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Vampire Influences on Modern Popular Culture - Research Paper Example

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Vampire Influences on Modern Popular Culture

“In essence, the domain of eroticism is the domain of violence, of violation,” Bataille wrote in the text ‘Death and Sensuality’ (1957). “The most violent thing of all for us is death which jerks us out of a tenacious obsession with the lastingness of our discontinuous being.” (Bataille, 1957) The area of experience which Bataille writes about is typically kept under the veils of secrecy and taboo, not to be spoken of publicly. Nevertheless, his theories open up an understanding of why the vampire mythologies have become so popular and prevalent in modern culture, because he shows how the sensuality of the experience is heightened when the religious, sexual, violent, and erotic images are mixed with narrative in a dramatic fashion. Bataille critically worshipped the orgasm as “la petite mort” or “the little death” in French, and through this association the power of the vampire stories can be seen in evoking a transcendence that takes the initiate from the realm of common life to the existence of immortals. (Fuchs, 2011, p.3) This theme is seen repeatedly whether it is in the “Interview with the Vampire,” Twilight,” “Lost Boys,” or “Dracula” imagery. The fusion of mystical, religious, and erotic imagery has the effect of taking the narrative beyond social taboos and therefore heightening excitement through the combined semantic value of the symbols in the minds of the audience. Death and Eroticism Bataille was an early member of the Surrealist movement in France, but focused primarily on literature and exploring the psychological relationship between death and eroticism in experience. His early work focuses on the violation of religious and social taboos, just as the vampire mythologies do in contemporary culture, albeit in a far more extreme manner than the television and films typically depict today. The reason for Bataille’s excesses can be seen in the phenomenon of transgressive sexuality combining elements of religious mysticism, artistic creation, style, symbolic drama, and violence in the practice of eroticism. The vampire mythologies follow this same pattern, for example in the “Twilight” series, Bella wants to marry and experience eternal life with Edward Cullen as a type of higher love, while the settings of the vampire myth include religious elements fused with eroticism. As Bataille wrote, “The whole business of eroticism is to strike to the inmost core of the living being, so that the heart stands still. The transition from the normal state to that of erotic desire presupposes a partial dissolution of the person as he exists in the realm of discontinuity. Dissolution — this expression corresponds with dissolute life, the familiar phrase linked with erotic activity. In the process of dissolution, the male partner has generally an active role, while the female partner is passive. The passive, female side is essentially the one that is dissolved as a separate entity. But for the male partner the dissolution of the passive partner means one thing only: it is paving the way for a fusion where both are mingled, attaining at length the same degree of dissolution. The whole business ...Show more


Vampire influences on modern popular culture. Name: Class: Date: Table of Contents Table of Contents 1 Introduction 2 Death and Eroticism 3 The Marquis de Sade and the Vampire Archetype 4 Moral Conflict and Religious Imagery 5 Conclusion 6 Sources Cited 7 Introduction Vampires in modern media typically portray the transgressive aspects of sexuality mixed with elements of style, elitism, and spirituality, with key symbolic resonance given to the importance of blood, death, and mysticism in the tradition…
Author : fboehm
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