anne rice s interview with the vampire 1976

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PROMPT AND TOPIC:

Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire(1976) radically humanized vampires and opened the floodgate for contemporary representations of the “undead” in mass culture as figures that are “just like us, just better.” As always in vampire fiction, Rice’s vampire characters served as representations of fears, hopes, and existential despair of her age, America of the 1970s.

In the paper, consider the central character of Louis de Pointe du Lac, in relation to other characters(Lestat, Claudia, Armand), as a representation of a new, “sympathetic” and reluctant vampire for the new modern times, a post-sacred world where “God is dead” (Nietzsche) and any total, universal meaning is lost. As you do so, you might want toconsider various elements of the novel: narration (how the story is told, who gets to speak); character-building/development; plot and structure of the novel; relation of the vampires’ representation to the preceding, especially Romantic, tradition (that of “Romantic friendship” with a fascinating but unavailable friend, the figure of a dandy, Byronic individualism; Gothic tradition); issues of identity, morality, virtue, despair, and search for meaning (who looks for meaning, what answers they find—or do not find). At the end, you might want toconsider the ending of the novel: the “overwhelming sadness” of Lestat’s end, whether Louis is successful/unsuccessful in his project (interview) and his identity struggle, and whether there is irony in the ending. You might want (but do not have to) compare it to the ending of Neil Jordan’s film “Interview with the Vampire” (1994, a different era from the mid-1970s, when the novel was written).

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