chapter  13
Perpetual Returns: Vampires and the Ever-Colonized City
BySteve Pile
Pages 22

What does the vampire have to tell us about cities? In many ways, thevampire might appear to belong to no particular place-except perhaps a castle deep in Transylvania! However, I believe the vampire gives us a way to track the global and the colonial in city life. Vampires themselves, of course, require very little introduction-the blood-sucking fiends have been close to our hearts for a very long time, maybe as long as time itself. Myths surrounding vampires have taken many different forms, in many different places, in many different periods. I don’t intend to review-or even synthesize-these myths into any coherent image of the vampire. It is probably the case that variations in the form of the vampire are more interesting. The figure of the vampire is shadowy, intangible; and the powers of the vampire are various. But we all know that they have sharp teeth and drink blood, and that they are immortal, if only to the extent that they are very hard to kill. In fact, vampires are very likely to return from the dead if they are not disposed of properly. For this reason, the vampire might also tell us something about “the perpetual” in city life: a figure that roams and hunts by night, but returns itself to its deathly resting place during the day, only to rise again as night falls. Our hero, the vampire, can wait and wait, letting the years fall by before it returns. Time and space are no longer linear and uniform, for the vampire defies our mortal embodied groundings.