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(Un)becoming Goth: Poppy Z. Brite, Courtney love and Gothic biography.

   I am doll eyes
   doll mouth
   doll legs
   I am doll arms
   big veins
   dog bait (1)

   Expression in [the assemblage] becomes a semiotic system, a regime
   of signs, and content becomes a pragmatic system, actions and
   passions. This is the double articulation face-hand, gesture-word,
   and the reciprocal presupposition between the two. This is the
   first division of every assemblage: it is simultaneously and
   inseparably a machinic assemblage and an assemblage of enunciation.
   In each case, it is necessary to ascertain both what is said and
   what is done. (2)


What is it to read a biography Gothically? To write one Gothically? To find in one's subject a reformed or reframed Goth? Horror author Poppy Z. Brite defines herself negatively in relation to a Goth past constructed as immature, and in Courtney Love: The Real Story (1999) does the same thing to alternative music icon Courtney Love, lead singer of Hole and film actor. At the same time, the biography finds itself awash in Gothic conventions. This essay makes sense of different strata of 'Gothicity' by calling upon the schizoanalysis of Deleuze and Guattari. Rather than an exposition of referentiality or its impossibility, Deleuze and Guattari's sense of the minor and their shift away from arboreal, molar frameworks to rhizomatic, molecular flows lead us to multiple entry points with which to traverse a curious book. This reading of Courtney Love's biography is one plateau among others in an ongoing study of what I call minoritarian Gothic in popular and literary culture.

For Deleuze and Guattari, a minor literature has three characteristics. They are 'the deterritorialisation of language, the connection of the individual to a political immediacy, and the collective assemblage of enunciation.' (3) It is their conviction that formalisations of literary categories (popular and marginal are their examples) cannot be defined until one defines minor literature. With Franz Kafka as their example, they have ethno-linguistic de-territorialisation of language as their illustration of their first characteristic. The Gothic analogy could be the insertion of typically Gothic language or tropes in a more major genre, or a digging under the foundations of a mainstream form with the deployment of Goth transgenderisms (as Brite herself does in her own retooling of The Crow comic book mythos). (4) Connection to a political immediacy is much more easily explained with Kafka, but is not absent even from popular Gothic--especially if one considers the Gothic to be a veiled exploration of commentary on women's confinement, to raise only one of its possibilities. As a means of generating a collective voice, Gothic in general and Brite in particular express an outsider desire, a simultanously affirmative and disavowing voice of alterity.

In the wider context of Deleuze and Guattari's experimental concept-building and the resulting movement of decanonisation, these three components of a minor literature provide a way to understand the work of other kinds of writing. It is not necessarily the case that Gothic literature is a minor literature--although elsewhere it may be appropriate to assert that there is a minor, rhizomatic Gothic--but rather that defining a minor literature helps us to define the work of popular literatures, musics and even identities based on them. Although Brite ostensibly writes the biography neither to 'condemn' nor 'defend' Love, but rather 'to chronicle the first thirty-two years of her life as accurately as possible, ' I want us to read it as a literary machine that produces Goth and Gothic effects. (5) In essence, the reading of Gothic effects (and affect) in Brite's biography of Love is a means of 'experimenting the text', which, as Bruce Baugh reminds us, includes the concepts of improvisation, innovation and experience. (6) While I do suggest here that the text experiences itself Gothically and that our activity as readers is to experience the text Gothically, this is not done in isolation from the improvisational, rhizomatic flow of Gothic and Goth signifiers back and forth across a centuries-old Gothic machine (an assemblage of enunciation and a producer of Gothic effects) that organises a particular territory of literature, music, identity and culture. The publication of Brite's biography of Love is a particularly useful moment in a concatenation of Gothics--molecular and molar--and as such provides us with a means of decanonising several categories of literary and cultural production at once.

Mainstream media accounts of Courtney Love have portrayed her as a manipulative, bitchy slut trying to keep the work of her late husband Kurt Cobain (including unreleased songs and his recently released journals) from his adoring fans. The press generated by her attempts to control the estate has constituted a particular kind of anti-Courtney position and cultivated an image of her as a conniving, media-savvy, greedy, obsessive unfit mother. The most well-known of these portrayals is the 1997 Nick Broomfield film Kurt and Courtney, but even in the past several years Love's struggles with drugs and fame have been fodder for radio announcers and popular print media.

