Philology, pedagogy, and psychology

2023 Issue №2

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Gothic components of science fiction’s genealogy



Science fiction can be defined as the literature about cognizable unusual phenomena which represents hypothetical scientific, technical and social products of their rational exploration. Before the genre emerged, the subject of exploring the unusual was developed mainly in the field of mythological fiction, which became the basic element of Gothic literature. In Gothic, the features of science fiction began to form: in M. Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus”, the motives of the supernatural are rationalized through the use of scientific and technical issues. The goal of the presented research is detecting the nature, methods and specif­ics of the transformations of the Gothic plot that led to the formation of the science fiction genre. It is achieved by the use of comparative, historical-genetic, hermeneutic, mythopoetic methods. Gothic literature reacted to the growing interest in scientific and technological progress by attempting to rationalize the elements of the supernatural plot: demons, werewolves, the living dead could be presented either as a result of experimentation or as an object of scientific exploration. In Russian literature, V. F. Odoevsky made a move from Gothic poetics towards long-term social, scientific and technological forecasting in a fiction text. The role of Gothic in the genesis of science fiction is clearly visible in the artistic world of H. P. Lovecraft who elaborated supernatural horror in the form of nonhuman manifestations of the indifferent Universe. The protagonist scientist is involved into the knowledge of it and, therefore, is put in the situation of a mythological cultural hero, reinterpreted in the coordinates of the plot of scientific research.