functions as a Gothic nexus’, a meeting-point of the culturally specific and the transnational, creating ‘complex patterns’ that we should take as an invitation ‘to step outside rigid disciplinary boundaries and explore the lines that cut across our own'.'
- Abigail Lee Six, Royal Holloway, University of London, Bulletin of Spanish Studies

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