That a biographer would see fit, therefore, to weave out of her narratives a Gothic tale is hardly a surprise. Love's persona through the 1980s and 1990s notwithstanding, it is clear that her construction as a despotic, crazed guardian of family secrets is rich Gothic material left just as it is. That Brite, a horror writer with a Goth-ish background and persona all her own, would be the logical biographer is also unsurprising (although the move into this genre might seem uncharacteristic). What is somewhat surprising is the manner in which the Gothicisation happens at the expense of Goth subculture. Poppy Brite's Courtney Love: The Real Story makes the interesting double move, then, of advancing toward and retreating from two types of Gothicity at the same time. The articulation of Gothic literary form with Goth popular culture, often assumed but generally not explored, forms the subject of one traversal of Brite's text. Consider the following chart, which puts in simplest terms the relations to which I am referring:

[FoIGURE 1 OMITTED]

To dwell for a moment on articulation--which here I am using to mean the bending movement that requires some kind of joint, as in 'articulated doll' or 'articulating arm'--following the theme of this special issue, this essay articulates Gothic and popular culture. The chart (Fig. 1) can be thought of as an articulation of elements in the langue of Gothic conventionality and the parole of this particular text, to borrow terms from structural linguistics. But what are the stakes of considering this as an articulatory exercise rather than a rhizomatic flow? Articulation can function as a metaphor, or as a literal explanation of relations between two discrete objects or between two concepts. I want to express the limitations of the Gothic-popular culture combination (especially if we maintain the notion of articulation as a metaphor) by drawing a mental picture of two different kinds of articulation points. One is the pair of hinges on a conventional interior door hung on a frame in a structure. The other is the 'ball joint' that allows a ball to nest inside a casing that can then revolve around it in many directions on many different axes. Though the following examples slide easily into the comical, I'd ask readers to indulge the idea for the moment, if only because it reflects so well Love's own lyrics from 'Doll Parts.' (7)

Applying these two different means of articulation to the present concern, we can conceptualise the Gothic as a door hung on the frame of popular culture, or popular culture as a door hung on the frame of the Gothic. This leads to rich responses in terms of constraints, limited scope and axis of articulation, structured conventions and jokes about planing the door to make it fit, or screwing it harder into the frame to lift it those few last millimetres, that it might close all the better.

We can also conceptualise the Gothic as a stationary or moving ball more than half enclosed by popular culture, itself stationary or moving and certainly having a rod or other connection protruding and attached to some larger machine, or to a manipulating hand. Or we can think of popular culture as the ball and the Gothic, or Gothic formations, as the casing around the ball. In either case, the associations that emerge are powerful and can lead to interesting castings of the articulatory possibilities and limits between the two entities.

I raise these metaphors not because I want to dwell on the associations they produce, but because they help to define what the problem is in thinking popular culture and Gothic formations together. The literary Gothic can be a transgressive genre in terms of sex, gender, race and canonicity; its intents, ends and effects are, however, often quite conservative. As long as we keep categories like Gothic and popular culture separate, calling them unique territories, articulation metaphors seem adequate to express their relations. Often, however, what may look like a causal relation may instead be metonymies, or not relational at all. What if, then, instead of thinking of articulated parts, we consider the Gothic as a rhizome, its stems as much root stock as its roots, that grow laterally, across the terrain of popular culture, incorporating it and changing its landscape, defining and redefining what 'it' is and might yet be. After all, the assemblage that is the persona in Doll Parts is able to 'fake it so real' she is 'beyond fake': (8) this meta-simulation is an apt metaphor for what happens when we try to settle on a 'Gothic' and a 'popular culture' that are stable enough to be each other's object with which to articulate.

We should be careful, though, not to confuse Gothic's rhizomaticity with a metaphor (Gothic as organic, Gothic as a plant). The concept of the rhizome is a useful one to the degree that it can take account both of transgression and conservatism in the same text, in the same author. It also affords us a way to think ahistorically at the same time as we think historically. The subject under consideration in this essay is not only a Gothic biography itself, but also the resulting series conjugated by yoking the terms Gothic and biography: it is a biography written Gothically AND a biography written by a Gothic fiction writer AND a biography written by a Goth AND a biography written about a former Goth AND a repudiation of Goth AND an attempt to reveal truth AND a contribution to a set of controversies in the contemporary music scene AND ... This series and its subsumption under a rhizomatic model resists the choice of 'or'--the articulation point of the hinge or the ball joint --and thereby becomes a model not only for minoritarian Gothic as an agent of popular culture but also for cultural criticism as minoritarian Gothic writing.

