When Gregor Samsa wakes up, he seems to have too many arms & legs… too many legs, actually, and he seems to be some sort of insect: what will happen if his family finds out?
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka#Free Scary Storieshttps://t.co/B9tlOODTq0pic.twitter.com/nINIe0Szvu
Dr. Jekyll works all night in his laboratory, and the servants hear such strange cries, but when the cruel Mr. Hyde keeps showing up, they get truly scared.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson#Free Scary Storieshttps://t.co/7RJsypsDbIpic.twitter.com/4FLUjEpa6W
When Captain Walton rescues Victor Frankenstein, Walton is horrified to hear the doctor’s story: has he really created a human being from corpses, and how did the Creature escape?
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecroft Shelley#Free Scary Storieshttps://t.co/kPCNmvcKNepic.twitter.com/BE1C7z7nSg
Usually considered to have originated with Horace Walpole’s novel The Castle of Otranto (1764), which was subtitled “A Gothic Story,” Gothic fiction is literature that attempts to combine elements of romance, mystery, and horror — without becoming either too fantastic or too realistic. Initially featuring decaying castles, curses, ghosts or other supernatural creatures and events, madness, murder, and “oft-fainting heroines,” Gothic fiction was hugely popular entertainment.
About a generation after Walpole, Ann Radcliffe introduced the brooding Gothic villain in her novel A Sicilian Romance: a tempestuous, moody, sometimes secretive, and extremely passionate male who usually encounters a heroine that completely upsets his life. Later this type of “villain” would be called the Romantic era’s “Byronic hero.” Radcliffe also introduced more independent heroines to Gothic fiction with her bestselling The Mysteries of Udolpho. Though Radcliffe’s heroines are still pretty helpless and faint far more than anyone I’ve ever encountered, they inspired “gothic feminism” which critics claim the author herself expressed as “female power through pretended and staged weakness.” Further, Radcliffe changed the infant genre of Gothic fiction by introducing the “explained supernatural,” where all the apparently supernatural events, from ghosts and moving furniture to strange knocks and cries in the dark, turn out, eventually, to have perfectly reasonable, natural explanations.
Gothic fiction and its various, evolving components spread into the literature of the Romantic era, appearing in the poetry of Keats, Shelley, Coleridge, Byron, and Poe. In the Victorian era, Gothic elements were more prominent in fiction, and are found in the work Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol), Bram Stoker (Dracula), Robert Louis Stevenson (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray), Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights), and Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre).
Many of these Victorian authors added strong moral elements to their Gothic fiction, producing novels that questioned everything from man’s relationship with newly developing technologies and medical advances to man’s responsibility for feeding and educating the poor. Gothic literature became more than entertainment to pass the long hours of a dark and rainy night: it explored the meaning of life, morality, social responsibility, and man’s relationship to the Divine.
As Gothic fiction spread to authors in America, especially in the South, it became a sub-genre called Southern Gothic. Authors like Faulkner, Caldwell, McCullers, O’Connor, Capote, and Percy examined family relationships, sexuality, poverty, race, and the Southern myths of an idyllic antebellum past. Southern Gothic is filled with
deeply flawed, disturbing, or eccentric characters… ambivalent gender roles, decayed or derelict settings, grotesque situations, and other sinister events relating to or stemming from poverty, alienation, crime, or violence.
With its particular focus on the South’s history of slavery, Southern Gothic became a vehicle for fierce social critique.
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic of both American fiction and Southern Gothic. A coming-of-age story set in the fictional “tired old town” of Maycomb, Alabama from 1933-1936, during the Great Depression, the novel examines everything from family relationships and mental health to societal responsibilities, poverty, violence, and crime. The 1962 film version, adapted from the novel by Horton Foote, eliminated some of the novel’s childhood adventures to concentrate on the aspects of its storyline that make To Kill a Mockingbird so important to American literature and film: the ugly and intractable racism between whites and blacks, a bigotry and intolerance that still exists over most of the country.
The film’s (unseen) narrator looks back on her six-year-old self and on the events that changed her from an innocent to a more mature child. In 1933, Scout (Mary Badham) and her brother Jem (Phillip Alford) live in Maycomb, Alabama with their widowed father Atticus (Gregory Peck).
Together with a visiting neighbor, Dill (John Megna, modeled after Harper Lee’s lifelong friend Truman Capote, who spent summers next door to the Lees with his aunts), Scout and Jem roam around the neighborhood and create their own adventures.
Atticus agrees, but despite his attempts to shield his children from the consequences of his decision to represent a black man in a racially charged crime, Scout and Jem soon become involved in the racial “war” brewing around them.
In particular, the father of the ostensible rape victim, Bob Ewell (James Anderson) tries several times to intimidate Atticus into quitting the case. When that doesn’t work, Ewell threatens violence against Atticus and his children.
Though the children continue to find “gifts” in the hollow of a nearby tree, these gifts and their former adventures pale in significance to the events surrounding the crime concerning Tom Robinson and Mayella Ewell.
