Cover image for The vampire lectures
Title:
The vampire lectures
Author:
Rickels, Laurence A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
xix, 358 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Filmography: p. 357-358.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780816633913

9780816633920
Format :
Book

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PN1995.9.V3 R53 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Bela Lugosi may -- as the eighties gothic rock band Bauhaus sang -- be dead, but the vampire lives on. A nightmarish figure dwelling somewhere between genuine terror and high camp, a morbid repository for the psychic projections of diverse cultures, an endlessly recyclable mass-media icon, the vampire is an enduring object of fascination, fear, ridicule, and reverence. In The Vampire Lectures, Laurence A. Rickels sifts through the rich mythology of vampirism, from medieval folklore to Marilyn Manson, to explore the profound and unconscious appeal of the undead.

Based on the course Rickels has taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara, for several years (a course that is itself a cult phenomenon on campus), The Vampire Lectures reflects Rickels's unique lecture style and provides a lively history of vampirism in legend, literature, and film. Rickels unearths a trove that includes eyewitness accounts of vampire attacks; burial rituals and sexual taboos devised to keep vampirism at bay; Hungarian countess Elisabeth Bathory's use of girls' blood in her sadistic beauty regimen; Bram Stoker's Dracula, with its turn-of-the-century media technologies; F. W. Murnau's haunting Nosferatu; and crude, though intense, straight-to-video horror films such as Subspecies. He makes intuitive, often unexpected connections among these sometimes wildly disparate sources.

More than simply a compilation of vampire lore, however, The Vampire Lectures makes an original and intellectually rigorous contribution to literary and psychoanalytic theory, identifying the subconscious meanings, complex symbolism, and philosophical arguments -- particularly those of Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche -- embeddedin vampirism and gothic literature.


Summary

Bela Lugosi may -- as the eighties gothic rock band Bauhaus sang -- be dead, but the vampire lives on. A nightmarish figure dwelling somewhere between genuine terror and high camp, a morbid repository for the psychic projections of diverse cultures, an endlessly recyclable mass-media icon, the vampire is an enduring object of fascination, fear, ridicule, and reverence. In The Vampire Lectures, Laurence A. Rickels sifts through the rich mythology of vampirism, from medieval folklore to Marilyn Manson, to explore the profound and unconscious appeal of the undead. Book jacket.


Author Notes

Laurence A. Rickels is professor of German literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he also teaches art and film studies.


Laurence A. Rickels is professor of German literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he also teaches art and film studies.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Since 1986, Rickels, a specialist in German literature and psychoanalytic theory (Aberrations of Mourning), has been giving vampire lectures at UC-Santa Barbara. He developed this "course load of auto-stimulation" to interest students in FreudÄin particular, in his psychoanalytic treatment of mourning. The course was not an instant success, but 10 years later, it's standing room only. What appears here is, according to Rickels, "between reading/writing and the propagandistic talking of teaching." From embalming practices to pop culture, Rickels draws on every possible vampire metaphor to make his points. Claiming (dubiously) that the occult dates from the onset of technology, he calls vampire tales the "afterimage" of technological innovation. In his first "lecture," Rickels discusses Stoker, Rice, sexology and Vlad the Impaler to show that there are four distinct histories of vampirism. Many chapters focus on contemporary contributions such as "Buffy, Near Dark Salem Lot," while some dissect obscure works such as Guy de Maupassant's The Horla (a tale about a malevolent invisible force). Rickels even throws in shlock filmmaker Ed Wood. Yet he returns repeatedly to Stoker's Dracula to illustrate our psychodynamic reality, filled with death wishes, erotic substitution and symbolic meanings. The central problem is the analysis. Perhaps Rickels is trying to mimic teenage jargon, but his insights often come out as a convoluted blend of academic affectation and pop interpretation. For example, to explain why the university is the perfect place for his "Freudo-vampiric intervention," he describes it as "the heartbeat-later fleshing and flushing out of the emerging techno externalizations of what Freud would analyze as internal psychic mechanisms." While this book offers a sophisticated survey of vampire culture, most readers wouldn't want to be taking notes. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

