Bram Stoker, Irishness, and the Question of Blood
By (author) Joseph Valente
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Dracula's Crypt by Joseph Valente
Book Description"Dracula's Crypt" unearths the Irish roots of Bram Stoker's gothic masterpiece, offering a fresh interpretation of the author's relationship to his novel and to the politics of blood that consumes its characters. An ingenious reappraisal of a classic text, "Dracula's Crypt" presents Stoker's novel as a subtly ironic commentary on England's preoccupation with racial purity. Probing psychobiographical, political, and cultural elements of Stoker's background and milieu, Joseph Valente distinguishes Stoker's viewpoint from that of his virulently racist, hypermasculine vampire hunters, showing how the author's dual Anglo-Celtic heritage and uncertain status as an Irish parvenu among London's theatrical elite led him to espouse a progressive racial ideology at odds with the dominant Anglo-Saxon supremacism. In the light of Stoker's experience, the shabby-genteel Count Dracula can be seen as a doppelgnger, an ambiguous figure who is at once the blood-conscious landed aristocrat and the bloodthirsty foreign invader. Stoker also confronts gender ideals and their implications, exposing the 'inner vampire' in men like Jonathan Harker who dominate and absorb the women who become their wives. Ultimately, Valente argues, the novel celebrates a feminine heroism, personified by Mina Harker, that upholds an ethos of social connectivity against the prevailing obsession with blood as a vehicle of identity. Revealing a profound and heretofore unrecognized ethical and political message, "Dracula's Crypt" maintains that the real threat delineated in Dracula is not racial degeneration but the destructive force of racialized anxiety itself. Stoker's novel emerges as a powerful critique of the very anxieties it has previously been taken to express: anxieties concerning the decline of the British empire, the deterioration of Anglo-Saxon culture, and the contamination of the Anglo-Saxon race.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780252026966
(5830mm x 3895mm x 534mm)
Imprint: University of Illinois Press
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publish Date: 1-Oct-2001
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Joseph Valente
Myth of Manliness in Irish National Culture, 1880-1922, Hardback (December 2010)
A sophisticated analysis of the complicated state of Irish masculinity
James Joyce and the Problem of Justice, Paperback (May 2009)
The first full-length study of James Joyce to subject his work to ethical and political analysis.
Disciplinarity at the Fin de Siecle, Paperback (December 2001)» View all books by Joseph Valente
A collection of essays, which examine the genealogy of various fields including English, sociology, economics, psychology, and quantum physics. It challenges the story of disciplinary formation as solely one of consolidation, constraint, and ideological justification.
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