Consuming Appetites and the Modern Vampire
This article looks at food and the role of appetitive consumption in modern representations of the vampire. Most critics have read vampire as embodying Victorian fears surrounding fin-de-siècle desire and sexual decadence. We instead want to shift the discussion to food and eating rituals. Using Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula as a bridge text, “Consuming Appetites and the Modern Vampire” compares the British tradition, which advocates disciplined appetites as defense against Dracula’s demonic invasion, with modern American texts, which celebrate the vampire as a reflection of its own culture of excess consumption. The vampire is marked as Other precisely by his inability to control his appetite, and the disciplined appetite is essential insofar as it differentiates between the human and vampiric Other. It is this legacy of appetitive excess which continues to inform our modern interpretations of the vampire, whether this figure is a direct inheritor of Dracula or a more sympathetic, even domesticated, vampire.