BOOK REVIEW: The Gothic: A Very Short Introduction by Nick Groom

The Gothic: A Very Short IntroductionThe Gothic: A Very Short Introduction by Nick Groom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Gothicness is the perfect kind of subject for the VSI series because it’s one of those areas about which everybody knows something, and yet knows nothing, really. Goth is [or has been] a people (or some people’s perception of other people,) an architectural style, a literary / cinematic genre, a contemporary lifestyle, and a political motif. Because of this diversity, even people who have a degree of expertise on some aspect of gothicness may have little understanding of other aspects or how these varied forms of gothicness relate (if they do, and – if they don’t — why enough people believe they relate to have made this well-formed, consensus view of connectedness.)

The downside of this diversity is that this book will almost certainly be dry, verging on tedious, at some point in the reading, depending upon one’s interests. For example, I found the portions on Gothic literature and cinema to be fascinating, but the part that dealt with gothicness in Whig politics to be boring. [With the architecture bit somewhere in between.] That said, one needs to follow this throughline to see how so many varied domains came to be Goth. Also, the book is quite short, so one isn’t likely to be bored to death because there’s not enough space spent on any one topic for that to happen.

I learned a lot about what it means to be “Goth” [or “goth”] from reading this book. It covers the history in some detail, but also brings it around to present-day movies and art. If you seek to know more about what “Gothic” means, you should definitely look into this brief guide.

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DAILY PHOTO: Paulsplatz, Frankfurt

Taken in November of 2022 in Frankfurt’s Old Town next to St. Paul’s Church [Paulskirche]

DAILY PHOTO: Hungarian Parliament Building: Two Views [Human- and Kukac-eye view]

DAILY PHOTO: Klotild & Matild Palaces

These twin buildings, seen from Ferenciek tere [Franciscan’s Square,] were built in 1902 and were commissioned by Princess Klotild [daughter-in-law of Archduke Joseph] and were designed by Floris Korb and Kalman Giergl. In the background are the Elisabeth Bridge [Erzsébet híd] and one spire of the Inner-City Our Lady of the Assumption Church [Budapest-Belvárosi Nagyboldogasszony Főplébánia-templom.]

DAILY PHOTO: Slovenské Národné Divadlo [Slovak National Theater]

Taken in Bratislava in October of 2022.

DAILY PHOTO: Old Town Hall, Bratislava