chapter
Vampires
Pages 31

Vampires are countless, and so are the laws informing both their extravagant powers and their stringent limitations. Not only have the last two centuries witnessed an extraordinary textual proliferation of vampires (novels, stories, poems, films, television, comic books, etc.), but the very figure of the vampire itself is marked by an overproduction of meanings: so many diverse, even contradictory fantasies have been projected upon vampirism that it cannot plausibly be assigned a single or definitive signification. These projections include fantasies of life and death, power and impotence, appetite and control, transformation and stasis, gender and its mobility, and most insistently of all, sexuality and its manifold “perversions.” Because the vampire’s body is polymorphic, it can readily bear all these significations, and more. No single interpretive framework can exhaust the possibilities of vampirism because vampiric meanings proliferate as vampires do-promiscuously.