17. They Are Legend: The Popular American Gothic of Ambrose Bierce and Richard Matheson

  1. Charles L. Crow
  1. Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet

Published Online: 13 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118608395.ch17

A Companion to American Gothic

A Companion to American Gothic

How to Cite

Soltysik Monnet, A. (2013) They Are Legend: The Popular American Gothic of Ambrose Bierce and Richard Matheson, in A Companion to American Gothic (ed C. L. Crow), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118608395.ch17

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:

  • Ambrose Bierce;
  • Richard Matheson;
  • American Gothic;
  • horror fiction;
  • War Gothic;
  • popular culture

Summary

This essay compares the work of Ambrose Bierce and Richard Matheson, focusing on how both contributed greatly to the popularization of the American Gothic through their respective media, and developed its speculative and oppositional dimensions. While Bierce focuses more on the epistemological fallibility of the human senses, Matheson's work documents the erosion of agency and community in post-WWII American culture. The chapter also examines some of the gender issues in the popular American Gothic as exemplified by these two figures, and discusses their shared formative experience of war.