I read Caroline Stikkelbroeck’s MA thesis Monstrum: The Vampire in the detective story, a thesis that’s trailed the rise and popularity of the “monster”, what it means in the world, and why we created it. Specifically, she charts the “other” and the way in which culture has constructed women as part of that designation, how the private detective became enraptured in the ideas of isolation and the postmodern condition of their existence. She sought to unravel the Vampire Detective, how he’s both the “monstrum”, the “other”, and yet embodies the hardboiled private detective’s mentality, both the anti-hero, the anti-christ and yet the saviour.
For me, the vampire is as immortal to popular culture as its nature and symbolizes lust, adventure, and seduction. The vampire is topical, has always been topical throughout time and perhaps there’s a reason, as Caroline explained. The vampire embodies a consciousness that we need, an other that exists within and beyond us, both human and yet not at all. A vampire is not only a monster, it’s a part of us.
After reading her thesis, it occurred to me that a Vampire Edition is really necessary, something to create as a reflection of our devotion to the vampire and to celebrate its existence, whether in this life or in popular culture–we need the vampire. My goal was to contextualize the vampire as a creature that we’ve relied on throughout popular culture and explore the various scenarios that he’s been a part of. I want to remind readers that the vampire is indeed immortal and to show the reader how much we’ve celebrated him, by writing about the films that include the vampire, literature, the history and the cult, even the science behind them. I know that Dracula will be the choice of costume for thousands and thousands of people this halloween and I wanted to celebrate the vampire, maybe not really as “the other”, but as part of themselves.
It’s an interesting endeavour, a spontaneous edition, but I hope to time it with halloween, when the vampire truly walks, we’ll never know 😉 Vampires are way more interesting than people realize, haha.