Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Mouths wide open: food, voice and hospitality in nineteenth-century Gothic fiction
Author: Parrino, Maria
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Please contact the current institution’s library for further details.
This dissertation examines the issues of food, voice and hospitality in nineteenthcentury Gothic fiction, from Frankenstein to Dracula. Together with these two Gothic texts the study analyses three other novels, Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer, Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White and Florence Marryat's The Blood of the Vampire, and one short story by E. A. Poe, 'Bon-Bon'. The study looks at the representation of bodies, the monstrous and the normal, and at what happens when bodies are engaged with eating and speaking, with things that happen at the edge of the mouth. From such a bodily threshold the study then moves into a discussion of hospitality, at the level of macro and microspaces, from public to private places, all involving transactions of food and voice. This dissertation explores the complex interactions between food, voice and hospitality, and makes explicit connections between the theoretical dimension of hospitality and its material and bodily practices. Although orality has undergone substantial metamorphosis and extraordinary prosthetic evolution, it still continues to happen at the edge of the mouth. The alimentary function of the mouth is distinguishable from the linguistic function but both engage with a separation between inside and outside. This threshold has a literal and figurative value which is expressed in the Gothic. Whether literature of 'terror' or of 'excess', the Gothic is a body-centred mode. Gothic literature deals with the physical body, the corporeal whose acts of eating and voicing are regulated by social and cultural norms. The nearest element to a socially regu lated access, a kind of prosthetics of the body, is given by hospitality. Hospitality represents the moment in which what is taken for granted is put into discussion. The dissertation considers the 'appetite' for the Gothic text; how the Gothic deals with the discourse of food; the border between normal and monstrous appropriation of food, voice and space; embodied and dis-embodied voices; the voice as a means for the negotiation of social and cultural practice; the tension between speech and writing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available