Heaven and Hell at the Paradise Motel

Tessa Chudy

Abstract


This piece is taken from the novel “Heaven and Hell at the Paradise Motel” and the exegesis that together forms my PhD thesis. The three main strands of this thesis are Gothic, Noir and sense of place. The novel, ‘‘Heaven and Hell at the Paradise Motel”, is preoccupied with the natural environment, its subtle seasonal changes and the way the environment impacts on its human inhabitants and how they in turn affect it. The novel is, in a very Gothic sense, haunted by dreams, apparitions and narratives – specifically mini-narratives that reflect the nature of fairy tales, horror stories and urban myths. It contains elements of melodrama, horror, romance. The story follows a deeply dysfunctional family through a seasonal cycle: beginning in Spring and ending once again in Spring. A key focus for both the creative and the theoretical work was the everyday application of the Gothic and Noir – for example a house doesn’t have to be a castle to be haunted; people don’t have to be monsters to be monstrous. The dark, the strange, the sinister and the perverse lurk in the shadows of everyday reality, but also how these elements intertwined within the landscape.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1344/co201311177-186

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