Our Vampires, Ourselves

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University of Chicago Press, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 231 pages
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
 

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Contents

Living with the Undead
1
Byrons Ghost
13
Polidori and the Phantoms
21
Varneys Moon
27
Friends and Lovers
38
Carmillas Progress
53
Draculas New Order
63
Jonathans Master
69
The Blood Is the Life
94
Vampires and Vampires
101
Draculas and Draculas
112
Feminist Oligarchies and Kingly Democracy
147
Turning Back
165
Getting Sick
175
Queer Shadows
181
Vampires Die
186

Jonathans Progress
71
Vampire Propriety
79
Transformations
85
Notes
193
Index
221
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Nina Auerbach (1943-2017) was the John Welsh Centennial Professor of English Emerita at the University of Pennsylvania. Though her area of academic concentration was in Victorian literature, she also ranged through cultural history, horror fiction, and film.

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