Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Queering of Culture

As we have discussed before, there is a strong relationship between light/dark and the human/undead world.  George Haggerty, in his article "Anne Rice and the Queering of Culture" discusses this in the context of vampirism as a homo erotic act.  In previous blogs I have discussed how light and dark play into the vampire persona.  Vampires stratle the worlds of the living and the dead.  Many of the ones we have come across feel the need to made relationships with their victims, a throwback to their human nature.  Furthermore, like Louise, they show compassion for the victims and do not simply kill for sport.  Although this is true, Haggerty chooses to examine the vampire from a different perspective; that of the homosexual nature.  "The vampire moves with the suave invisibility of the prototypical gay man: offering companionship, friendship, even love, before revealing his true and deadly nature; appearing silently and taking his pleasure ruthlessly; and suffering for his sexual transgression by being shut out from the light and condemned to an eternity of darkness" (Haggerty 7).  Haggerty seems to imply that their prison of darkness is some sort of punishment, not for their vampirism, but for their homosexual nature.  His thirst not only for blood but sexual conquest of all types is so great that darkness is the only thing that can contain it to some extent.  Haggerty further expands on this idea later in his essay.

The author looks at a passage where Lestat encounters a heap of rotting bodies that have similar builds, features, and attributes as himself.  This is very evident because at the end of the passage Lestat comments that these dead, rotting corpses could even pass for his brothers.  Haggerty's handling of the meaning of this passage is interesting.  From his discussion I gathered that he sees this heap of bodies analogous to Lestat. "The putrefying heap also represents culture's deepest fear of the male relations that structure it" (Haggerty 10).  The heap can be seen as a representation of how this counter-culture could effect the status quo of a society; turn these attractive and fit men into rotting and decaying corpses.  I do not necessarily agree with Haggerty's assessment of this passage.  Rice could be forcing Lestat to confront his transgressions in this passage.  He throws up at the sight of it, implying that Lestat feels some sort of guilt/disgust at what the heap might represent.

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