“Time is Everything with Him”

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Pinni B building, auditorium 1097, address: Kanslerinrinne 1.

Doctoral student Christos Angelis

Doctoral defence of M.A. Christos Angelis

“Time is Everything with Him”: The Concept of the Eternal Now in Nineteenth-Century Gothic

The field of science of the dissertation is English Philology.

The opponent is Assistant Professor Dorota Babilas (University of Warsaw, Poland). Docent Jarkko Toikkanen acts as the custos.

The language of the dissertation defence is English.

The Eternal Now in Gothic Fiction

From classical works such Frankenstein or Dracula to modern zombie narratives and on-screen vampires, Gothic narratives share several common characteristics: fear and suspense, the difficulty to separate facts from imagination or illusion, as well as an interest in marginalized voices or expressions. However, what emerges as a common connective link between these and other characteristics of Gothic literature is the use of time. In Gothic works time can flow faster, more slowly, or it can even stop altogether, and it is important to remember that time loses its meaning with immortal beings. The importance of this becomes visible once the reader discovers the vast symbolic power hidden in these narratives.

In my dissertation I analyze how time is used in Gothic fiction to reveal hidden meanings about aspects of identity, such as gender & sexuality, ethnicity & religion, and class. Particular focus is placed on the concept of the eternal now – the “here-and-now” present moment the borders of which are hazy – as I argue that this ambiguous temporal element is the point that separates and yet unites identity-based oppositions. I demonstrate that the “here-and-now” present possesses transcendental, perhaps even spiritual (though non-religious) aspects and, through a process of synthesizing these identity oppositions, it suggests a resolution of their conflict.


The dissertation is published in the publication series of Acta Universitatis Tamperensis; 2326, Tampere University Press, Tampere 2017. The dissertation is also published in the e-series Acta Electronica Universitatis Tamperensis; 1830, Tampere University Press 2017.

The dissertation can be ordered at: Juvenes e-bookstore , or e-mail: verkkokauppa@juvenesprint.fi.

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