In 1764, in the midst of the Age of Reason, Horace Walpole claimed to have found and translated an old Italian manuscript, The Castle of Otranto, infested with supernatural beings, mad and immoral aristocrats, superstitions and dark secrets. For all its strangeness, Walpole’s work offered a literary model for a whole new genre that explored the darker side of reality, marked by visceral impulses and forbidden desires. Thirty-two years later, Matthew Gregory Lewis published The Monk, a story in which a host of legendary supernatural beings—the devil, the Wandering Jew, the Bleeding Nun—blend effortlessly into the historical narrative.
Together, these two novels, with their emphasis on the potential reality of the unknown and the lingering shadow of a brutal, monster-ridden world of superstition and irrational fears, established the basis for modern horror fiction and many other subversive or speculative works that were developped over the following century, including classics such as Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or Dracula.

Raúl Montero Gilete es el co-fundador y director de Funny and Easy S.L., compañía dedicada a la organización de cursos de idiomas (inglés y español) para alumnos europeos. . En su tesis doctoral, nos presenta una nueva visión del niño como héroe en las obras enmarcadas dentro del género literario infantil fantástico del “Espantapájaros,” valiéndose en la argumentación de su propuesta del análisis de Las Crónicas de Narnia de C.S. Lewis. Raúl también es profesor en la Universidad del País Vasco donde imparte metodología, inglés e historia y cultura inglesa en la Universidad del País Vasco en Vitoria-Gasteiz, lugar en el que ha crecido y vive con su novia Leyre.
Martin Simonson studied English philology and translation at the University of the Basque Country in Vitoria, Spain, and holds a Ph.D. from the same university with a dissertation on the narrative dynamics of The Lord of the Rings. He has contributed with essays on fantastic literature in many journals and anthologies, and he has published a full-length study on the interaction of narrative genre in Tolkien’s literature titled The Lord of the Rings and the Western Narrative Tradition (Walking Tree Publishers 2008). He has translated several Swedish novels into Spanish, including the works of Jens Lapidus and Jonas Hassen Khemiri, as well as essays on North American history, such as Nelson Johnson’s Boardwalk Empire. Martin’s current research is focused on American and English nature writing and literature of place. He is currently teaching English and Cultural Studies at the MA programme for comparative literature at the University of the Basque Country.

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