RE: Reading "The Mysteries of Udolpho"

by Ploum on 2021-10-28

In the Gemini world, replying is a form of dark art. It’s also a form of message in a bottle, you never know if your message will reach the original author but you spark conversation.

I was very pleased to see a post about gothic novel:

because it was about a gothic novel I didn’t know. I immediately wanted to add it to my Calibre library. Too bad, the French translation was not on Then it hit me. I fired Webarchives, under which I have offline version of Wikipedia and Gutenberg library. I searched and found the book. It was already on my computer ! My offline setup is really working better than I could imagine.

I like the gothic genre, I like old gothic litterature. I know I’m supposed to be a SF fanatic (I’m a published SF author after all. For those wondering, I write in French, explaining my bad English) but I’m more and more tired by modern SF. Most new hotness are very long, very complex and with nearly no story (I didn’t even managed to finish the first Ada Palmer that everyone seems to like, I suffered through Excession, even though I usually find Ian Bank brillant, I didn’t get further than the first part of the Broken Earth serie because I found it mostly bland and dull, what is happening to me?).

Gothic novel are also very long and complex, you may told me. Indeed. But there’s a story. A story simple enough to take you in their dark atmosphere, a story that has no pretention to expose the arcanes of a world you don’t know. This year, I read The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson and it was wonderful in its simplicity. The 1963 movie is also brillant, following exactly the plot of the book. Horror is psychological, as soon as you show it, it’s not frightening anymore.

Anyway, if you really like gothic novels, I would highly recommend my two favourites:
- The Monk, by Matthew G. Lewis
- Melmoth the Wanderer, by Charles R. Maturin

Those are two masterpieces who will bring you down in their dark hole of crazyness. Enter at your own risks!

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