Ghost-al erosion: beaches and the supernatural in two stories by M. R. James

Armitt, Lucie (2016) Ghost-al erosion: beaches and the supernatural in two stories by M. R. James. In: Popular fiction and spatiality: reading genre settings. Geocriticism and Spatial Literary Studies . Palgrave Macmillan, New York, pp. 95-108. ISBN 9781137571410, 9781137569028

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Haunted landscapes dominate the writings of the Edwardian writer of ghost stories, Montague Rhodes (M. R.) James (1862-1936) and the fragile geological structure of Britain’s coastline has long suggested the sea as a threat to human habitation. For James, one of the most compelling narrative features of this coastline derives from the ease with which buried (but haunted) objects are unearthed by his protagonists and the fatal consequences that ensue. This chapter interrogates the relationship between the “real” predatory erosion of the Suffolk coastline by the North Sea and the fictive “ghost-al” erosion depicted in two of James’s seaside ghost stories: “Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad” (1904) and “A Warning to the Curious” (1925).

Keywords:M.R. James, ghost story, Suffolk coastline, Coastal erosion, Early Twentieth-Century Gothic
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
ID Code:30473
Deposited On:14 Mar 2018 08:58

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