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Peake Studies

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The Grotesque In ‘Danse Macabre’

Nahid Shahbazi Moghadam
Published Online: 2014-04-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/peakest-2014-0002

Abstract

The grotesque is the territory where reality and fantasy are intrinsically interwoven. In Mervyn Peake’s short story, ‘Danse Macabre’, the weird play of crossing the boundaries between life and death is enhanced by objects (here, clothes) developing a life of their own. The matter-of-fact tone of narration lulls the reader’s mounting anxiety, while maintaining a contradictory sense of repulsion and attraction as the story line proceeds. Objects taking on independent life and the fusion of organic and inorganic (characteristic motifs of the grotesque according to Kayser) are the two main elements in this tale, in which the clothes provide a most weird image of death.

Keywords: grotesque; fantastic; Wolfgang Kayser; Mervyn Peake; ‘Danse Macabre’

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About the article

Published Online: 2014-04-25

Published in Print: 2014-04-01


Citation Information: Peake Studies, ISSN (Online) 1013-1191, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/peakest-2014-0002.

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© by Nahid Shahbazi Moghadam . This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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