1997: Poppy Brite's Couch

Poppy Z. Brite is the thirty-something author of several horror novels, numerous short stories, a novelisation of a comic book series, Courtney Love's biography, and editor of vampire fiction collections. Her persona and her fiction form a low culture, evil double of Anne Rice's attempts at high aestheticisation of vampires and witchery. Thus far, Brite has avoided being submitted to much serious critical attention beyond occasional reviews, at least in the academic world. (9) Her work is taught, however, in Gothic and horror courses on at least three continents. Given teaching's propensity to give rise to interesting and new research questions, it would not be surprising, then, to see an increase in Brite criticism soon.

Brite's fictions transgress normative sexual morality; they articulate Gothic tropes, queer identities and postmodern Goth subculture. Put simply, her novels share an American Gothic context, her important characters are in one way or another gay and gender transitive, and the particular subcultural milieu in which the characters and plots operate is Goth-inflected. By Goth-inflected I mean both the interpellations (in current popular media parlance the 'shout-outs') to a Goth scene, Goth histories that include recuperations of the films Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, for example, and references to certain body types that are privileged in those scenes (the razor-sharp cheekbones, the impossibly slim pale bodies). While Brite's obvious vampirical template is Zillah in Lost Souls, the character Nothing from the same novel, Tran and Jay from her Exquisite Corpse, and Benny and Lucrece from The Crow: Lazarus Heart are all in some way Gothicised.

Fictions about Brite have begun to emerge that make her, with certain other proto-Goths in literary history such as Percy Shelley, Charlotte Dacre and Count Eric Stenbock, a rhizomatic and nomadic Goth. As a former stripper, as a former death-fascinated teen herself, and as a transgressive writer, she shares an affinity both with Gothic writers over time and with alternative music culture in the contemporary era. With regard to her novels and stories, it is doubtful that anyone could argue for its experimentalism, at least formally; hers is not the kind of fiction privileged by Deleuze and Guattari when they attempt to make of Henry Miller, William Burroughs or Franz Kafka exemplary writers. However, the rather conventional plotting is belied in Brite by elements of non-normative sex, gender and sexuality (sometimes aided and abetted by the use of supernatural bodies like vampires), and when taken to extremes serve a very similar function to the 'lines of flight' run along by Deleuze and Guattari's exemplars. (10)

Poppy Brite can be counted on to shock, at least a bit. Her fiction is certainly post-punk rather than post-anything else, and it is perhaps for this reason that she found herself sitting across from Courtney Love, being asked to write the biography of the much maligned lead singer of the alternative band Hole. The meeting is described in the foreword to the biography. The first curious thing about it is the mystery under which it takes place; indeed, Brite narrates the occasion as a kind of supernatural visitation, for her phone number is unlisted: 'Courtney Love calls me one night. I don't question how she got my unlisted number; people like her have Ways ... I invite her over.' (11) The likeness of this to a supernatural, vampiric visitation is clear, and thus starts a Gothic narrative. The second curious thing about this meeting (relative to the present work) is precisely the Gothic-ness of the resulting narrative and its simultaneous disavowal of Goth punk. Brite has admitted to having been a 'Goth' but has also repudiated it. (12) In the last several years her cult status has been more along the axis of sex radical than Goth goddess, although there are significant overlaps between Goth iconography and sadomasochistic style, for example.

Courtney Love, on the other hand, has achieved a measure of Hollywood and alternative rock fame. Loathed by some as the possible killer of her husband, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, adored by fans as a strong female voice in alternative rock, Love's narrative has a Gothic sediment mined and exploited by Brite. Plug into the narrative machine by starting with an old manuscript recently found, containing absent or abusive fathers, weak mothers, confined heroines, attractive villains, and out comes a Gothic plot. That the ending is deferred should come as no surprise to scholars of the Gothic; in fact, the multiplication of stories about Love before, during, and after the book in the popular media, including the internet, constructs even more complex Gothic plots and characters.