This collection of class lectures/essays from a course Rickels (Univ. of Santa Barbara) taught in 1986 systematically explores the rich treasury of beliefs about vampirism. More than an anthology of vampire lore, the book examines issues associated with the supernatural. The historical treatment ranges widely from runes to medieval folklore to current pop artist Marilyn Manson, weaving together complex symbolism and philosophical arguments associated with the nightmarish figures dwelling in netherland. Rickels mines the study of cult phenomena, including vampire attacks, burial rituals, and sexual taboos that are recounted in legends, literature, and folklore. This vigorous contribution to literary and paranormal theory collections will enhance the pursuit of often remote scholarship into mythology and sorcery.ÄRichard K. Burns, MSLS, Hatboro, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Since 1986, Rickels, a specialist in German literature and psychoanalytic theory (Aberrations of Mourning), has been giving vampire lectures at UC-Santa Barbara. He developed this "course load of auto-stimulation" to interest students in FreudÄin particular, in his psychoanalytic treatment of mourning. The course was not an instant success, but 10 years later, it's standing room only. What appears here is, according to Rickels, "between reading/writing and the propagandistic talking of teaching." From embalming practices to pop culture, Rickels draws on every possible vampire metaphor to make his points. Claiming (dubiously) that the occult dates from the onset of technology, he calls vampire tales the "afterimage" of technological innovation. In his first "lecture," Rickels discusses Stoker, Rice, sexology and Vlad the Impaler to show that there are four distinct histories of vampirism. Many chapters focus on contemporary contributions such as "Buffy, Near Dark Salem Lot," while some dissect obscure works such as Guy de Maupassant's The Horla (a tale about a malevolent invisible force). Rickels even throws in shlock filmmaker Ed Wood. Yet he returns repeatedly to Stoker's Dracula to illustrate our psychodynamic reality, filled with death wishes, erotic substitution and symbolic meanings. The central problem is the analysis. Perhaps Rickels is trying to mimic teenage jargon, but his insights often come out as a convoluted blend of academic affectation and pop interpretation. For example, to explain why the university is the perfect place for his "Freudo-vampiric intervention," he describes it as "the heartbeat-later fleshing and flushing out of the emerging techno externalizations of what Freud would analyze as internal psychic mechanisms." While this book offers a sophisticated survey of vampire culture, most readers wouldn't want to be taking notes. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

This collection of class lectures/essays from a course Rickels (Univ. of Santa Barbara) taught in 1986 systematically explores the rich treasury of beliefs about vampirism. More than an anthology of vampire lore, the book examines issues associated with the supernatural. The historical treatment ranges widely from runes to medieval folklore to current pop artist Marilyn Manson, weaving together complex symbolism and philosophical arguments associated with the nightmarish figures dwelling in netherland. Rickels mines the study of cult phenomena, including vampire attacks, burial rituals, and sexual taboos that are recounted in legends, literature, and folklore. This vigorous contribution to literary and paranormal theory collections will enhance the pursuit of often remote scholarship into mythology and sorcery.ÄRichard K. Burns, MSLS, Hatboro, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

In My Prefacep. ix
Lecture 1

p. 1

Histories of Vampirism, Stoker, Rice, Middle Ages, Eighteenth Century
Alcoholics, Dead Bachelors, Heretics, and Suicides, among Other Candidates for Vampiric Comeback
Sexology or Cryptology
Succubus, Incubus
Blood, Andy Warhol Presents Dracula and The Fearless Vampire Killers
Antiquity, Inquisition, Vlad the Impaler, Countess Bathory
Lecture 2

p. 15

Eighteenth-Century Vampirism Epidemic in Eastern Europe, Journalistic and Scholarly Responses
The Plague, Discovery of Circulation, Psychoanalysis
Medical Explanations
Death's Makeover in the Eighteenth Century, Live Burial
Projection
Blacula
Lecture 3

p. 26

Stoker's Dracula
Circulation
Trips
The Castle inside Him
The Lady's Lost Letters
Technologization and Group Psychologization
Horror of Dracula
"Dracula's Guest"
Lecture 4

