Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Gargoyle

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The Gargoyle

by Andrew Davidson

The Gargoyle
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2008, 480 pages
    Aug 2009, 480 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Stacey Brownlie

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Beyond the Book

Grotesques vs Gargoyles
The theme of the grotesque is prominent in The Gargoyle. Marianne, a stone carver, educates the narrator on the difference between gargoyles and grotesques: A gargoyle is a decorated water spout, from the French word gargouille from which the verb gargle originates; whereas a grotesque can be decorative or weight supporting, but is never a water spout. The Cornell University Library provides a good summation on the topic and a gallery of gargoyles and grotesques, while this website provides a leisurely video tour around the grotesques of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

The grotesque in literature brings to mind Flannery O'Conner, Edgar Allen Poe and other diverse authors. Joyce Carol Oates discusses the grotesque's use in literature and art here. The grotesque in art is difficult to define, as shown by the ...

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