Brite's authorised biography of Courtney Love is apparently a generic shift for the writer of horror stories. Cheeky radio DJs might make a joke at this point: given the horror that is Courtney Love, Brite hasn't actually strayed very far afield at all, and there's a sense in which they would be right. Although it is a work of non-fiction, in it one finds conventions of fiction, as one does in any narrative of a self. Functioning as a self-proclaimed corrective to rumors and scandalous biographies, Brite's treatment of the singer/actor's life (so far) is notable for the position Goth holds in its rhetorical and causal logics. Goth in this tale is a cool way to look, an object of derision, and a mythical or epic-stamping guarantor of meaning in the history of Seattle Grunge. The striking thing about the book is not simply how Gothic it is, which I will outline briefly, but how Goth functions as a double articulation within it, which in turn produces a kind of schizoid reading/writing practice.

The first instance of Goth presence in the text is a caption under a picture of Courtney Love staring defiantly at the camera as it interrupts a phone call she is making. It reads: 'Gothed out at fifteen.' (13) To be 'Gothed out' is to be decked out in Goth makeup and clothing, and with dark eyeliner, jet black hair and ruby lips, as well as possibly powdered face. It is an accurate enough (if debatable--she also looks a lot like 1980s pop singer Pat Benatar) description of this picture. The implication seems to be that Goth affect is one stop on Love's path of disaffection and alienation, a path that leads directly to expressions of anger in alternative rock. Here and elsewhere, Brite figures Goth as something to go through but get over and move on--a double move of repudiation and accusation, for if one remains a Goth as a grown up one is not really grown up (a Goth complex of sorts). Two instances of Goth in the text that disturb the pro-woman stance explicit and implicit throughout the biography involve virtual and real harassment of Love by Goths. Rumours abound on the internet and throughout the popular media that Courtney Love arranged for the murder of her husband, Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain. One of the most vitriolic attacks came from a woman making frequent use of internet chat sites, and Brite's description of her reveals yet again the disdain with which she disavows (or transcends?) Goth: a fat Goth living in her parents' basement is a serious threat to Love's newfound creativity, as is another fat Goth in the audience at a concert.

In the first instance, Courtney Love's online activity around a purported affair with Trent Reznor, founder of the neo-industrial band Nine Inch Nails, draws internet newsgroup fire from 'Sasha' and several of her aliases (199). Brite reports that America OnLine member 'Sasha' was
   a sad character. A fat Goth in her mid-thirties, she lived with her
   parents in a dismal suburb of San Francisco. She bragged on-line
   about trips she was going to take to Prague, Rome, and Japan, but
   an arthritic condition in her legs and feet prevented her from
   walking long distances. She appeared to live completely through her
   Internet persona. (14)


This mix of traits is fascinating to the scholar of Gothic literature: it would seem that the antagonist here is a crippled, excessively large creature of questionable heritage and mysterious identity. Here the 'fat Goth' lends a Gothic valence to the narrative in addition to standing for a kind of arrested development: one will recall that Courtney got over her Goth stage after returning from singer Julian Cope's English flat as a teenager. (15)

The other instance of a mature, post-Goth repudiation of immature Goth subjectivity occurs at a concert in Amsterdam. When an audience member heckles Love, accusing her of killing husband Kurt Cobain, Love calls her a 'fat ugly Goth'. (16) In this case, Goth again holds the position of villainy and excess. The Goth ideal is an impossibly thin, delicate beauty that smacks of consumptive, romantically decayed youth. Apparently to portray oneself as a Goth and be fat is to transgress the ideal and become a figure for monstrosity in this narrative.

In contradistinction to the place Goth--at least fat and adult Goth--holds in Brite's narrativisation comes the paragraph-long parenthesis that situates Kurt Cobain as a Goth. According to Love, Cobain was 'a closet deathrocker ... Some of the art he bought is so Goth it's unbelievable. If you actually listen to Nirvana, some of it's almost kind of like Bauhaus.' (17) Bauhaus--the band rather than the art movement --is one origin of Goth music and fashion for many who are part of the scene. Love goes on to expose Cobain's list of obscure alternative acts that was to appear in his biography as a lure for kids, a myth in itself, adding that 'you can't even play his fuckin' Bauhaus records anymore, they're so scratched up.' (18) The suggestion here is that in fact Cobain's list of favourite records should have been honest, and to have been honest, it would have been (or at least included) Goth. Brite's placement of this paragraph, coming as it does in a brief narrativisation of Cobain's life (specifically between getting into 'rock and then punk' and 'drugs enter[ing] his life,' (19) is revelatory. It occupies a place in the biography of an aside, by this seems not to be its function: set off in parentheses, it is a piece of information that does not fit the trajectory Brite is trying to trace, but it allows for a certain kind of mythifying of its own, and clearly she very much wants to include it. The parentheses draw attention to, rather than away from, this bit of Goth punk inheritance.

