A Language Spoken in Tongues

edited by Gord Barentsen
ISBN: 978-1-84888-157-0

Sociology, semiotics and cultural theory come together to articulate different dialects of the Gothic “language.” A Language Spoken in Tongues' essays range far and wide across the terrain of the transcultural Gothic – from its roots in Romantic-period literature to pop culture, folklore, film and television narratives of the “vampire revival.”


The image of the 21st-Century Gothic is not that of Victor Frankenstein’s Creature, made whole and sentient by an outside Creator. Contemporary global culture is dis-membered; its politics have effectively dissipated the nostalgic fantasy of wholeness and belonging of past decades. Often seen with suspicion, however, this nostalgia nevertheless persists as part of the Gothic’s motor force. Similarly, contemporary Gothic is a transcultural mass of writhing limbs, each of which “speaks” in a different direction and with a different voice even as there remains some spectral desire for a unity and coherence always to come. With topics ranging from Asian Gosurori Lolitas to John Lindqvist, from True Blood to Twilight, from Stephen King to Hollywood horror, the essays in A Language Spoken in Tongues track the transcultural Gothic and its anxieties across fiction, film and culture.

Table of Contents

Gord Barentsen

Part I: Gothic Sexualities and Identities
Gothic Lolitas
Anne Peirson-Smith

Chick-Fangs, Power Relations and Being Human
Yvonne Leffler

Part II: Presence in Absence
‘Ken’s Mystery’: Blending Gothic Foundations with Gaelic Folklore
Eoghain Hamilton
The Walkin’ Dude: Randall Flagg in Stephen King’s Post-Apocalyptic Epic The Stand
Conny Lippert

Part III: Crafting Identity
Representing European Identities in Classic Hollywood Cinema and 18th-Century Gothic Literature
Niall O’Donnell

Panic on the Streets of Stockholm: Sub/urban Alienation in the Novels of John Ajvide Lindqvist
Kevin Corstorphine

Notes on Contributors

Downloadable Content

You can dowload a pdf copy of the Introduction by clicking here:
A Language Spoken in Tongues Introduction

About the Editor

Gord Barentsen is at the University of Western Ontario. His fields of interest include Romantic literature and thought, theory and criticism, psychoanalysis (Freud, Jung, Lacan) and popular culture. His dissertation develops a new theory of identity challenging current critical models of the Romantic subject.

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