By the time the trial starts, most of the town is divided and angry. Though Atticus warns his children to stay away from the courthouse completely, Jem refuses to be barred from the biggest event in the county, and Scout refuses to be left behind at home if Jem and Dill are going to the courthouse.
Judge Taylor presides as the District Attorney (William Windom, in his film debut) badgers witnesses and makes his opinions about Tom Robinson’s guilt clear. Despite the fact that viewers can have no doubt whatsoever about the jury’s eventual verdict, the courtroom scenes are intensely riveting, especially when Atticus cross-examines Mayella herself.
Though the verdict is not in question, Mayella’s father, angry at the Atticus’ not-so-subtle accusations of incest and child abuse, provokes Atticus repeatedly in an attempt to draw him into a physical confrontation. Then, he decides to provoke Atticus by going after his children.
Nominated for 8 Academy Awards, To Kill a Mockingbird won three Oscars:
Best Actor for Gregory Peck, Best Adapted Screenplay for Horton Foote, and Best Art Direction (set design, Black-and-White).
Everyone should see this film, though children under 12 may need to be cautioned about the subject matter and the language as this film deals openly with rape, clearly suggests incest, and uses language appropriate to the time and place of its story.
Be sure to watch the black-and-white version of To Kill a Mockingbird, not the colorized one: those who colorized it obviously completely missed the symbolism behind the story’s being filmed in black-and-white instead of in color. Available for rent ($2.99-3.99 SD/HD) from Amazon,iTunes,YouTube,GooglePlay, and Vudu.
Rachel in the OC
by CSA survivor and advocate Rachel Thompson, on surviving, preventing, and spreading the word about Childhood Sexual Abuse
articles on migraine, chronic pain, chronic illness, holistic health, alternative medicine, exercise, mindfulness, and meditation, all written by people who live with invisible illness and who advocate for themselves and others
one of the best blogs with an amazing variety of topics, from the Zen of medical tests to her weekly Suggestion Saturdays and Saturday Seven, which feature fascinating blogs and websites
by bestselling author Jenny Lawson, on depression, marriage, lawn-gerbils, and other random absurdities of life
one of the most diligently researched blogs I've ever found, written by Maria Popova, it covers writers, artists, books, and all things wonderfully intellectual and artistic
Historical, People & Fiction
a marvelous blog on all things Victorian, from clothes and pets to personalities and other authors who write books and blogs on the same time period
A Writer's Perspective by April Munday, with well-researched posts on all things Medieval, from the weight of armor and the mobility of the knights wearing it to what peasants really ate and how they got betrothed and married
a quirky historical blog on all things folklore (like witches, flowers, and vampire rabbits) and sometimes on ancient Egypt
Mindfulness, Meditation, Living
Barking Up The Wrong Tree by Eric Barker, with researched posts on living your life better with the principles of meditation, Stoicism, and mindfulness, and more
Raptitude by David Cain, with an emphasis on meditation, mindfulness, and living life more fully
with a tagline "Grief is a Sacred Journey," this blog poignantly discusses grieving, mindfulness, Buddhism, and beginning life again after tragedy makes you think it's ended
Writing, Publishing, Marketing
Bad Redhead Media
also run by Rachel Thompson, with an emphasis on helping writers and other small business owners master social media
Red Pen of Doom
by speechwriter and author Guy Bergstrom, who posts on everything writing, to help screenwriters, novelists, and journalists, along with great Red-Pen-skewering of books and videos, as well as frequent instructions on how to survive an apocalypse
Anne R Allen
by authors Anne R. Allen and Ruth Harris, with an emphasis on posts to help writers with everything from writing the first draft to revising, from self-publishing and marketing to social media and handling reviews
Writing and Wellness
by Colleen M. Story, and frequently featuring guest posts by authors, this blog covers everything concerning writers and their health, psychological and physical, from easing back pain to increasing creativity
by a respected author and blogger, includes posts about writing, blogging, publishing, publishers, book reviews, travel, beards (which need names, apparently), and Edith Wharton
A Writer's Ramblings
by Victoria Griffin, this blog covers everything writing, from first drafts and revisions to editing
by an author for other authors and writers, with an emphasis on posts to help writers with everything from writing, revising, and social media
by a traditionally and Indie published author who is also a book coach, with posts on everything for writers, from agents to addiction
My Most Fave Podcast
Sleep With Me Podcast
written by Drew Ackerman, and performed by Drew as "Dearest Scooter," this brilliant and popular podcast knocks out insomnia by lulling you to sleep with meandering introductions and ingeniously "boring" stories. Drew and Scooter also do the Game of Drones and Sleep to Strange podcasts
Copyright 2012-2019 by Alexandria Constantinova Szeman. All rights reserved. No content may be copied, excerpted, or distributed without express written consent of the author and publisher, with full copyright credit to the author. Please, don’t support the piracy of Intellectual Property.
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