As Joshua Gunn reminds us, Goth is a contested identity, a site of surfaces and reframed histories; in rather postmodern terms not found in contemporary observers such as Gavin Baddely or Paul Hodkinson, Gunn critiques media attempts to make of Marilyn Manson a source of evil and traces a 'chaining out' of relational signifiers. (20) They all agree that music is one of the relations that matters in the formation of a Goth identity, whether identity is figured as in process or as memorially reconstructed in narrative. For Henry Sussman, a primary distinction between deconstruction in its Derridean mode and the Deleuzo-Guattarian 'flow theory' is in the latter's ability to account for speed:
   Deconstruction, for all the febrile play it traces between
   signifiers, tends to distribute them, as we have seen, in a spatial
   field, though its oversight surely encompasses sequences in
   signification. Postmodern flow-theory accounts for speed as well as
   territory or space. It therefore inherently presupposes a body and
   explores the conceptual and anthropological implication of certain
   corporeal paradigms. Its openness to questions of temporality,
   velocity, and corporeality may make it the preeminent theoretical
   discourse for approaching music and possibly film in our day. (21)


The embodiments of Goth surely include the melancholic tableaux that both freeze in time the affective dimension of Goth being and traverse space from club to club wherever a song is played or a 'Goth night' held. References in Brite's text, then, serve not as a backdrop or soundtrack to a life, but rather as ghostly, minor rhizomes to the major plot. Along with the irruptions of Goth imagery and Gothic narrative in this biography, they can be considered, in fact, minor uses of the major language in which they are couched, including (but not limited to) the music industry and the publishing industry.

Considered as the movement of Gothic literature into popular biography (or its MINOR version), together with the musical forms that act as touchstones for the countercultural moments enacted by each plot element or convention, the text exemplifies both a major and a minor movement simultaneously. In order to activate the minor chords Goth music and its alternative antecedents or related forms play in the narrative, the earlier table (Fig. 1) changes to include bands:

While musical authenticity and border policing are a major factor in Goth identification, this table does not distinguish between 'Goth' and other forms; rather, it seeks to display the manner in which music accompanies textual elements to form surprising new 'growths' from non-arboreal stems. Particularly germane to Fig. 2, above, is the idea that musical metonymies are part of a discontinuous, local, yet collective assemblage of enunciation. The capacity of the musical forms in the text not only to accompany the narrative but also to produce particular effects in the de--and re-territorialisation of identity--and even of plot--merits their inclusion here. Popular and so-called 'alternative' music adds a dimension to the mixing of lives and plots that characterise this particular Goth machine.

It is not accidental that since Romanticism the narration of lives and that of fictional plots has borne more than a casual resemblance. With the cult of the individual alone in an empty, awesome, or cruel world, with the cultivation of transgression as heroism, with the privileging of youthful death as the site of beautiful tragedy comes a slew of inheritors, not the least important of which in cultural terms is the punk rock movement that began in the 1970s. Clearly punk rock is not Romanticism; however, it is just as clearly a related repetition of affect. This is one of the reasons it is possible to say that Brite is a machine that plugs into another machine. A challenge in coming to terms with Deleuze and Guattari's theories is deciding when someone is being nomadic (acting with agency to run along lines of flight) or machinic (acting without agency as another cog in a machine). One always runs the risk of becoming a nomadic despot, subject to microfascisms within. Clearly this is not another simple conservative/progressive bind, but it is difficult to define what it is otherwise. My own answer is that the name 'Poppy Z. Brite' designates a writing machine that produces texts (more machines) that have in them nomadic, rhizomatic extremes of gender and sexuality constituted in and by minoritarian Gothicism. To understand Courtney Love's identity in a conventional Gothic framework that produces a reframing of Kurt Cobain as a closet Goth, and to understand all this in a text that relies for its persuasion on a series of literary AND musical conventions completely divorced from one another temporally, is to plant one's analysis squarely in the field, or territory, of Deleuze and Guattari's rhizomes.

[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]

Trevor Holmes

University of Guelph

Notes

(1) Hole, 'Doll Parts', from audio recording Live Through This (Geffen, 1994).

