January Books 9) Interview with the Vampire

9) Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice

This book really is the most utter tosh. I can see how it fits in the literary genealogy linking Bram Stoker and Buffy, but Stoker is less pretentious and Buffy is much funnier.

One thought on “January Books 9) Interview with the Vampire

  1. and hope that there are better introductions to world folklore out there.

    Goodness, YES. Try things that were actually written by folklorists. ;p

    Sorry to sound snotty, but I heartily dislike Campbell. His work is vague, inconsistent, and not academic in the least, but somehow everyone reads him and loves him. He got a few things right–such as the fact that the study of folklore is inherently comparative, since folklore travels and varies across time and space–but there so much he got wrong. When he compares works out of their social contexts, he misses the nuances that makes the variations interesting. There are reasons why regional variations of a story vary, and when you say all stories are essentially the same story, you miss a lot of what makes these variations meaningful and worth studying.

    I also don’t care for Jungian theory, which Campbell relies on heavily. (I was raised by Freudians in the desert, go figure) Oh, and Campbell strikes me as rather misogynist, but I haven’t read enough of his work to say that with certainty.

    Folklorists have developed our own methods and theories for studying folk narratives over time, which Campbell mostly ignores (which, of course, I also find irksome). You might be interested in a work called Fairytale in the Ancient World by Graham Anderson, which traces the roots of common (and less common) fairy tales in the classical world, or Fairy Tales From Before Fairy Tales by Jan Ziolkowski, which does much the same thing but with a focus on the middle ages. And then there is always the work of Jack Zipes, one of the most esteemed fairy tale scholars of the century, who deconstructs the bourgeois meanings of fairy tales from the Grimms to the Victorians to our times (for another good scholar on the Grimms, check out Donald Haase; for Freudian approaches to folklore, read Alan Dundes; for feminist approaches to fairy tales, read Cristina Bacchilega, Pauline Greenhill, or me).

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