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Book Chapter


Edwards JD & Vasconcelos SGT (2016) Introduction. In: Edwards J & Vasconcelos S (eds.) Tropical Gothic in Literature and Culture: The Americas. Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature, 60. London: Routledge, pp. 1-12.

First paragraph: In the Mexican film Cronos (1993), a mysterious device designed to provide its owner with eternal life resurfaces after four hundred years, leaving a trail of destruction in its path. When opened, the device stabs the handler and the incision stimulates youthful vigour and a vampire’s need for blood. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, who would go on to make the Gothic horror films Devil’s Backbone (2001), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) and the American mainstream vampire superhero action movie Blade II (2002), Cronos is part of a tradition of vampire narratives in the American tropics that stretches from the civatateo of Aztec mythology to the tale of the azeman in Surinam to the oral stories of the peuchen in Chile to the lobisomem of Brazilian folklore to the soucouyant and volant in the Anglophone and Francophone Caribbean. But Cronos is also part of a significant Gothic cinematic tradition in the tropics of the Americas that includes, among many others, vampire films such as Vampiros (2004) by the Puerto Rican director Eduardo Ortíz, Sangre eternal (Eternal Blood, 2002) by Jorge Olguin from Chile, as well as the Columbian films Pura sangre (Pure Blood, 1982) by Luis Ospina and Carne de tu carne (Flesh of Your Flesh, 1983) by Carlos Mayolo. In fact, Mayolo refers to his vampire movie and his haunting work La mansión de Araucaíma (The Manor of Araucaíma 1986) as ‘Gótico tropical’ (tropical Gothic) films that revolve around ‘la estructura del gótico’, a gothic structure in a tropical setting (9).

Gothic revival (Literature); History and criticism; Gothic revival (Literature); American literature; Tropics literature

Author(s)Edwards, Justin D.; Vasconcelos, Sandra Guardini T
Title of seriesRoutledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature
Number in series60
Publication date31/12/2016
Publisher URL…ok/9781138915862
Place of publicationLondon
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