The Gothic mode, typically preoccupied by questions of difference and otherness, consistently imagines the Other as a source of grotesque horror. The sixteen critical essays in this collection examine the ways in which those suffering from mental and physical ailments are refigured as Other, and how they are imagined to be monstrous. Together, the essays highlight the Gothic inclination to represent all ailments as visibly monstrous, even those, such as mental illness, which were invisible. Paradoxically, the Other also becomes a pitiful figure, often evoking empathy. This exploration of illness and disability represents a strong addition to Gothic studies.
Ruth Bienstock Anolik teaches at Villanova University in Pennsylvania and writes extensively on the Gothic mode. Her articles have been published in Modern Language Studies, Studies in Jewish Literature, and a number of other journals and collections.