‘No More Let Life Divide…’

Victorian Metropolitan Confluence in Penny Dreadful

in Critical Survey
Sinan Akilli Hacettepe University sinanakilli@gmail.com

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Seda Öz Hacettepe University seda.oz@mcgill.ca

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In Penny Dreadful, John Logan creates a ‘confluent’ and urban diegetic world which is characterized by the merging of dualities. While seamlessly bringing together characters from such classical works of Victorian Gothic fiction as Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Dracula, and through the references by these characters to the Romantics such as Shelley and Blake, the series also provides a retrospective vision of the dark aspects of the urbanization of Victorian London. With reference to London’s representation in Penny Dreadful, this article explores the shaky ground of the metropolis that creates a duality in almost every other element of the show, including the representation of the city and its social realities, the identities of the characters, and the adaptation and ‘confluence’ of Victorian literary works in a single world that is paradoxically characterized by stark contrasts and dualities.

Contributor Notes

Sinan Akilli currently works at the Department of English Language and Literature, Hacettepe University, Turkey, where he received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in British Cultural Studies in 2001 and 2005, respectively. After spending about four years in the U.S. as an independent scholar, from 2009 to 2011 he worked at Aksaray University in Turkey as the founding chair of the Department of Western Languages and Literatures. Among his most recent publications are a book chapter entitled ‘Sir Henry Rider Haggard: An Early Ecocritic?’ in The Future of Ecocriticism: New Horizons (2011), Late Victorian Imperial Adventure Novel (2011), which is the book version of his doctoral dissertation, and Asil Hayvanlar (2015), which is a Turkish translation of Donna Landry’s Noble Brutes: How Eastern Horses Transformed English Culture (2008). His current research focuses on the Victorian novel, the gothic novel, adaptation studies, nineteenth-century travel literature, early modern English popular culture and literature, and more recently, animal studies.

Seda Öz received her B.A. degree in English Language and Literature from İstanbul University in 2012. She received her M.A. degree in British Cultural Studies in 2015 from Hacettepe University with the thesis entitled ‘A Bakhtinian Analysis of Robinsonades: Literary and Cinematic Adaptations of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe’. Currently she is continuing her Ph.D. studies at the Department of Communication Sciences, Hacettepe University.

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