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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later.Support Elizabeth on Patreon.

5 Comments

  1. Gavin Burrows
    November 22, 2016 @ 6:28 pm

    ”Both vampires and anti-Semitic caricatures, Halberstam argues, “condense many monstrous traits into one body.”

    I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Zizek’s ‘Pervert’s Guide to Ideology’. In demonstrating how ideology feels free to contradict itself he looks at anti-semitic propaganda films from the Nazis. In which “the Jew” can be a repulsive feral creature, living in filth and speading disease, and at the same time a rootless cosmopolitan, suavely seducing poor innocent German girls.

    And what’s interesting is that the vampire also embraces that contradiction. It can veer between the two poles, where Orlok is a feral moster and Christopher Lee’s Dracula is a caped count. But the other pole is always in there.

    Reply

  2. Amelia Fisher
    November 23, 2016 @ 1:33 pm

    Great article. I’ve been guilty of mocking the Twilight franchise in the past, but this makes me actually want to return to it and read it from a different perspective.

    Not only is there a stigma within fictional worlds about humanizing vampires, but a stigma about how such narratives are received: a story which depicts them as anything more than monstrous and disposable is immediately considered weak/foolish and often dismissed. Merely questioning systematic violence against the “soulless other” leaves the author open to mockery.

    Black Mirror’s “Men Against Fire” illustrated similar ideas as well.

    Reply

    • mr_mond
      November 24, 2016 @ 9:01 am

      My personal theory is that this stigma is placed first and foremost on narratives authored by women. I might be wrong, but I feel like this shift in depictions of vampires came with Anne Rice and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro – seen from a male perspective, a foreigner doing naughty things to women with his mouth is a threat that must be destroyed. From the perspective of a woman, however…

      This, for me, is the primary grounds on which later narratives, such as Twilight, are attacked.

      Reply

    • Champiness
      January 3, 2017 @ 10:17 pm

      I guessed the “Men Against Fire” twist before the episode had even finished setting up all the elements of the status quo it was going to subvert, but I was surprised by how succinctly Charlie Brooker summarized the ethos of these works of man-vs.-monster horror media in a line from one of the characters:
      “You can’t still see them as human. Understandable sentiment, granted, but it’s misguided.”
      Even when the storytelling displays grief and compunctions over this decision (as with most “serious”, “realistic” zombie fiction of the past few decades), it’s still fundamentally about using fantasy tropes to valorize the capacity to mentally categorize certain people as not-actually-people, which rarely if ever leads to anything in real life that isn’t utterly abominable.

      Reply

  3. Przemek
    April 15, 2017 @ 6:05 pm

    One of the most interesting essays I’ve ever read. Thank you.

    I wonder, though. If you reject the logic of genocide, if you decide that killing people is never a moral good… well, what exactly do you do about the problem of vampires? Or Quaddafi, for that matter? If killing mass murderers is wrong – and I believe it is – then what do you do about them? How do you stop people who kill other people? Or do you just let that happen, like we do with North Korea?

    I don’t have the answer myself. I hate killing, I wish nobody ever killed. I just don’t know what the alternative is. Sitting down to talk and finding common ground doesn’t always seem to be an option.

    Reply

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