Literature over the years had undergone a substantial amount of transformation not only in terms of style or techniques but at the same time in terms of the themes which have been used by the different authors. As a matter of fact, it had been noticed the themes or the techniques which are popular in one particular age become completely obsolete or outdated in the next age. In this regard, mention needs to be made of the literary genre of gothic literature which although used in the present times was extremely popular during the period of romanticism.
The emergence of a particular genre or for that matter style of literature owes a substantial amount of debt to a large number of literary artists and is never the work of a single author or poet or any literary artist. In the particular context of the literary genre of gothic fiction as well it was seen that there were various famous literary artists like Mary Shelley, Abbot Suger and others who contributed in a substantial manner to popularise the concerned genre of literature. However, at the same time it needs to be said that among the numerous literary artists who adopted the concerned genre of literature, the name of Abbot Suger stands out because of the contribution made by him towards the genre of literature under discussion here.
Suger (1081 – 13 January 1151) is often considered to be one of the first gothic fiction writers of the world. As a matter of fact, he was writing or for that matter taking the help of the gothic fiction style when the genre was completely nascent. Suger was a French abbot, historian, statesman and a prolific writer whose works are being studied even in the present times because of their historical as well as literary value.
The family background or for that matter the early years of the life of Suger are in complete obscurity and the historians even in the present times have not been able to find out the exact roots of this literary genius. In this regard, it needs to be said that the only concrete information available regarding the life of Suger is the fact that he studied at the Saint-Denis de l'Estrée and it was here that he met Louis VI of France. It was at this chance meeting that he captured the attention of the king of France which as a matter of fact worked wonders for him.
He was made an abbot at a very early age and in the latter part of his life he took active interest in the diverse affairs of the nation of France. As a matter of fact, it had been found that he made important contributions towards the effective management of the nation of France and also helped in the formulation of different important national policies. However, despite the diverse feats of glory attained by him in the field of statesmanship it is seen that the world presently knows him for the contributions made by him towards the field of literature.
Suger is often considered to be not only one of the earliest users of the gothic fiction genre but at the same time for the patronage that he offered to the other authors or literary artists who took the help of the concerned genre of fiction. For example, it is seen that he used his experience of spending time in the various castles of France while being an abbot and also while working as a statesman during the process of writing his fictional works. This is perhaps one of the major reasons why the majority of his literary are largely descriptive in nature and offer a detailed description of the different gothic castles.
Some of the most important works composed by Suger are “Vita Ludovici regis”, “Historia gloriosi regis Ludovic”, “Liber de rebus in administratione sua gestis”, “Libellus de consecratione ecclesiae S. Dionysii” and others. In this regard, it needs to be said that the majority of his literary works are written in the conventions of the gothic fiction and this in turn help in the popularisation of the concerned genre of literary fiction.
An important aspect of the gothic fiction is the fact that they are being centred round the gothic architecture. For example, the majority of the literary works related to the gothic genre of literature inevitably contain castles, mansions and others which are either haunted or spooky in nature. However, it is seen that rather than being merely descriptive in nature the majority of the gothic fiction use the gothic architecture in the psychological sense. In this regard, it needs to be said that rather than merely serving as architectural pieces they give an insight into the major plot movements and also the mind of the major characters of the concerned work as well.
The different gothic architectures which form an integral part of the diverse gothic works can be seen as mazes or for that matter as pieces of puzzles which the major characters of the novel must solve so as to solve the problems or the issues which are bothering them. This is perhaps one of the major reasons why the genre of gothic fiction became so popular during the age of romanticism since it was during this age that the gothic architectures became very popular. The emergence as the extensive construction of different kinds of gothic architectures or building in turn facilitated the emergence of the genre of gothic fiction.
The works related to the genre of gothic fiction had certain characteristics which are specific to them. In this regard, it needs to be said that these works often are redolent with a certain amount of horror, gothic castles or building, evil or malevolent spirits and others. In addition to these aspects, it is seen that these works also contain a certain amount of romanticism as well which as a matter of fact dominated the age of romanticism.
One of the most important works related to the genre of gothic fiction which over the years had been able to retain its popularity is Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” which although composed and published during the age of romanticism yet is extremely popular even in the present times. This work over the years had become one of the most important representative works of the genre of literature under discussion because of the fact that it showcases all the major elements of gothic fiction. In this regard, it needs to be said that the novel under discussion here has a rather simple plot wherein it is seen that a scientist who tries to act as God and thereby creates a creature which he himself is unable to fully control.
Mary Shelley’s gothic novel “Frankenstein” although simple in plot is an exemplary novel when it comes to showcasing the different facets of the genre of gothic fiction. For example, along with offering a detailed description of the gothic architecture it also offers various other themes to the readers which they enjoy reading about. As a matter of fact, it is seen that there are various sections in the novel under discussion which even the modern readers accept evoke fear or horror in them. It is in the light of these aspects, that Mary Shelley’s famous gothic novel “Frankenstein” is often considered to be one of the most important gothic fiction works even in the 21st century wherein the genre of gothic fiction had become once again very popular. As a matter of fact, it is seen that different contemporary authors are actively taking the help of this literary genre for the composition of different literary works.
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