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'Behind the barricades of silence': boundary-crossing and haunting in Richard Matheson's 'A Stir of Echoes'

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Richard Matheson, whose first published story appeared in 1959, has produced novels and short stories as well as writing for film and television throughout the last half of the twentieth century. His legacy continues on into the twenty-first century with remakes of films previously adapted from his novels such as 'I am Legend' (dir. Francis Lawrence,2007), which have paved the way for new adaptions such as 'The Box' (dir. Richard Kelly, 2009). Although his works tend to contain scientific (or at least psuedoscientific)ideas and explanations, and may often be designated as science fiction, some of his short stories and novels fall more comfortably into the category of horror and Gothic, and a Gothic atmosphere of dread, unrest and even physical horror tends to pervade his fiction. This is especially so in his novels about haunting - 'A Stir of Echoes' (1958), 'Hell House' (1971) and 'Earthbound' (1989).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTwenty-first century gothic
EditorsB. Cherry, P. Howell, C. Ruddell
Place of PublicationNewcastle-upon-Tyne
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Pages39-52
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781443823890
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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