Representations of Vampires and the Undead from the Enlightenment to the Present Day
Editors: Sam George and Bill Hughes

The Open Graves, Open Minds project discussed in this book relates the undead in literature, art and other media to questions concerning gender, technology, consumption and social change. The story of vampires, since their discovery in eighteenth-century Europe, is one of transformations and interbreedings of genre, which mediate shifts in ways of knowing and doubting. It is marked by metamorphoses of the vampire itself, from monstrous to sympathetic, but always fascinatingly Other. Certain tropes, such as optical figures, and particularly that of reflection, recur throughout, calling attention to the preoccupation with epistemology in vampire narratives. The book focuses on various aspects of these themes as the story unfolds to the present day. It shows how the persona of Lord Byron became an effective vehicle for the vampire of fiction as a transformed Gothic mode, and grapples with the figure of the non-reflecting vampire who casts no shadow, moving deftly between Dracula and Wilde's Dorian Gray and the 'vampire painting' and installations of the contemporary artist David Reed. The book gives a luminous account of early vampire cinema as a 'Kingdom of shadows', and explores the undead at the interface, where knowing becomes problematic: 'unsettlement'. The book also unearths the folklore roots of vampire fiction and offers a glimpse of how contemporary writers adapt the perennial figure.

Undead aesthetics and mechanical reproduction – Dorian Gray, Dracula and David Reed’s ‘vampire painting’

In Developing the Open, Graves, Open Minds project, I was struck by the irony of creatures with no reflection becoming such a pervasive reflection of modern culture. My research here has developed directly out of this meditation on the vampire’s reflection or shadow. Bram Stoker’s Dracula famously ‘throws no shadow’ though he has long been associated with darkness

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Essence, difference and assimilation in Daniel Waters’s Generation Dead

of the PC talk elsewhere. Waters has fun with the slogans on Slydell’s range of T-shirts: ‘Dead … And Loving It’, ‘Zombie Power!’, and (inspiring this book and its parallel project) ‘Open Graves, Open Minds’ (196). Ultimately this is about shifting commodities. It is a picture of how capitalism voraciously, vampirically, seizes on both youth culture and that of minorities

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Abstract only

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book shows how the persona of Lord Byron became the effective vehicle for the vampire of fiction as a transformed Gothic mode. It analyses Le Fanu's 'Carmilla', with its seductive lesbian vampire, alongside his vampiric tale 'The Mysterious Lodger'. The book provides a luminous account of early vampire cinema as a 'Kingdom of Shadows', digging up lost cinematic texts which should be better known. It explores the Dracula's exclamation 'I, too, can love', and also examines the complex intertextuality involved with Dracula and Twilight, via Francis Ford Coppola and Anne Rice, drawing on adaptation studies. In addition, the book discusses the autonomy of the Undead, plotting an unusual argument drawing on theology and linking the monstrous with ideas of human agency and moral responsibility.

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This chapter shows the evolution of the Byronic vampire as it mutated from its folkloric roots, as documented in the ethnography of the likes of Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, into a powerful literary figure. It also shows that, as this archetype evolved, it did so through an interplay with the actual persona of Byron. Byron's twentieth- and twenty-first-century successors rejoice in their vampiric Otherness, reaffirming themselves against that which they are now not, the deformed transformed. Byron himself had little to do with the vampire's humanisation; yet his physician and rival John Polidori would appropriate his aura of melancholic broodiness and reputation of nocturnal lover and destroyer in The Vampyre. Transgressing all social and ethical boundaries, the Byronic hero is always an outcast, living in perpetual exile on the fringes of society, on the run from persecution and persecuting others in turn.

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In general, critical readings of the Irish vampire have, firstly, focused primarily on Stoker's Dracula and offered a more scant treatment of the work of Sheridan Le Fanu. Secondly, they have limited their reading of the vampire's Irishness to the racial, political and national discourses of nineteenth-century Ireland. This chapter concentrates on two of vampires of Le Fanu's vampires ('The Mysterious Lodger' and 'Carmilla'). It argues that they enact not only a spatial invasion but a temporal one that brings Ireland's medieval history to bear on Le Fanu's nineteenth-century texts. The analysis attends to the resonances among these works and Ireland's medieval history, reading that history as available for continual resurrection. The chapter argues that the attraction between Irish writers and vampire narratives lies in the striking correspondences between the twelfth-century colonial origin story of Ireland's relationship with England and the key structural elements of vampire narratives.

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This chapter suggests that the portrayals of vampires by George Sylvester Viereck and Hanns Heinz Ewers provide some insight into how they could support Adolf Hitler's brutal regime. In House of the Vampire, Viereck's charismatic vampire, Reginald Clarke, sucks the creativity and even the sanity from his victims, but this parasitism allows him to create powerful and immortal works of genius. Ewers's Vampir portrays vampirism as serving the cause of German nationalism: Frank Braun's blood drinking propels him to oratorical heights for his country. Viereck's support of Hitler and National Socialism despite its evils forever shattered any aspirations he had to join the vampire Clarke's pantheon of great men. In Vampir, Jews can either be bloodthirsty, vampiric murderers or sacrificial victims. In Vampir, identity is consistently expressed through the language of blood and through a blood mythology that links Germans and Jews.

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The rise of the cinematic vampire

In 1896, Maxim Gorky described the experience of watching the newly invented cinematograph as entering 'the Kingdom of Shadows'. This chapter demonstrates that Dracula underwent a process of experimentation wherein vampire imagery was used across a wide range of genres and to convey diverse meanings before it became consolidated into a recognised horror formula. It considers how the reimagining of the vampire through the technological language of cinema also serves both to celebrate modernity and to bring the vampire 'up-to-date with a vengeance'. The ambivalence towards modernity embodied in the vamp continued to be a key component of the cinematic vampire as the genre developed beyond pure metaphor. In it, the vamp is presented as vampire-like and into a genre about vampires, drawing upon nineteenth-century precursors.

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Stoker, Coppola and the ‘new vampire’ film

This chapter describes the 'remaking' process of vampire texts by exploring the intertextual relationships that exist between Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula and the 'new vampire' film Catherine Hardwicke's Twilight. It considers how all vampire texts function primarily as intertexts and explores how audience responses of anxiety have been replaced by those of desire in the Twilight texts. Viewed through the kaleidoscope of intertextual reference and allusion, the film borrows from Jean Cocteau's La Belle et la Bete as much as it borrows from Stoker. The earnest and beautiful Mina Murray falling in love with the 'hated and feared' Prince Dracula, a 'beast' and a 'monster' whose redemption depends ultimately on a reunion with his beloved. In the Twilight texts, the vampire's 'Otherness' itself becomes a kind of allusion: implied but never realised; glamorised or fetishised but never effectively explored.

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Transformations, vampires and language in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer was created by Joss Whedon and aired from 1997 till 2003, spanning over seven seasons. The series's protagonist, a young girl, Buffy Summers, is the chosen one, the Slayer, the only one strong enough to fight and defeat vampires. This chapter explores three different types of transformations which contribute to the construction of vampires in the show. These are being revived from the dead, being turned into a vampire and having one's soul restored as a vampire. The chapter mentions briefly the situation when a human becomes a vampire in an alternative reality. It examines how those transformations are expressed in language. The chapter focuses on the language accompanying transformations, rather than speculate about what this may signify, leaving this open for literary analysis. The simple elliptic phrase 'bored now' points to something much more complex: it is a sign of Willow's transformation.

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