Time and again: Anachronism and the Gothic in Vonne van der Meer’s Spookliefde


  • Agnes Andeweg


Vonne van der Meer, Gothic Criticism, Anachronism, Sexual Emancipation, Secularisation, Modernisation


This article examines Vonne van der Meer’s Spookliefde. Een Iers verhaal (Ghost Love. An Irish Tale, 1995) with a Gothic frame of interpretation. Taking my cue from the suggestion made by Chris Baldick and Robert Mighall (2000) that Gothic criticism should pay more attention to historical and geographical references, I argue that Spookliefde‘s Irish setting is a realistic setting for exploring the tensions and parallels between sexual desire and religious desire, between determinacy and surrender. The analysis of anachronism in Spookliefde shows the potential connections between historical context and modernisation processes at the time of publication. At the same time, Spookliefde contests Baldick and Mighall’s argument that Gothic novels confirm modern values through anachronisms.

Author Biography

Agnes Andeweg

Agnes Andeweg is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Literary and Cultural Studies of Radboud University Nijmegen. Her dissertation on the Gothic in Dutch contemporary literature was published by Amsterdam University Press in 2011 (Griezelig gewoon. Gotieke verschijningen in Nederlandse romans 1980-1995). She has published numerous articles on gothic, gender and Dutch literature, and contributed to Blackwell’s Encyclopedia of the Gothic. Her current research focuses on the role of writers and their work in shaping the Dutch national self-image as sexually liberated.




How to Cite

Andeweg, A. (2012). Time and again: Anachronism and the Gothic in Vonne van der Meer’s Spookliefde. Journal of Dutch Literature, 3(2). Retrieved from https://www.journalofdutchliterature.org/index.php/jdl/article/view/33