(2) Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. and Foreword by Brian Massumi (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1987), p. 504.

(3) Gilies Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, trans. Dana Polan (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1986), p. 18.

(4) Poppy Z. Brite, The Crow: Lazarus Heart (New York, Harper Prism, 1998). This novel was inspired by James O'Barr's comic book series The Crow. Brite's recasting produces a kind of transGoth eroticism.

(5) Poppy Z. Brite, Courtney Love: The Real Story (New York, Touchstone, 1999), p. 18.

(6) Bruce Baugh, 'How Deleuze can help us make Literature work', in Ian Buchanan and John Marks (eds), Deleuze and Literature (Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2000), p. 35.

(7) Love, 'Doll Parts'. See p. 1 for the excerpt.

(8) Ibid.

(9) See Kim Newman, 'Talent in Decay', New Statesman, 125/4296 (8 September 1996), p. 48.

(10) Flight in the sense of fleeing and also flowing/escaping (fuite in French)--essentially a deterritorialising move away from despotic sameness (that inevitably reterritorialises, and sometimes in an equally totalising space, but not necessarily). Cf. Brian Massumi's 'Notes' in Deleuze and Guattari, Thousand Plateaus, p. xvi.

(11) Brite, Courtney Love, p. 15.

(12) Poppy Z. Brite, 'Introduction' to Love in Vein: Twenty Original Tales of Vampiric Erotica (New York, Harper, 1994), pp. v-viii.

(13) Brite, Courtney Love, Figure 5 (n. p.).

(14) Ibid., p. 200.

(15) This narrative thread is from Chapter 4 of Brite, Courtney Love.

(16) Ibid, p. 208.

(17) Ibid., p. 122. It may be of interest to note that throughout Cobain's own journals the closest evidence of any affinity with Bauhaus seems to be a fascination with 4AD label-mates The Pixies. This is 'almost kind of like' metonymy, one supposes. Cf. Kurt Cobain, Journals (New York, Riverhead Books, 2002).

(18) Brite, Courtney Love, p. 122

(19) Ibid.

(20) Joshua Gunn, 'Marilyn Manson is Not Goth: Memorial Struggle and the Rhetoric of Subcultural Identity', Journal of Communication Inquiry, 23: 4 (October 1999), 408. For a more sociological attempt at understanding Goth, see Paul Hodkinson, Goth: Identity, Style and Subculture (Oxford and New York, Berg, 2002); for an ambitious survey that also plays on its insider status for legitimacy, see Gavin Baddeley, Goth Chic: A Connoisseur's Guide to Dark Culture (London, Plexus, 2002).

(21) Henry Sussman, 'Deterritorializing the Text: Flow-Theory and Deconstruction', Modern Language Notes, 115: 5 (2000), p. 993.

Address for correspondence:

Trevor Holmes, Teaching Support Services, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Email: tholmes@uoguelph.ca
Fig. 1: Gothic elements of the text

Gothic tropes or conventions   Courtney Love biography

Found manuscript               Surprise visit to Poppy's place
Frame narrative                Restaurant visit/presentation of facts
Ineffectual parents            Deadhead dad, naive young mom
Attractive villain             Julian Cope
Confinement of heroine         Cope's London flat
Doomed love                    Doomed love (with Cobain)
Mysterious death               Who killed Cobain?

Fig. 2: Gothic conventions in the text with their musical relations

                                                Musical accompaniment
Gothic tropes/          Courtney Love           as presented in the
conventions             biography               text
Found manuscript        Surprise visit          Hole; Teenage Whore
                                                  lyric
Frame narrative         Restaurant visit,       Jukebox with 'Gloomy
                          presenting facts        old British music'
                                                  and REM
Ineffectual parents     Deadhead dad, naive     Grateful Dead/Hippie
                          young Mom
Attractive villain      Julian Cope             Teardrop Explodes,
                                                  Gothy New Wave, New
                                                  Romantic
Confinement of heroine  Cope's London flat      New Romantic, U.S.
                                                  alt rock, Punk,
                                                  Goth
Doomed love Goth        Doomed love (Cobain)    Punk, Grunge,
                                                  disavowed Goth
Mysterious death        Who killed Cobain?      Grunge
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Author:Holmes, Trevor
Publication:Gothic Studies
Article Type:Critical essay
Date:May 1, 2007
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