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Our Vampires, Ourselves

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  184 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
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 th
Paperback, 231 pages
Published April 7th 1997 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1995)
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Aug 20, 2009 Libby rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is nonfiction at its best; thoughtful, well-supported, well-organized, and written in a personal and entertaining way that does not condescend to the reader. Auerbach gives a thorough survey of literary vampires, touching on their folklore origins, but really focusing on popular literary and cinematic vampires from the Romantics through Reaganites and posits via psychoanalytic, feminist, social, and queer theory how vampires reflect the eras that produce them.

This is a must-read for fans o
Feb 23, 2016 verbava rated it really liked it
ніна ауербах любить вампірів, багато про них знає і вміє пов'язувати розвиток вампірських образів зі станом культури й соціуму. тобто ми й так розуміємо, що кожна епоха вигадує лякалки, які їй найкраще відповідають, але "наші вампіри, ми самі" розкручує сюжет про упирів дуже ретельно, придивляючись до найтонших його деталей і підкреслюючи зміни, пройти повз які запросто можуть навіть шанувальники жанру. в аналіз реакцій літературних вампірів на довколишній позалітературний світ поступово вплітаю ...more
May 27, 2009 Jackie rated it liked it
Helpful synopsis of vampire literature and film, from the early 19th century to 1995. One of the first scholars to take the vampire seriously.

The first part of the book, focusing on the 19th century, was the most interesting to me, being the most unfamiliar; Auerbach's contention that pre-Dracula vampires were typically in homoerotic plots is intriguing. The scope of the book narrowed considerably toward the end, with a whole chapter devoted to post-Reagan vampire lit/film; this narrowing gave t
May 12, 2014 Molly rated it liked it
Shelves: lit-crit
I enjoyed this book of criticism on the vampire through the ages. Auerbach covered many vampires I was familiar with, like Ruthven, Dracula, Carmilla, Barnabas from Dark Shadows, etc. She also covered quite a few I have never heard of and now I want to read their stories--especially Varney the Vampire (can't get over that name). I was especially intrigued by the tales of psychic vampires that Auerbach discusses. I found this to be a very interesting read overall. Prior to this, I never realized ...more
Amanda Himes
Feb 06, 2014 Amanda Himes rated it liked it
A 2.5 star, really. Her interpretation of Dracula and his film followers was substantive, but delving into 1970s politics was a mistake:

"In 1968, Lyndon Johnson was forced out of the presidency by broad repudiation of the officially nonexistent Vietnam War, and also (as I remember it) by an orgy of popular hate. In 1974, the more official and sedate Watergate investigation forced Richard Nixon to resign. Leaders fell like extras in movies. As I remember it, the ease with which they crumbled int
Apr 27, 2015 saizine rated it really liked it
An interesting and engaging look at vampires and vampire media (film and literature) in both the nineteenth and late twentieth centuries. Particularly enjoyed ‘From Christabel to Carmilla: Friends and Lovers', 'Vampire Propriety', 'The 1970s: Feminist Oligarchies and Kingly Democracies', 'Getting Sick' and 'Queer Shadows'. I've also come away with quite a hefty further reading list, so I'm looking forward to getting stuck into that.
Dec 14, 2009 SuperCat rated it it was ok
Focus on the vampires, not the ourselves. Auerbach's book is heavy on the literature review and lacking historical connections and clarity. Especially in the second half of the book, Auerbach assumes that the reader shares the author's personal experience of the United States "mood" in the 1960s,70s and 80s. I was born around the same time as this review ends, so I found some of the allusions and oblique references to historical events hard to follow. And the vampires I am most familiar with, fo ...more
Jun 16, 2015 Eleanor rated it really liked it
Churned through a lot of material, sometimes in a very cursory way, as though she was throwing out random observations as she read each book or watched each movie.
Dec 29, 2009 Andy rated it did not like it
This book assumed that I had a tremendous amount of prior knowledge about vampires, maybe this was my bad but I thought the author would catch me up. The writing style is hard to follow and I felt as though I was reading a pretentious college essay.

The author also seems to be a rabid feminist and uses the word patriarch maybe 500 times. Thank god I got this book for free from a book swap.
(Recc'd by Jordan Hall via Twitter) Came for the discussion of Le Fanu's Carmilla ("dracula-but-before-and-lesbian," as Tumblr has affectionately called her). Stayed for the rest of the gang of seducer and seductresses. Now off scrambling to get the reference in order to polish my initiation to the discussion of bloodsuckers.
Feb 21, 2014 Caty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
But have I read ALL the footnotes?
May 11, 2016 Dana rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Very helpful with dissertation research as is anything by Auerbach.
Jan 15, 2009 Sandra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vampire-stuff
I adore this book - it's such an excellent theory about what drives the vampire myth.
Apr 10, 2013 Sara rated it did not like it
Yawn. Could not get past the third chapter.
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