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Undead Memory

Vampires and Human Memory in Popular Culture

Edited By Simon Bacon and Katarzyna Bronk

Vampires have never been as popular in Western culture as they are now: Twilight, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and their fans have secured the vampire’s place in contemporary culture. Yet the role vampires play in how we remember our pasts and configure our futures has yet to be explored. The present volume fills this gap, addressing the many ways in which vampire narratives have been used to describe the tensions between memory and identity in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
The first part of the volume considers the use of the vampire to deal with rapid cultural change, both to remember the past and to imagine possible futures. The second part examines vampire narratives as external cultural archives, a memory library allowing us to reference the past and understand how this underpins our present. Finally, the collection explores how the undead comes to embody memorial practice itself: an autonomous entity that gives form to traumatic, feminist, postcolonial and oral traditions and reveals the resilience of minority memory.
Ranging from actual reports of vampire activity to literary and cinematic interpretations of the blood-drinking revenant, this timely study investigates the ways in which the «undead memory» of the vampire throughout Western culture has helped us to remember more clearly who we were, who we are, and who we will/may become.


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Sir Christopher Frayling Foreword xi Simon Bacon and Katarzyna Bronk Introduction 1 Part I Death and Becoming: How the Human Past Becomes the Vampire Future 19 Leo Ruickbie Memento (non)mori: Memory, Discourse and Transmission during the Eighteenth-Century Vampire Epidemic and After 21 Marius Crişan Vampire Narratives as Juggling with Romanian History: Dan Simmons’s Children of the Night and Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian 59 Naomi Segal André Gide, Nosferatu and the Hydraulics of Youth and Age 85 Hadas Elber-Aviram Constitutional Amnesia and Future Memory: Science Fiction’s Posthuman Vampire 105 viii Part II Vampiric Memorials: Place, Space and Objects of Undead Memory 129 Katharina Rein Archives of Horror: Carriers of Memory in Buf fy the Vampire Slayer 131 Enrique Ajuria Ibarra Vampire Echoes and Cannibal Rituals: Undead Memory, Monstrosity and Genre in J. M. Grau’s We Are What We Are 157 Sorcha Ní Fhlainn “Old things, fine things”: Of Vampires, Antique Dealers and Timelessness 183 Part III Memory Never Dies: Vampires as Human Memory and Trauma 211 Hannah Priest Pack versus Coven: Guardianship of Tribal Memory in Vampire versus Werewolf Narratives 213 Angela Tumini Death and the City: Repressed Memory and Unconscious Anxiety in Michael Almereyda’s Nadja 239 Simon Bacon The Inescapable Moment: The Vampire as Individual and Collective Trauma in Let Me In by Matt Reeves 263 ix Notes on Contributors 289 Index 295

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