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Becoming Vampire

Difference and the Vampire in Popular Culture

Simon Bacon

Becoming Vampire is an interdisciplinary study of how the figure of the vampire in the twenty-first century has been used to create and define difference, not as either a positive or negative attribute, but as a catalyst for change and the exploration of new identity positions. Whilst focusing on the films Let Me In and Let the Right One In to highlight the referential and intertextual nature of the genre itself, it utilises a broad spectrum of methodological approaches to show how the many facets of the vampire can destabilise traditional categories of who we are and what we might become. This volume then provides a timely examination of the multifaceted and multivalent character of the vampire and the possibilities inherent within our interactions with them, making this study a consideration of what we might term ‘vampiric becomings’ and an exploration of why the undead ‘creatures of the night’ remain so fascinating to Western culture.

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Introduction

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Becoming Vampire is an interdisciplinary exploration into the ways in which the figure of the vampire in the twenty-first century has been used to create and define difference, not as either a positive or negative attribute, but as a catalyst for change and the exploration of new identity positions. Whilst using the focus of two films, Let Me In (Reeves 2010) and Let the Right One In (Alfredson 2008), and the novel Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in) by John Ajvide Lindqvist from which both films are adapted, to highlight the referential and intertextual nature of the genre itself, it also utilises a broad spectrum of methodological approaches to show how the many facets of the vampire can destabilise traditional categories of who we are and what we might become. This volume, then, provides a timely exami- nation of the multifaceted and multivalent character of the vampire and the possibilities inherent within our interactions with them, making this study a consideration of what we might term ‘vampiric becomings’ and why the undead ‘creatures of the night’ remain so fascinating to Western culture. Perhaps more than anything else the appearance of vampires is about questions, such as why now? Why here? And, generally, just why? And so it is appropriate that this book about vampires should begin with ques- tions, though if the intersection between vampires and becoming says anything, it is that there are no definitive answers, only ones that can tell you something...

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