The Grotesque in Literature: Background information when reading Vampires in the Lemon Grove

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Vampires in the Lemon Grove

Stories

By Karen Russell

Vampires in the Lemon Grove
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  • Hardcover: Feb 2013,
    256 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 2014,
    256 pages.

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Beyond the Book:
The Grotesque in Literature

Although 'grotesque' has become a general adjective for the strange or disturbing, and can be seen in various art forms from literature to architecture, the term also refers to a sub-genre of Southern Gothic literature. This literature utilizes themes of disturbing characters, haunting landscapes, and sinister events (all elements of Gothic literature, from which the Southern Gothic tradition derives) to explore social problems, such as poverty, alienation, and violence. The grotesque takes these elements further to highlight the monstrous, deeply flawed and decayed. The grotesque is usually divided into three categories: doubleness, hybridity, and metamorphosis. Doubleness refers to duplication and can be used to illustrate the presence of apparitions or wraiths. The scarecrow representation of Eric Mutis in "The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis" is an example of doubleness. Metamorphosis describes a great transformative change, as a can be seen in Kitsune's transformation from woman to ...

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