UVa Library Press Releases 1998 - 1999
NEW LIBRARY EXHIBIT OPENS
SUBLIME ANXIETY: THE GOTHIC FAMILY AND THE OUTSIDER
Contact: Heather Moore, head of public services for Special Collections at (804) 924-4966 or e-mail: email@example.com
Just in time for Halloween, a new exhibit, "Sublime Anxiety: The Gothic Family and the Outsider," will open in the McGregor Room at Alderman Library at the University of Virginia on October 15 and run through April 1999. The McGregor Room is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The wide-ranging exhibit, which will explore the themes that appear in Gothic literature and horror tales to the present day, is drawn largely from Alderman Library's renowned Sadleir-Black collection of Gothic books. According to exhibit curator Natalie Regensburg, the Gothic genre suggests not only the macabre and mysterious, but the ways in which "our deepest fears manifest themselves in our preoccupation with monsters (who are both part of us and outside of us), with evil, and with death."
Among items on display will be rare works of Edgar Allan Poe, a one-time student at the University of Virginia; rare editions of the novels "Dracula" and "Frankenstein"; actor Vincent Price's life mask; a statuette of Bela Lugosi that the horror-genre actor gave to a few close friends; and posters and still photos of many classic Gothic and horror films.
Also displayed will be a first edition of "The Castle of Otranto" by Horace Walpole, the 18th century novel that launched the English Gothic writing trend, as well as a modern edition illustrated by Salvador Dali. Works of the 19th century English Romantic writers, detective and mystery novels that have their roots in the Gothic, and illustrations from Punch, the English satiric magazine, also will be shown. The 20th century will be represented in film materials, limited edition copies of the famous Anne Rice novels, and by the drawings and books of Edward Gorey, whose illustrations appear on PBS's "Mystery" series.
As Andrei Codrescu, the Romanian-born novelist and critic, has commented, "When Bram Stoker anglicized Dracula, he opened the door for all the bloody, sexy demons of the steppes and the Carpathians. They have been pouring into the overbred lawns of Western reason ever since, trailing their capes and coffins. The procession is not likely to stop soon: the West has stripped itself of imagination as well as its unconscious since the Enlightenment, and it needs vampires for its emotional food like vampires need blood."
Come experience the way Gothic lures us and frightens us.
The online version of the exhibit may be seen at http://www.lib.virginia.edu/exhibits/gothic/