January 09, 2012

Ann Radcliffe 'On the Supernatural in Poetry'

Writing about web page http://www.litgothic.com/Texts/radcliffe_sup.pdf

Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823), one of the pioneers of the Gothic genre, was the first to distinguish between "terror" and "horror", in her essay On the Supernatural in Poetry. In her view "terror and Horror are so far opposite that the first expands the soul, and awakens the faculties to a high degree of life [leading to the sublime]; the other contracts, freezes and nearly annihilates them [...] neither Shakespeare nor Milton by their fictions, nor Mr Burke by his reasoning, anywhere looked to positive horror as a source of the sublime, though they all agree that terror is a very high one; and where lies the great difference between horror and terror, but in uncertainty and obscurity, that accompany the first, respecting the dreader evil".

The full article, which will be of great use this term, can be viewed by clicking on the link above.

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