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"The Invisible Giant", Dracula and disease

Willis, Martin 2007. "The Invisible Giant", Dracula and disease. Studies in the Novel 39 (3) , pp. 301-325.

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Abstract

When Dracula was reintroduced into critical debate in the 1970s it was largely due to the enthusiasm of psychoanalytic critics for the novel's evocative interpretations of unconscious fantasies of desire. Such analyses quickly widened into an intense interest in gender and sexuality, perceived both psychoanalytically and historically, that has tended to dominate critical opinion for over two decades. As early as 1984 Christopher Craft, in his influential essay on gender inversion, noted the pervasiveness of the focus on sexuality when he claimed that "modem critical accounts ... almost universally agree that vampirism both expresses and distorts an originally sexual energy" (107). By the 1990s it had become commonplace to signal this critical consensus, as exemplified in the work of Rebecca A. Pope and Elisabeth Bronfen, and even at times to challenge its superiority, as Stephen D. Arata did in his important reading of Dracula as a text grounded in colonial confrontations. More recently critics have expressed their disappointment in the limited range of critical approaches to Stoker's work. One of the leading scholars of Stoker's work, William Hughes, has argued that "modem criticism's preoccupation with sexuality dominates-and indeed inhibits the development of-the debate on vampirism" (Hughes, "Fictional Vampires" 144-45). Hughes's expressed disappointment with the limitations of Stoker criticism has been effective: since 2000 critical approaches to Dracula have been increasingly inventive and varied, adding greatly to our understanding of the novel's place within Irish literary history, Victorian popular culture, and modern technologies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Publisher: University of North Texas
ISSN: 0039-3827
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:50
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/85946

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