Leigh Brackett (1915–1978) is an icon for pop fiction fandom, though an almost perfect stranger for great part of the academia. Better known as the undisputed queen of the space opera and as a stylist of the pop sublime, she is, as a matter of fact, the perfect example of American Alien Gothic. In a time when SF was considered by most an escapist or an apolitical genre and women writing risked being labelled as feminist fabulation, Brackett chose to keep a distance from “dreary realities” and to legitimize “legends” as true because she considered Gothic excess, transgression, gloom, horror, and terror as instrumental in speaking of gender, race, and the effects of colonization and environmental exploitation, thus creating a bridge that connected the past to present times, making diversity merge within the Gothic register of monstrosity and disease. Brackett wrote many novels set on planets other than Earth, and her representation of alien worlds and interstellar travels has assured her a durable place in the Gothic Galaxy. My aim is to show how she reinterpreted the Gothic making it revive in the outer space and interface with extraterrestrial alienness.

Alien Gothic and Gothic Aliens: Leigh Brackett's Respectful Distance

alessandra calanchi
2020-01-01

Abstract

Leigh Brackett (1915–1978) is an icon for pop fiction fandom, though an almost perfect stranger for great part of the academia. Better known as the undisputed queen of the space opera and as a stylist of the pop sublime, she is, as a matter of fact, the perfect example of American Alien Gothic. In a time when SF was considered by most an escapist or an apolitical genre and women writing risked being labelled as feminist fabulation, Brackett chose to keep a distance from “dreary realities” and to legitimize “legends” as true because she considered Gothic excess, transgression, gloom, horror, and terror as instrumental in speaking of gender, race, and the effects of colonization and environmental exploitation, thus creating a bridge that connected the past to present times, making diversity merge within the Gothic register of monstrosity and disease. Brackett wrote many novels set on planets other than Earth, and her representation of alien worlds and interstellar travels has assured her a durable place in the Gothic Galaxy. My aim is to show how she reinterpreted the Gothic making it revive in the outer space and interface with extraterrestrial alienness.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2672955
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact