Frankenstein meets H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘Herbert West – Reanimator’

In the contexts of Gothic texts as ‘corpse producing machines’ and the new post-humanist understandings of the significance of objects, commodities, and things, this essay explores Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and H.P. Lovecraft’s campy ‘Herbert West – Reanimator’ in terms of the way some bodies have always been closer to death and to thing-hood than others. It further prompts a question ignored in Frankenstein – do West’s mindlessly cannibalistic reanimated zombies have souls? According to Lovecraft’s infamous racist screed, West’s reanimations are alive only in the sense that the inhabitants of the New York slums are alive. Hence, both stories demonstrate that some bodies are considered more alive – less thing-like – than others, complicating the posthumanist ‘democracy of objects’ perspective.

in Adapting Frankenstein
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Among the more counterintuitive tropes of the vampire genre is the propensity of vampires to attempt suicide (often successfully). This chapter focuses on three motivations for vampire suicide – vampire guilt, vampire martyrdom and vampire ennui. In relation to guilt, this chapter will discuss Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series, James Malcolm Rymer’s novel Varney the Vampire; or, The Feast of Blood  and Park Chan-wook’s 2009 film Thirst. Vampire martyrdom will be discussed in relation to David Slade’s 2007 American horror movie 30 Days of Night, based on Steve Niles’s 2002 graphic novel, and Darla in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off, Angel . As for vampire ennui, the characters of Godric (Allan Hyde) in HBO's True Blood and Adam (Tom Hiddleston) in Jim Jarmusch's 2013 Only Lovers Left Alive will provide examples. After noting the motivations for vampire suicide in Gothic narrative, the emphasis of the chapter will be on the ways in which vampire suicidal tendencies constitute a half-hearted attempt to recuperate the vampire genre from charges of immorality through a strategy of inversion.

in Suicide and the Gothic