p. 40

Stoker's Dracula
Totem and Taboo
Incest Is the Law
The Two Women, the Golden Lady, Hair Color Change, the New Woman
Vamp
Lecture 5

p. 51

Fourth of July
Mina's Gadget Love
The Telegraph
Cargo Cult
The Cemetery in Whitby
Burial Service
Dracula's Daughter and Nadja
The Recorded Voice versus the Mass of Typewriting
Lecture 6

p. 64

Double, Insurance, Substitution
Photography and the Mummy
Cinema, Cannibalism, and Melancholia
Back Home
Mirror Stage
Spider Woman or Phallic Mother
Ewers's "The Spider"
The Tenant
"The Antimacassar"
From Dusk till Dawn
Lecture 7

p. 77

Station Identification
"The Horla"
The Force of Invisibility and Posthypnotic Suggestion
"Human Remains" and Face Value
Vampire's Kiss
"Doom of the House of Duryea"
Lecture 8

p. 90

The Double Genealogy
The Black Cat and Universal Soldier
Murnau's Nosferatu
Nina's Vampire Bond
Release from Empty Circulation
Herzog's Nosferatu
Not Seeing
Lecture 9

p. 99

Bad Smell
The Lair of the White Worm
Opportunistic Diagnosis and "The Man Who Loved the Vampire Lady"
Lecture 10

p. 111

Postal Pathology
Espionage and Psychological Warfare
Where the Technology Goes When We Go to the Movies
Interview with the Vampire and Bram Stoker's Dracula
Lecture 11

p. 118

Browning's Dracula and the Bicoastal Count
Deane and Balderston's Dracula or the Red-Eye Special
Lugosi's and Stoker's Lives and Plan Nine from Outer Space
Lecture 12

p. 131

"Dragula" or "TV"
Famous Impostors
Browning, Chaney, Lugosi
Ed Wood Jr.'s Glen or Glenda, Killer in Drag, Death of a Transvestite
The Great-Nephew
Lecture 13

p. 147

"For the Blood Is the Life" and the Miscarriage of the Antibody
"Four Wooden Stakes" and the Mother Is a Tramp
"Clarimonde" plus One Is Nun
"Restless Souls" and Killing the Dead
"The Sad Story of a Vampire" and Mama's Boy
"The Girl with the Hungry Eyes" and Feedback
Lecture 14

p. 160

Le Fanu and "Carmilla"
The Schloss
The Name That Must Not Vary
Supplying the Loss of Mother
The Hunger
Daughters of Darkness
Vampyres
Lecture 15

p. 173

Dreyer's Vampyr
"Taboo upon the Dead"
Painting versus Film
"Revelations in Black" and Blue
The Vampire Tapestry
Lecture 16

p. 189

Stephen King's Mass
'Salem's Lot and Danse Macabre
Ghost-busting and Nazi Hunting in Salem's Lot and A Return to Salem's Lot
Lecture 17

p. 201

"They Bite" Big Time
"The Vampire" and Death Is a Painter of Portraits
"The Room in the Tower" and "Mrs. Amworth"
The Lost Boys
Peter Pan
The Case of California
The Gulf War
Role Playing
Werther
Lecture 18

p. 219

Near Dark
"The Tomb of Sarah" and Father Knows Best
Were-woman
The Wolfman and the Living Dad
I Was a Teenage Were-wolf or Totem Becomes Mascot
The Thing with Vampire Vegetables
"Who Goes There?"
Lecture 19

p. 234

Burial Practice, Embalming
Freund's The Mummy
Strobl's "The Tomb of Pere Lachaise"
Schizomummies
The Unwrapping of Mummy Came First
Stoker's The Jewel of Seven Stars
The Great Experiment, the Unconscious Father, Her Hand in Marriage
Periodicity
Lecture 20

p. 249

Polidori's The Vampyre
Archaeology and Autoanalysis
Missing Persons
"Return of the Undead"
Blood of Dracula and Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Lecture 21

p. 264

Varney the Vampyre
Group Psychology and the Quotation Marx of Vampirism
Gambling
Rumor
Neighborly Love
Suicide
Vampire Plays by Boucicault and Reece
Lecture 22

