Blood Read: The Vampire as Metaphor in Contemporary Culture Paperback – Oct 1 1997
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"Blood Read is a fresh look at an old form, offering lively, lucid insights into the contemporary explosion of vampire fiction. Nothing else like it exists. This book should set the terms for discussion about vampires for some time to come."-Brian Attebery, Idaho State University
About the Author
Joan Gordon is Associate Professor of English at Nassau Community College in New York. Veronica Hollinger is Associate Professor in the Cultural Studies Program at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.
Top Customer Reviews
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Otherwise, those interested in the vampire genre, literary criticism, or thoughtful social commentary will probably be tempted to throw this book across the room. It's that insultingly bad.
The editors' contributions consist of dry, meaningless buzzwords and cliche political hysterics in lieu of substance, which helps explain the lackluster state of liberal arts education in this country (because, unfortunately, they are both teachers). The essays by writers who gush about their own obscure vampire stories come off as sheltered fan-fic typers who never learned the difference between enthusiasm and talent. Most of the other contributors waste their pages projecting their own trite politics, sad neuroses and petty jealousies onto each author and story they ignorantly discuss.
* One writer asserts that Anne Rice's Interview With a Vampire is really all about America's obsession with dieting as orchestrated by the evil patriarchy (Note: This book was published by a university press, not a real publisher with quality control, so expect constant use of such pseudo-intellectual rhetoric in place of actual ideas. In fact, the different essayists seem to be in competition to see who can use the word "patriarchy" in the most sentences, so you can imagine how engaging they are to read.)
* Another writer philosophizes about how The Lost Boys was really all about demonstrating just how grave a threat capitalism poses to America's exploited, brainwashed teen proletariat. You can almost hear him sighing: If only kids could be deprogrammed and re-educated into realizing communism holds all the answers.
* Saddest of all is probably the writer who somehow believes she's the first one to ever think up the idea of a lesbian vampire, and then blames homophobia for her inability to find a publisher for her Mary Sue vampire stories. It must be homophobia, she explains, because all her friends say her stories are great.
While this collection is initially an insult to thinking people, in the end you'll want to laugh at these writers and pity them at the same time. These are people so obsessed with their own personal political-sexual identities that they unconsciously twist everything they see into a reflection of their own inadequacies then pat themselves on the back for their brilliant insight. It would be sad if they weren't so obnoxiously holier-than-thou about everything.
Though Blood Read is completely worthless as literary criticism or entertainment, it is a great book for psychologists, because each essay reads like a session on the couch with a seriously messed-up person. It demonstrates by example the dangers of existing in a mental vacuum, inoculated against any perspective that doesn't reinforce your self-righteous ego and self-esteem. Unfortunately, it offers little of interest regarding vampires.
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