Nina Auerbach shows how every age embraces the vampire it needs, and gets the vampire it deserves. Working with a wide range of texts, as well as movies and television, Auerbach locates vampires at the heart of our national experience and uses them as a lens for viewing the last two hundred years of Anglo-American cultural history. "[Auerbach] has seen more Hammer movies than I (or the monsters) have had steaming hot diners, encountered more bloodsuckers than you could shake a stick at, even a pair of crossed sticks, such as might deter a very sophisticated ogre, a hick from the Moldavian boonies....Auerbach has dissected and deconstructed them with the tender ruthlessness of a hungry chef, with cogency and wit."—Eric Korn, Times Literary Supplement "This seductive work offers profound insights into many of the urgent concerns of our time and forces us to confront the serious meanings that we invest, and seek, in even the shadiest manifestations of the eroticism of death."—Wendy Doniger, The Nation "A vigorous, witty look at the undead as cultural icons."—Kirkus Review "In case anyone should think this book is merely a boring lit-crit exposition...Auerbach sets matters straight in her very first paragraph. 'What vampires are in any given generation,' she writes, 'is a part of what I am and what my times have become. This book is a history of Anglo-American culture through its mutating vampires.'...Her book really takes off."—Maureen Duffy, New York Times Book Review
Winner of the 1997 International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts Best Non-fiction Book In 1897, Archibald Constable & Company published a novel by the unheralded Bram Stoker. That novel, Dracula, has gone on to become perhaps the most influential novel of all time. To commemorate the centennial of that great novel, Carol Margaret Davison has brought together this collection of essays by some of the world’s leading scholars. The essays analyze Stoker’s original novel and celebrate its legacy in popular culture. The continuing presence of Dracula and vampire fiction and films provides proof that, as Davison writes, Dracula is "alive and sucking." "Dracula is a Gothic mandala, a vast design in which multiple reflections of the elements of the genre are configured in elegant sets of symmetries. It is also a sort of lens, bringing focus and compression to diverse Gothic motifs, including not only vampirism but madness, the night, spoiled innocence, disorder in nature, sacrilege, cannibalism, necrophilia, psychic projection, the succubus, the incubus, the ruin, and the tomb. Gathering up and unifying all that came before it, and casting its great shadow over all that came and continues to come after, its influence on twentieth-century Gothic fiction and film is unique and irresistible." from the Preface by Patrick McGrath
In 1896, French magician and filmmaker George Méliès brought forth the first celluloid vampire in his film Le manoir du diable. The vampire continues to be one of film's most popular gothic monsters and in fact, today more people become acquainted with the vampire through film than through literature, such as Bram Stoker's classic Dracula. How has this long legacy of celluloid vampires affected our understanding of vampire mythology? And how has the vampire morphed from its folkloric and literary origins? In this entertaining and absorbing work, Stacey Abbott challenges the conventional interpretation of vampire mythology and argues that the medium of film has completely reinvented the vampire archetype. Rather than representing the primitive and folkloric, the vampire has come to embody the very experience of modernity. No longer in a cape and coffin, today's vampire resides in major cities, listens to punk music, embraces technology, and adapts to any situation. Sometimes she's even female. With case studies of vampire classics such as Nosferatu, Martin, Blade, and Habit, the author traces the evolution of the American vampire film, arguing that vampires are more than just blood-drinking monsters; they reflect the cultural and social climate of the societies that produce them, especially during times of intense change and modernization. Abbott also explores how independent filmmaking techniques, special effects makeup, and the stunning and ultramodern computer-generated effects of recent films have affected the representation of the vampire in film.
Offers a collection of vampire tales by the creator of Sherlock Holmes, including "The Captain of the Pole Star," about a medical student on an arctic voyage haunted by a heat-draining Eskimo vampire, and "The Three Gables," in which vampirism is used asa metaphor for capitalism.