Friday, September 03, 2004

What Would Buffy Think?

The TLS has a review of a new biography of Bram Stoker:

"A sort of homicidal lunatic’s brothel in a crypt" was how Maurice Richardson characterized the temptingly ill-concealed psychopathology of the vampire legend, adding that Dracula in particular was "a kind of incestuous, necrophilous, oral, anal-sadistic all-in wrestling match". Dracula has always held a fatal fascination for critics: aside from the more obvious psychosexual interpretations it has been all things to all readers, from a Christian parable to an allegory of capitalism, while the Count’s identification with the foreign enemy has led to free copies of the novel being supplied as a matter of policy to American troops overseas. Paul Murray complains in this new biography that "Freudianism, Marxism and feminism" have produced readings based on insufficient biographical research and sets out to restore the author to the centre stage. In contrast to the critical free-for-all of these rootless, Rorschach-blot type readings, Murray--a Trinity man, like Stoker, and an Irish diplomat --is particularly strong on Stoker’s Irish context, which forms the heart of the book.
The is not definitive according to the reviewer, but a good addtion nonetheless.