«It reminded me of Poe’s story»: Edgar Allan Poe’s legacy, the ghost story and the American gothic in Richard Matheson’s A Stir of Echoes

Marta Miquel Baldellou

Abstract

Even if A Stir of Echoes (1958) has often been overshadowed by Richard Matheson’s most well-known novels I am Legend (1954) and The Shrinking Man (1956), it should be given the credit it deserves as a novel that functions both as a reflection as well as a source of intertextuality. A Stir of Echoes is rooted in the tradition of the ghost story and the American gothic, but above all, it comprises motifs, characters and twists in the plot that are significantly remindful of some of Poe’s most representative tales. Likewise, being the novel that came to light immediately prior to his films adaptations of Poe’s tales, Richard Matheson must have had A Stir of Echoes in mind in order to expand and transform some of Poe’s stories for his screenplays. This article aims to analyse A Stir of Echoes regarding its intertextuality with Poe’s tales, especially with those that Matheson would later on adapt to the screen.

Keywords

Matheson, intertextuality, ghost story, American gothic, Edgar Allan Poe, film adaptations.

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References

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