p. 277

Gothic
Mary Shelley and Frankenstein
William
Golem
Whale's Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein
Lecture 23

p. 287

The Show of Grief
Public and Secret Identification
The Ghost-writer's Preface
Dilation
Death Wish Fulfillment
William's Murder, Victor's Vampire
The Mother's Portrait
Elizabeth Is the Killer-Substitute
Flashback
The Alma Mater
Elizabeth Must Die
The Missing Grave
The Monster Mourns
Why Victor Can't Make the Mate
In Love with Electricity
Teenage Frankenstein
Lecture 24

p. 304

Drag Race of Mourning and the Finish Line of AIDS
Son of Frankenstein
Andy Warhol Presents Frankenstein
Body Parts on the Reassembly Line
Vampire Detectives
Pale Blood and Three Subspecies
Good Citizens or Suicides?
Interview with the Vampire
Lost Love
Nietzsche
Life Sucks
What's God Got to Do with It?
Egotism
Life Is Killing
The Death Cult of Childhood
Locket
Casper and Doyle's Spiritism
Lecture 25

p. 326

Revenge
"It Was"
Nihilism
Eternal Return
Third-Person Pronouns
The Law of Pleasure
Lecture 26

p. 335

Innocent Blood
The Vampire Lestat
Relocation of Graves
The Theatre des Vampires
Overman
Sacrificial Drive
Maternal Subcultures
Origin of Vampirism
Incest Is the Law
Rock Music
The Queen of the Damned
Referencesp. 351
Filmographyp. 357
In My Prefacep. ix
Lecture 1

p. 1

Histories of Vampirism, Stoker, Rice, Middle Ages, Eighteenth Century
Alcoholics, Dead Bachelors, Heretics, and Suicides, among Other Candidates for Vampiric Comeback
Sexology or Cryptology
Succubus, Incubus
Blood, Andy Warhol Presents Dracula and The Fearless Vampire Killers
Antiquity, Inquisition, Vlad the Impaler, Countess Bathory
Lecture 2

p. 15

Eighteenth-Century Vampirism Epidemic in Eastern Europe, Journalistic and Scholarly Responses
The Plague, Discovery of Circulation, Psychoanalysis
Medical Explanations
Death's Makeover in the Eighteenth Century, Live Burial
Projection
Blacula
Lecture 3

p. 26

Stoker's Dracula
Circulation
Trips
The Castle inside Him
The Lady's Lost Letters
Technologization and Group Psychologization
Horror of Dracula
"Dracula's Guest"
Lecture 4

p. 40

Stoker's Dracula
Totem and Taboo
Incest Is the Law
The Two Women, the Golden Lady, Hair Color Change, the New Woman
Vamp
Lecture 5

p. 51

Fourth of July
Mina's Gadget Love
The Telegraph
Cargo Cult
The Cemetery in Whitby
Burial Service
Dracula's Daughter and Nadja
The Recorded Voice versus the Mass of Typewriting
Lecture 6

p. 64

Double, Insurance, Substitution
Photography and the Mummy
Cinema, Cannibalism, and Melancholia
Back Home
Mirror Stage
Spider Woman or Phallic Mother
Ewers's "The Spider"
The Tenant
"The Antimacassar"
From Dusk till Dawn
Lecture 7

p. 77

Station Identification
"The Horla"
The Force of Invisibility and Posthypnotic Suggestion
"Human Remains" and Face Value
Vampire's Kiss
"Doom of the House of Duryea"
Lecture 8

p. 90

The Double Genealogy
The Black Cat and Universal Soldier
Murnau's Nosferatu
Nina's Vampire Bond
Release from Empty Circulation
Herzog's Nosferatu
Not Seeing
Lecture 9

p. 99

Bad Smell
The Lair of the White Worm
Opportunistic Diagnosis and "The Man Who Loved the Vampire Lady"
Lecture 10

p. 111

Postal Pathology
Espionage and Psychological Warfare
Where the Technology Goes When We Go to the Movies
Interview with the Vampire and Bram Stoker's Dracula
Lecture 11

