Vampires: Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil

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In her review of (Peter Day, ed.Vampires: Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2006.), Carol A. Senf writes:

This anthology has quite a remarkable pedigree, its parents being At theInterface /Probing the Boundaries publications (working in partnership with Rodopi) and the research project Monsters and the Monstrous: Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil (www.wickedness.net). Indeed, it is the twenty-eighth volume in the interdisciplinary At the Boundaries series which, according to its website, “seeks to encourage and promote cutting edge inter-disciplinary and multidisciplinary projects and inquiry” and bring together people “from differing contexts, disciplines, professions, and vocations” to encourage “conversations that are innovative, imaginative, and creatively interactive.” Wickedness.net has a similar interdisciplinary aim to “foster a global dialogue capable of building a multi-layered picture of the problems and possible solutions encountered when dealing with evil and wickedness.” While children sometimes disappoint their parents, Vampires has succeeded in meeting both parents’ interdisciplinary goals. Definitely interdisciplinary, it includes essays on important vampires in literature, such as Dracula and Carmilla, as well as material from linguistics, history, biology, psychology, and contemporary popular culture.” (400)

“Two … essays that are especially worthy of attention are “Piercing the Corporate Veil—With a Stake? Vampire Imagery and the Law” by Sharon Sutherland and “‘Death to Vampires!’ The Vampire Body and the Meaning of Mutilation” by Elizabeth McCarthy. Sutherland’s essay goes well beyond the usual lawyer jokes and demonstrates both that lawyers use the vampire metaphor to describe a variety of behaviors and that the vampire as both fact and metaphor has entered the public consciousness. Of all the essays in the anthology, however, McCarthy’s goes furthest in its desire to understand evil, noting that the vampire is often the victim of violence, its body a “primary site for exploring the methods and the reasons behind the excessively violent and ritualistic use of another’s body as a means of articulating social, as well as individual, beliefs, fears, and desires” (189).” (401)

Ref: Carol A. Senf (2007) Vampires: Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil symploke, Volume 15, Numbers 1-2, 2007, pp. 400-401 (Review)

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