At the limits of perception

liminal space, vision and the interrelation of word and image in Walpole's Strawberry Hill, The Castle of Otranto and The Mysterious Mother

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Abstract

This paper explores the ways that Horace Walpole’s Gothic texts, The Castle of Otranto, The Mysterious Mother, and even the architectural Strawberry Hill, operate within a fascinating nexus of visual and narrative discourse. By analysing the intersections of the verbal and visual within these works, which combine and collide within liminal spaces that figure a threshold state between the supernatural and the subconscious, this paper explores the ways that Walpole’s texts work collectively to interrogate eighteenth-century theories of perception and imagination by positing a slippage between word and image that undermines the human attempt to make sense of the world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalImage & Narrative: online magazine of the visual narrative
Volume18
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • gothic
  • Gothic fiction
  • eighteenth-century literature
  • architecture
  • supernatural
  • ghosts
  • literature
  • Literature and history
  • space and place
  • literary criticism
  • perception
  • vision
  • imagination
  • space

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