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216 × 138 × 20 mm
178 pages
17 illustrations
01 Feb 2013
  • £16.00

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The Rise of the Vampire Erik Butler

Before Bella and Edward there were The Lost Boys and the gang in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Before True Blood came Dark Shadows and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Before them all there was the most famous vampire of all time: Count Dracula, immortalized by Bram Stoker in 1897. Whether characterized as urbane aristocrats, animalistic monsters or brooding teenagers, as creatures of the day or of the night, it seems vampires have captured the popular imagination for centuries. Today they are a worldwide phenomenon, featuring in everything from Jamaican reggae songs to Japanese and Korean horror films.

Why have vampires gone viral? In The Rise of the Vampire, Erik Butler explains our enduring fascination with the undead by examining folklore, literature, film, television, journalism and music. Although vampires evoke an age-old mystery, they also embody the uncertainties of the modern world: the superficial fulfillment of desires in a digital age and the anonymity of life in the global metropolis.

Whether you’re a fan of classic vampire tales or prefer the recent additions to the canon, The Rise of the Vampire is a fascinating look at our collective obsession with the undead.

‘just to say the word vampire now is to make some readers shudder, and not for the right reasons. But reading a new study Erik Butlers The Rise of the Vampire we realise that what is interesting isnt just the vampires themselves but why they appear in the first place . . . Butler believes, amusingly, that if Twilights dark heart was properly understood, it would be banned from homes and schools everywhere. And hes right. In many unintended ways, the bloodless vampires on offer to teenagers right now are the scariest of all maybe not in themselves but in what they say about a world that sucks them up.’ — The Times

‘The author is to be congratulated on writing a shrewd and sometimes sardonic study on the origins of an ancient mystery, which in the past decade has been reduced to 50 shades of comic strip . . . For those with a taste for the supernatural, this is an excellent guidebook. Dracula probably would have enjoyed it.’ — The Washington Times

‘Mr. Butler is to be applauded for elucidating the emergence of vampire mythology in history and its progression through various cultures up to its widespread presence in todays culture. Weaving in themes of vampirism as cultural and psychological symptoms, amplifications of themes of life and its manifold limits and complexities, Erik Butler has created a masterful compendium of ideas.’ — New York Journal of Books

‘Butlers view of what constitutes a vampire is pleasingly broad . . . Butler does not only find a dynamic of us and them in the vampire myth. The vampire is held up as a mirror to the human psyche, representing not only the unknown in others, but also that which is unknowable in ourselves. It is for this reason that vampires have been such an enduring construct, and one which we have felt compelled to flesh out and adorn.’ — Popmatters

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Erik Butler is a researcher at the Yale School of Drama. He has translated many works of European literature and has written three books, including The Rise of the Vampire (also published by Reaktion).

Introduction: The Mystery and Mystique of the Vampire
1. Portrait Gallery of the Undead
2. Generation V
3. All-American Vampires (and Zombies)
4. That Sucking Sound
5. The Key to Immortality
Conclusion: Vampires, Inside and Out

Photo Acknowledgements