14. The Fall of the House, from Poe to Percy: The Evolution of an Enduring Gothic Convention

  1. Charles L. Crow
  1. William Moss

Published Online: 13 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118608395.ch14

A Companion to American Gothic

A Companion to American Gothic

How to Cite

Moss, W. (2013) The Fall of the House, from Poe to Percy: The Evolution of an Enduring Gothic Convention, in A Companion to American Gothic (ed C. L. Crow), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118608395.ch14

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 SEP 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 NOV 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470671870

Online ISBN: 9781118608395

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Keywords:

  • American South;
  • Cable;
  • George Washington Cable;
  • Faulkner;
  • William;
  • Gothic fiction;
  • House;
  • McCarthy;
  • Cormac;
  • Mitchell

Summary

The ancient manor, the haunted castle, has been a dominant image of literary Gothicism since the beginning of the genre. Since the publication of Edgar Allan Poe's “The Fall of the House of Usher,” in 1839, the great house, and its ruin or violent destruction, has been a convention of Southern fiction, figuring prominently in works by George Washington Cable, Thomas Nelson Page, Charles Chesnutt, Margaret Mitchell, Caroline Gordon, Allen Tate, Eudora Welty, and Cormac McCarthy. In more than 150 years of American Southern literature, the significances of the fall of the house have ranged from horror for its own sake to much deeper meanings, culminating most notably in William Faulkner's tragic masterpiece Absalom, Absalom! and in Walker Percy's post-modern horror tale Lancelot.