Haunted Landscapes offers a fresh and innovative approach to contemporary debates about landscape and the supernatural. Landscapes are often uncanny spaces embroiled in the past; associated with absence, memory and nostalgia. Yet experiences of haunting must in some way always belong to the present: they must be felt. This collection of essays opens up new and compelling areas of debate around the concepts of haunting, affect and landscape. Landscape studies, supernatural studies, haunting and memory are all rapidly growing fields of enquiry and this book synthesises ideas from several critical approaches – spectral, affective and spatial – to provide a new route into these subjects. Examining urban and rural landscapes, haunted domestic spaces, landscapes of trauma, and borderlands, this collection of essays is designed to cross disciplines and combine seemingly disparate academic approaches under the coherent locus of landscape and haunting. Presenting a timely intervention in some of the most pressing scholarly debates of our time, Haunted Landscapes offers an attractive array of essays that cover topics from Victorian times to the present.
Introduction, Unstable Landscapes: Affect, Representation and a Multiplicity of Hauntings, Ruth Heholt / Part I: Landscapes of Trauma / 1. Place as Palimpsest: Paul Celan and Martin Heidegger and the Haunting of Todtnauberg, Mark Riley / 2. Earth and Spectre: Haunted Spaces and Mourning Rituals in Polish Cinema, Matilda Mroz / 3. Witching Welcome: Haunting and Postimperial Hospitality in Hilary Mantel and Helen Oyeyemi, Ryan Trimm / 4. ‘Tender Bodies’: Embracing the Ecological Uncanny in Jim Crace’s Being Dead, Niamh Downing / Part II: Inner and (Sub) Urban Landscapes / 5. Phantasmal Cities: The Construction and Function of Haunted Landscapes in Victorian English Cities, Karl Bell / 6. ‘The Girl that Wouldn’t Die’: Masculinity, Power and Control in the Haunted House Novel, Kevin Corstorphine / 7.Theatrical Alleys and Bloodied Cobblestones: The Uncanny Psycho-Geography of London’s Whitechapel Ward, Holly Gale Millette / 8. (Sub)urban Landscapes and Perception in Neo-Victorian Fiction, Rosario Arias / Part III: Borderlands and Outlands / 9. W.G. Sebald's Afterlives: Haunting Contemporary Landscape Writing, Daniel Weston / 10. The Supernatural Borders: on Reivers, Revenants and Redcaps, Alison Younger and Colin Younger / 11. Haunting the Grown-ups: the Borderlands of ParaNorman and Coraline, Rebecca Lloyd / 12. ‘The Triumph of Nature’: Reading the West Coast Sunset in Bram Stoker’s The Snake’s Pass, William Hughes / Afterword, Affective Gothic Landscapes, Ruth Heholt / Index
Together, the essays in this volume offer a fascinating account of the relationship between our ideas of ghosts and our ideas of landscape. They remind us, usefully, of the importance of the unseen and unknown in the process of seeing, knowing and reading place and space.
Expanding ‘natural’ to ‘supernatural’, this innovative collection demonstrates the ecological significance of haunting, ghosts, and the ‘spectral’. Ranging from Heidegger to Sebald, Bram Stoker to Walter Scott, Coraline to Guillermo del Toro, these essays illustrate that the places we love, loathe, idealise or fear get under our skin, and haunt us with our eternal connection to nature.
A dizzying array of scholarship which explores concepts of the landscape and haunting in a variety of contexts – literature, film, folklore, psycho-geography and landscape studies – which demands we rethink what “haunted landscapes” are.
Haunted Landscapes offers an innovative and wide-ranging account of the concepts of haunting, affect and landscape. … The value of this collection resides in its interdisciplinary scope. … Haunted Landscapes represents a major and timely achievement that reveals the complexity of the interaction between the landscape and the human through hauntings that range from traditionally ‘supernatural’ to Timothy Morton’s notion of the ‘super natural’ or ‘extra Nature’ (The Ecological Thought, 2010, 45). In doing so, the collection offers an important contribution to the fields of ecocriticism and ecogothic that will hold considerable appeal for ecocritical scholars.
Ruth Heholt is a Senior Lecturer in English at Falmouth University, UK
Niamh Downing is a Senior Lecturer in English at Falmouth University, UK