Book Chapter

Clarence John Laughlin's Ghosts Along the Mississippi (1948): Southern Gothic



Jones T (2018) Clarence John Laughlin's Ghosts Along the Mississippi (1948): Southern Gothic. In: Bacon S (ed.) The Gothic: A Reader. Oxford: Peter Lang, pp. 53-60.;

First paragraph: Although Clarence John Laughlin has been described as 'Edgar Allan Poe with a camera' (Kukla 5), he is not especially well-known within Gothic studies. Laughlin produced a body of work that documents his native New Orleans, Louisiana and occasionally, further afield. He is best known for his book of photographs and accompanying essays, Ghosts Along the Mississippi, first published in 1948, which documents the abandoned plantation houses that had been built along the river. The success of the book – which ran to several printings over more than ten years – was a small redress for Laughlin, who, in his artistic prime, struggled to maintain a reputation in photographic circles, perhaps in part due to his abrasive personal style, but also because of his insistence that his photography be accompanied by his often voluminous textual interpretations, a practice often regarded by his peers as a grotesque disruption of his photography (Meek 25).

Clarence John Laughlin; Southern Gothic; plantation houses; New Orleans; photography; ghosts; hautning; William Faulkner

Publication date31/12/2018
PublisherPeter Lang
Publisher URL
Place of publicationOxford

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Dr Timothy Jones

Dr Timothy Jones

Lecturer in Gothic Studies, English Studies