Friday, August 24, 2012

Tales to Terrify: The Gothic Novel, Rudolph Otto and the "Numinous" and The Philosophy of Horror, Redux

The next installment in my podcast series for Tales to Terrify, Horror 101, is up today. We're beginning discussion of the earliest forms of the Gothic novel, starting specifically with The Castle of Otranto, by Horace Walpole. In today's podcast, I give a brief introduction to Noel Carroll's treatment of the Gothic novel in his treatise on horror, The Philosophy of Horror, briefly discuss German theologian Rudolph Otto's beliefs of "religious dread" and the "numinous", then move on to break down some of Castle's more interesting points, and how those sync with Otto's "religious dread".  

One thing I'd like to emphasize: By no means am I posing myself as an "authority" on the origins of the horror genre.  In many ways, I'm embarking on a journey of study and self-discovery, and simply chronicling my findings in this podcast show. If anyone ever has any recommendations of works I should read, or if anyone ever feels I've overlooked some important facet of the horror genre, please, by all means - let me know!

In any case, in The Philosophy of Horror, Carroll outlines this potential breakdown of the Gothic novel:

1. historical gothic - tale in an imagined past, no supernatural elements

2. natural/explained gothic - all supernatural elements are explained away

3. supernatural gothic

4. equivocal gothic -renders the supernatural ambiguous by means of psychologically disturbed characters

So, come check out the podcast, get a brief primer on Otto and the Numinous, also see where I place The Castle of Otranto on that list, and why. And, if you missed my debut episode, you can listen to it in the archives, here.

Ironically enough, author and podcast host and blogger Kristi Peterson Schoonover is running my blog series breaking down Carroll's The Philosophy of Horror on her blog. If you didn't catch it the first time, head over there and keep tabs on that blog, drop by and comment. 

And of course, I'm not going to pass up another chance to point folks to the debut of my serial novella, "And I Watered It, With Tears" in the first issue of LampLight: a Horror Quarterly. First issue is free over at Smashwords. I recommend the downloadable .pdf.