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Hauntology – Ghosts of Futures Past

Merlin Coverley

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  • Oldcastle Books
  • 2020
  • ISBN 9780857304193
  • 320 pages
  • Softcover
  • 20 × 13 × 2.3 cm

Ghosts and spectres, the eerie and the occult. Why is contemporary culture so preoccupied by the supernatural, so captivated by the revenants of an earlier age, so haunted? The concept of Hauntology has evolved since first emerging in the 1990s, and has now entered the cultural mainstream as a shorthand for our new-found obsession with the recent past. But where does this term come from and what exactly does it mean?

This book seeks to answer these questions by examining the history of our fascination with the uncanny from the golden age of the Victorian ghost story to the present day. From Dickens to Derrida, MR James to Mark Fisher; from the rise of Spiritualism to the folk horror revival, Hauntology traces our continuing engagement with these esoteric ideas. Moving between the literary and the theoretical, the visual and the political, Hauntology explores our nostalgia for the cultural artefacts of a past from which we seem unable to break free.

Praise:

‚Coverley’s book is thought-provoking and engaging… a great addition to the haunted bookshelf‘
– Fortean Times

‚Coverley provides a very useful time-frame for the evolution of hauntology ‚
– Northern Earth

‚A brilliantly clear and incisive little introduction to a theme or field of increasingly urgent relevance‘
– Prof Matthew Beaumont

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