"My central idea: that vampirism springs not only from paranoia, xenophobia, or immortal longings, but from generosity and shared enthusiasm. This strange taste cannot be separated from the expansive impulses that make us human." Our Vampires, Ourselves is not your ordinary work of literary criticism, but rather an entertaining, thought-provoking tour of the history of vampires in Western civilization. The vampires and works discussed include Lord Ruthven, Varney, Carmilla, Dracula, Fritz Leiber's "The Girl," famous film Draculas, Fred Saberhagen's Dracula, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Saint-Germain, Anne Rice's Louis and Lestat, Stephen King's Barlow, films such as The Lost Boys and Near Dark, and countless books. As the New York Times writes, "Ms. Auerbach presents her arguments with wit and clarity ... Ms. Auerbach implicitly rejects the Freudian and Jungian interpretations of these figures as either psychosexual metaphors or archetypes, preferring to see them in sociopolitical terms. But such interpretations need not be mutually exclusive. There is, after all, more in vampire metaphors than meets any one mind's eye."
From Library Journal
Literary scholar and vampire enthusiast Auerbach (Forbidden Journeys, LJ 4/15/92) poses this book as a history of the Anglo-American culture through its ever-changing vampires. Tracing the evolution of vampires from 19th-century England through 20th-century America, Auerbach makes a number of new and interesting observations that will undoubtedly spur future scholarly discourse on vampirology. From depictions of vampires by Lord Byron down to those of Stephen King and Anne Rice and their various adaptations throughout literature or film, Auerbach illustrates how vampires are personifications of their age, reflecting and embodying social, political, and cultural change. Auerbach's interjections of personal and political points of view may raise questions about objectivity, but her compelling assertions definitely whet the appetite for further exploration and analysis of vampires and culture. Recommended for most public libraries.
Jeris Cassel, Rutgers Univ. Libs., New Brunswick, N.J.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.