Dark angels : a study of Anne Rice's Vampire chronicles
The international success of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, and the release of the film Interview with the Vampire (based on her novel of the same name) has fueled an explosion of interest in the vampire genre, resulting in further incarnations of the vampire story in fiction and film. This study attempts to analyse Rice's development of the vampire narrative in relation to a body of novels and short stories which comprise a recognizable genre. The first chapter has three sections: an Introduction comprising a comparison between the Chronicles and Bram Stoker's Dracula,- a study of the Chronicles as a metaphor for homoeroticism and AIDS; and a study of the psychoanalytic aspects of vampirism linked with the concept of Rice's vampire as a Sadean hero. The second chapter has two sections: an analysis of Rice's representations of femininiiy; and a study of the myths of womanhood employed in the novels, together with the origins of these myths. The third chapter has two sections: a focus on the complex self-conscious and moral life of Rice's vampires in relation to contemporary consciousness and subjectivity; and a comparison of Rice's treatment of genre, historical romance and erotica with the vampire narratives of her contemporaries. The fourth and concluding chapter is a summary of Rice's treatment of genre, gender and religion in relation to evolving feminist, cultural and psychoanalytic debates, including reference to material from her other novels. In her self-conscious appropriation of the vampire tradition, Rice introduces a wider scope to the formulaic elements of the gothic genre, interweaving different genres with the gothic horror story. Her innovative approach to the vampire novel, with its complexity of intermingling issues, leaves many unanswered questions. It is the unresolved nature of the contradictions and paradoxes intrinsic to Rice's work that disturb and generate further debate.