Cornerofmadness's Reviews > The Living Dead: A Study of the Vampire in Romantic Literature

The Living Dead by James B. Twitchell
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's review
Dec 14, 2010

it was ok
Read in December, 2010

This was the text book for the lit class. I have to say I was a little disappointed in it because for one it came out when I was in high school (i.e. a couple decades ago). Old doesn’t necessarily mean bad (well I’m a scientist so it sort of does) but talking to other humanities profs this is a rather outdated view of vampire literature. It’s all very Freudian and uber-man. For one, it tends to read a lot of texts as vampire literature that I would never have considered and frankly, after doing the readings I am unconvinced.

The text is broken down into ‘female vampire,’ ‘male vampire in poetry,’ ‘the vampire as an artist’ and ‘the vampire in prose.’ While I can see arguments for Wuthering Heights as being vampiric at least in the emotional sense, I see the Picture of Dorian Gray more as supernatural than vampiric, ditto the Fall of the House of Usher and Jane Eyre. It’s not a completely uninteresting book but it’s the usual dry literary critique. I’m not sure why anyone would seek it out unless they’re very interested in vampire literature.

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