Monday, July 17, 2017

Honourable Mention: Becoming Vampire

Author: Simon Bacon

First Published: 2017

The Blurb: Becoming Vampire is an interdisciplinary study of how the figure of the vampire in the twenty-first century has been used to create and define difference, not as either a positive or negative attribute, but as a catalyst for change and the exploration of new identity positions. Whilst focusing on the films Let Me In and Let the Right One In to highlight the referential and intertextual nature of the genre itself, it utilises a broad spectrum of methodological approaches to show how the many facets of the vampire can destabilise traditional categories of who we are and what we might become. This volume then provides a timely examination of the multifaceted and multivalent character of the vampire and the possibilities inherent within our interactions with them, making this study a consideration of what we might term ‘vampiric becomings’ and an exploration of why the undead ‘creatures of the night’ remain so fascinating to Western culture.

The Mention: Becoming vampire is an academic reference book and the reason I’m giving it an honourable mention, rather than a review, is twofold. Firstly because author Simon Bacon is a friend and secondly because I’m referenced in the volume – both of which make me feel that it would be a clash of interest to actually review the book.

As the blurb tells us, the volume looks at the vampire as a figure that creates, and sometimes defines, difference and explores identity. Whilst Simon uses a variety of films and books within the argument, including several films that I will be examining under ‘Vamp or Not?’ at points in the future, the primary two films examined are Let Me In and Let the Right One In. What we get is a well thought out exploration of the role of the vampire in that context that led me to make a large number of notes as I went along (and subsequently bombarded the poor author with). As I said to him the book did its job, in turns making me think, educating and entertaining.

The unfortunate aspect of the book is the price tag, a common issue with academic volumes. However one hopes you can find a copy of this at a bargain price or order it from a library.

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