p. 118

Browning's Dracula and the Bicoastal Count
Deane and Balderston's Dracula or the Red-Eye Special
Lugosi's and Stoker's Lives and Plan Nine from Outer Space
Lecture 12

p. 131

"Dragula" or "TV"
Famous Impostors
Browning, Chaney, Lugosi
Ed Wood Jr.'s Glen or Glenda, Killer in Drag, Death of a Transvestite
The Great-Nephew
Lecture 13

p. 147

"For the Blood Is the Life" and the Miscarriage of the Antibody
"Four Wooden Stakes" and the Mother Is a Tramp
"Clarimonde" plus One Is Nun
"Restless Souls" and Killing the Dead
"The Sad Story of a Vampire" and Mama's Boy
"The Girl with the Hungry Eyes" and Feedback
Lecture 14

p. 160

Le Fanu and "Carmilla"
The Schloss
The Name That Must Not Vary
Supplying the Loss of Mother
The Hunger
Daughters of Darkness
Vampyres
Lecture 15

p. 173

Dreyer's Vampyr
"Taboo upon the Dead"
Painting versus Film
"Revelations in Black" and Blue
The Vampire Tapestry
Lecture 16

p. 189

Stephen King's Mass
'Salem's Lot and Danse Macabre
Ghost-busting and Nazi Hunting in Salem's Lot and A Return to Salem's Lot
Lecture 17

p. 201

"They Bite" Big Time
"The Vampire" and Death Is a Painter of Portraits
"The Room in the Tower" and "Mrs. Amworth"
The Lost Boys
Peter Pan
The Case of California
The Gulf War
Role Playing
Werther
Lecture 18

p. 219

Near Dark
"The Tomb of Sarah" and Father Knows Best
Were-woman
The Wolfman and the Living Dad
I Was a Teenage Were-wolf or Totem Becomes Mascot
The Thing with Vampire Vegetables
"Who Goes There?"
Lecture 19

p. 234

Burial Practice, Embalming
Freund's The Mummy
Strobl's "The Tomb of Pere Lachaise"
Schizomummies
The Unwrapping of Mummy Came First
Stoker's The Jewel of Seven Stars
The Great Experiment, the Unconscious Father, Her Hand in Marriage
Periodicity
Lecture 20

p. 249

Polidori's The Vampyre
Archaeology and Autoanalysis
Missing Persons
"Return of the Undead"
Blood of Dracula and Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Lecture 21

p. 264

Varney the Vampyre
Group Psychology and the Quotation Marx of Vampirism
Gambling
Rumor
Neighborly Love
Suicide
Vampire Plays by Boucicault and Reece
Lecture 22

p. 277

Gothic
Mary Shelley and Frankenstein
William
Golem
Whale's Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein
Lecture 23

p. 287

The Show of Grief
Public and Secret Identification
The Ghost-writer's Preface
Dilation
Death Wish Fulfillment
William's Murder, Victor's Vampire
The Mother's Portrait
Elizabeth Is the Killer-Substitute
Flashback
The Alma Mater
Elizabeth Must Die
The Missing Grave
The Monster Mourns
Why Victor Can't Make the Mate
In Love with Electricity
Teenage Frankenstein
Lecture 24

p. 304

Drag Race of Mourning and the Finish Line of AIDS
Son of Frankenstein
Andy Warhol Presents Frankenstein
Body Parts on the Reassembly Line
Vampire Detectives
Pale Blood and Three Subspecies
Good Citizens or Suicides?
Interview with the Vampire
Lost Love
Nietzsche
Life Sucks
What's God Got to Do with It?
Egotism
Life Is Killing
The Death Cult of Childhood
Locket
Casper and Doyle's Spiritism
Lecture 25

p. 326

Revenge
"It Was"
Nihilism
Eternal Return
Third-Person Pronouns
The Law of Pleasure
Lecture 26

p. 335

Innocent Blood
The Vampire Lestat
Relocation of Graves
The Theatre des Vampires
Overman
Sacrificial Drive
Maternal Subcultures
Origin of Vampirism
Incest Is the Law
Rock Music
The Queen of the Damned
Referencesp. 351
Filmographyp. 357