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The vampire is one of the nineteenth century's most powerful surviving archetypes, owing largely to Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula, the Bram Stoker creation. Yet the figure of the vampire has undergone many transformations in recent years, thanks to Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and other works, and many young people now identify with vampires in complex ways.
Blood Read explores these transformations and shows how they reflect and illuminate ongoing changes in postmodern culture. It focuses on the metaphorical roles played by vampires in contemporary fiction and film, revealing what they can tell us about sexuality and power, power and alienation, attitudes toward illness, and the definition of evil in a secular age.
Scholars and writers from the United States, Canada, England, and Japan examine how today's vampire has evolved from that of the last century, consider the vampire as a metaphor for consumption within the context of social concerns, and discuss the vampire figure in terms of contemporary literary theory. In addition, three writers of vampire fiction--Suzy McKee Charnas (author of the now-classic Vampire Tapestry), Brian Stableford (writer of the lively and erudite novels Empire of Fear and Young Blood), and Jewelle Gomez (creator of the dazzling Gilda stories)--discuss their own uses of the vampire, focusing on race and gender politics, eroticism, and the nature of evil.
The first book to examine a wide range of vampire narratives from the perspective of both writers and scholars, Blood Read offers a variety of styles that will keep readers thoroughly engaged, inviting them to participate in a dialogue between fiction and analysis that shows the vampire to be a cultural necessity of our age. For, contrary to legends in which Dracula has no reflection, we can see reflections of ourselves in the vampire as it stands before us cloaked not in black but in metaphor.
Joan Gordon is Associate Professor of English at Nassau Community College in New York. Veronica Hollinger is Associate Professor in the Cultural Studies Program at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.
Foreword: Vampires—The Ancient Fear
1. Introduction: The Shape of Vampires
—Joan Gordon, Veronica Hollinger
2. My Vampire, My Friend: The Intimacy Dracula Destroyed
3. Metaphor into Metonymy: The Vampire Next Door
4. The Vampire as Alien in Contemporary Fiction
—Margaret L. Carter
5. Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth: The Vampire in Search of Its Mother
6. Meditations in Red: On Writing The Vampire Tapestry
—Suzy McKee Charnas
7. Sang for Supper: Notes on the Metaphorical Use of Vampires in The Empire of Fear and Young Blood
8. Recasting the Mythology: Writing Vampire Fiction
9. Dieting and Damnation: Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire
10. When Hollywood Sucks, or, Hungry Girls, Lost Boys, and Vampirism in the Age of Reagan
11. Consuming Youth: The Lost Boys Cruise Mallworld
12. The Gilda Stories: Revealing the Monsters at the Margins
13. Coming Out of the Coffin: Gay Males and Queer Goths in Contemporary Vampire Fiction
14. Techno-Gothic Japan: From Seishi Yokomizo's The Death's-Head Stranger to Mariko Ohara's Ephemera the Vampire
15. Fantasies of Absence: The Postmodern Vampire
List of Contributors
Posted September 7, 2010
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