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.
between human and environment, then, is understood not only as integral to expression, as in Lear , but subject to manipulation through that expression. Thus, the storm is a conduit for symbol, as when, for Cassius, Caesar is figured as ‘a man | Most like this dreadful night | That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars’ (1.3.72–4) or for Pericles ’s Marina, ‘born in a tempest’ and for whom ‘This
The first collection of its kind, Chartist Drama makes available four plays written or performed by members of the Chartist movement of the 1840s. Emerging from the lively counter-culture of this protest campaign for democratic rights, these plays challenged cultural as well as political hierarchies by adapting such recognisable genres as melodrama, history plays, and tragedy for performance in radically new settings. A communal, public, and embodied art form, drama was linked for the Chartists with other kinds of political performance: the oratory of the mass platform, festival-like outdoor meetings, and the elaborate street theatre of protest marches. Plays that Chartists wrote or staged advanced new interpretations of British history and criticised aspects of the contemporary world. And Chartist drama intervened in fierce strategic arguments within the movement. Most notably, poet-activist John Watkins’s John Frost, which dramatises the gripping events of the Newport rising of 1839, in which twenty-two Chartists lost their lives, defends the rebellion and the Chartist recourse to violence as a means for the movement to achieve its aims. The volume’s appendices document over one hundred Chartist dramatic performances, staged by activists in local Chartist associations or at professional benefits at some of London’s largest working-class theatres. Gregory Vargo’s introduction and notes elucidate the previously unexplored world of Chartist dramatic culture, a context that promises to reshape what we know about early Victorian popular politics and theatre.
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
until the end, on pain of eternal damnation’ [ 1 ]. For the anchorite, ‘the end’ was always in view. As we saw in Chapter I , the rite for enclosing an anchorite [ 5 ] dramatised the process of enclosure as a death and burial. Some versions of the rite specify that the reclusory should contain an open grave, in which the postulant lies down while the celebrant sprinkles earth on him, intoning burial
for Youthful Valley,” December 6, 1942, Brownsville Herald , 1, 6. “Birth Pains Experienced in 1912–22 Era for the Valley,” December 6, 1942, Brownsville Herald , 1. 15 Jason de León, The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail (Oakland: University of California Press, 2015). Juanita Sundberg and Bonnie Kaserman, “Cactus Carvings and Desert Defecations: Embodying Representations of Border Crossings in
though it were an open grave … I hated the procession – I hate all processions because they are a false showing, changing individual worth to a fused, blind clamouring of power. 15 This moment of revelation struck Tennant at a precociously young age – born in 1912, she could only have been six, and maybe younger, when she experienced these feelings of revolt, associating the soldiers with death in the image of the open grave. Tennant’s testimony contributes to our understanding of the personal dimension to activists’ commitment and political awakening. Some of our
something to interpret. This starts with Casca fretting about the gods, but the process is quickly co-opted by Cassius: ‘No could I, Casca, name to thee a man | Most like this dreadful night | That thunders, lightens, opens graves and roars’ (1.3.72–4). The second half of this chapter will concentrate on the possibilities of interpreting storms, as we see Shakespeare’s play
grasped at one of Hazel’s and clutched it tightly, as if in a plea for protection’ (180). Slowly, though, Hazel realises what has happened: Garfield stood a little away from them … Looking at him across the open grave, Hazel suddenly knew. In ignorance she had greeted him an hour ago in the farmhouse; they had stood together in the church; she had watched while he stepped forward to bear the coffin … The shame had been exorcised, silence silently agreed upon (181). The fear that St Rosa iterated is so powerful that it leads to an act of fratricide that implicates an
dignified sadness which had marked the day up until then. The men and women in black produced guns, and when someone gave orders in Irish, they raised their arms and fired a volley of shots over the open grave. Many of the mourners applauded loudly; some of the men even whistled and cheered. Their Uncle Brian was one of the men who clapped hardest of