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Sites about The Monk

by M. G. Lewis

A gothic novel about sexual repression and asceticism.

Characters: Ambrosio, Matilda

Critical sites about The Monk

All Roads Lead to England: The Monk Constructs the Nation
"In the paper that follows, I intend to suggest that Matthew Lewis's The Monk (1796) performs the English nation. This nation lacks a unitary identity; however, rather than dedicate itself to difference, a reformed political leadership, now culturally (or at least outwardly) middle class, pretends to unity, and builds unity, through the hierarchical appropriation of a colonized Other."
Contains: Historical Context
Author: Marie-José Tienhooven
From: Romanticism on the Net Vol. 8 November 1997
Cloistered Closets: Enlightenment Pornography, The Confessional State, Homosexual Persecution and The Monk
"This essay offers a reading of Matthew Lewis's The Monk (1796) which attempts to elaborate Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's claim that "the Gothic was the first novelistic form in England to have close, relatively visible links to male homosexuality". I wish to do this by considering a number of interrelated contexts of production and reception for The Monk , namely, the generic pretexts of eighteenth-century pre- and post-Revolutionary French anti-clerical pornography and of British anti-Catholic genres from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; Whig aristocratic libertinism; the French Revolution and British counter-revolution; renewed campaigns of homosexual persecution in Britain and Northern Europe; and, in particular, the relationship between the British Protestant state and homosexual persecution in the context of the campaign for Catholic Emancipation from the late 1770s."
Contains: Historical Context
Author: Clara Tuite
From: Romanticism on the Net Vol. 8 November 1997
Confessors and Penitents in M. G. Lewis's The Monk
"In his History of Sexuality , Michel Foucault conjoins the medieval church and a major shift in cultural attitudes... Foucault's study offers a useful new contextual framework for the study of Gothic novels like Matthew G. Lewis's The Monk , already often interpreted as literature of sexuality. As if it were previewing a pointedly Gothic chapter in Foucault's lifelong study of discursive practices in the Western World, The Monk rehearses several tales of a human sexuality enthralled "within an unrelenting system of confession." Made bolder by its revolutionary era, The Monk deplores that capture more openly than does Foucault's study, presenting the system and its agents as corrupt and corrupting, as--quite literally--the devil's advocates. The key advocate in this case is the monk Ambrosio, Madrid's preferred confessor and the novel's anti-hero in his network of relations with the penitents Rosario/Matilda, the unfortunate Agnes, the care-worn Elvira and her beautiful daughter Antonia. "
Contains: Character Analysis
Author: Syndy M. Conger
From: Romanticism on the Net Vol. 8 November 1997
The Ghost of the Counterfeit -- and the Closet -- in The Monk
'I want to argue that Lewis' daemonic novel has the shocking force in our culture that it still does, not because of the sexual license or the use of German sources in it so fervently attacked at the time, but because it enacts and thus partially exposes a particular cultural agenda of both its time and today that underlies and motivates what I call "the ghost of the counterfeit" in the rise of the Gothic during the later eighteenth century."
Contains: Historical Context, Content Analysis
Author: Jerrold E. Hogle
From: Romanticism on the Net Vol. 8 November 1997
Heresy Hunting: The Monk and the French Revolution
'Previous studies have connected The Monk and the French Revolution as well as that novel and anti-Catholic polemics. Pursued separately, these connections are unsatisfying: in 1794 (when Lewis commenced The Monk), the Revolution was topical, but obvious correlations between it and the book seem slight; instances in The Monk of anti-Catholic prejudice are massive, but apparently far from topical."
Contains: Historical Context
Author: James Whitlark
From: Romanticism on the Net Vol. 8 November 1997
'Monk' Lewis as Literary Lion
'The overwhelming popularity of The Monk... to locate the truth about the novel's author in the relationship between his body and his text. However, just as efforts to condemn the novel and its author never achieved complete success, neither did the outcry surrounding the novel result in utter condemnation of its author and his talents. Instead, Lewis seems to have achieved the impossible by transforming what might have proved to be a disastrous success de scandale into a substantial reputation as one of the most successful literary lions of his day."
Contains: Historical Context
Author: Lisa M. Wilson
From: Romanticism on the Net Vol. 8 November 1997
Satire in The Monk: Exposure and Reformation
'Lewis... asserts his place amongst satire's most venerable figures to make his repugnant subject matter palatable rather than to reform a corrupt society or religious institution. As a satirist it is Lewis's responsibility to expose whatever he finds beneath any deceptive exterior. The most vicious discoveries are supposed to act as purgatives for his readers: harsh but salutary. Lewis dissects the objects of his satire as if he were performing an autopsy of them, exposing layer after layer of corruption in a relentless process. The trajectory of satire, inwards and penetrating, is also that of the novel's narrative structure; Lewis penetrates forcibly into the Abbey, into Ambrosio, and Ambrosio forcibly penetrates the female body by raping Antonia in the novel's climactic scene."
Contains: Content Analysis
Author: Ann Campbell
From: Romanticism on the Net Vol. 8 November 1997

Other (non-critical) sites about The Monk

The Monk: A Bicentenary Bibliography
"Today, stimulated by the renaissance in Gothic studies in general, interest in The Monk and the other Gothics of the 1790s has never been higher. The accompanying bicentenary bibliography verifies this interest and is intended to serve as a critical backdrop for the essays. By graphing shifts in critical taste and directing readers of The Monk to the prolific and expanding primary and secondary sources on the novel the bibliography confirms the values and pleasures of this key Gothic text. Designed to be consulted sequentially, the bibliography conducts a census of contemporary and historical criticism appearing in books, monographs, scholarly journals, and doctoral dissertations."
Contains: Bibliography
Author: Frederick S. Frank
From: Romanticism on the Net Vol. 8 November 1997
Author: Frederick S. Frank
From: Romanticism on the Net Vol. 8 November 1997

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Last Updated Mar 25, 2014