Bloody Economics: The Sookie Stackhouse Novels and the Cost of Being ‘Out of the Coffin’

This article explores the economics of blood in Charlaine Harris’s The Sookie Stackhouse Novels as a function of both the humans’ capitalist economy and a separate vampire hierarchy based on a feudal system. These economies are both based on blood but in very different ways. The existence of bottled blood and the purchase of it allows vampires to freely exist in the humans’ society. Yet the hidden vampire hierarchy binds them in ways that humans cannot understand. The resulting tension between these societies, demonstrated in the economics of blood, ultimately leads Harris to suggest that vampires cannot necessarily be reconciled into the humans’ world by merely solving the issue of a blood substitute.

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A Vampiric Revenant at the Cape (1834)

The novel Makanna, or the Land of the Savage (1834) is noteworthy as one of the first colonial novels written about Africa in English. An aspect of this novel that has eluded critical attention until now has been its Gothic content, in particular a vampiric revenant who appears in a dream of one of the heroes. This brief article describes this phantom as an early example of a non-aristocratic vampire. The article shows how the text calls for a psychological explanation of the vampire, and uses it to express certain white, middle class anxieties, chiefly related to sexual relationships. The text also stresses a link between vampirism and greed which became increasingly important in subsequent vampire literature.

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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.

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