Introduction: Artful Courtship and Murderous Enjoyment

  • David BakerEmail author
  • Stephanie Green
  • Agnieszka Stasiewicz-Bieńkowska
Part of the Palgrave Gothic book series (PAGO)


The portrayal of the vampire as host and guest is one of the most frequently rehearsed tropes of the vampire mythos. As one who stands on ceremony, the bloodsucking monster plays an intricate game of manners with the victim, often demonstrating a magnanimous hospitality to the living. As the generosity of the vampire host too often serves to shroud a threat of violation, the vampiric welcome remains intrinsically ambiguous. More terrifying, however, is the moment when the monster steps over the threshold of human settlement. Vampires have long reflected human fears of invasion—of the Other shattering the sense of shelter created by familiar spaces and values. Thus, the politics of hospitality in vampiric narratives problematises the navigation of the domestic—at once displaying and unsettling the dichotomies between tradition and transformation, radical and hegemonic identities, the consensual and non-consensual. As metaphorical invaders, vampire “guests” not only intrude the physical space of home but also violate human body. It is precisely here where the vampire figures the problematic nexus between rape and consent. In their multiple incarnations, however, vampires cannot be perceived exclusively as violators; they often themselves fall victim to human violence and abjection. Recognising the ways in which themes of domesticity, anxiety and violation intersect with vampiric narratives, this volume serves to locate the relationship between hospitality and predation, and illuminates the commodified mythos of romantic love and the socio-cultural barriers to inclusiveness and acceptance.


Vampire Narratives Problematic Nexus Carmilla Vampire Lore Vampire Body 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Baker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stephanie Green
    • 1
  • Agnieszka Stasiewicz-Bieńkowska
    • 2
  1. 1.Griffith UniversityNathanAustralia
  2. 2.Jagiellonian UniversityKrakówPoland

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