‘Nothing is Real, Everything is Permitted’: The Vampire and the Politics of Jouissance

  • Susan Chaplin


This chapter examines in greater depth a theme introduced in Chapters 2 and 3: this is the relation between what Girard calls ‘sacrificial crisis’ and an economy that transforms the impulse towards mimetic violence into the desire to consume. In Žižekian terms, this generates the demand for excessive, obscene enjoyment – for what Žižek terms ‘impossible jouissance’. In its drive to ensure its own infinite, immortal self-perpetuation, capital shifts the entire orientation of the Symbolic Law from the command ‘Thou shalt not!’ to the command ‘Enjoy’! This chapter relates a ‘vampiric’ politics of jouissance to a range of contemporary narratives: The Vampire Diaries and The Twilight Saga, and to The Southern Vampire Mysteries and True Blood.


Capital Race Power Simulation 


  1. Anatol, Gizelle Lisa. 2011. Bringing Light to Twilight: Perspectives on the Pop Culture Phenomenon. London: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baudrillard, Jean. 1994. Simulacra and Simulation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  3. Harris, Charlaine. 2007. All Together Dead. London: Orion.Google Scholar
  4. Kotsko, Adam. 2008. Žižek and Theology. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  5. ———. 2006. New Moon. London: Atom.Google Scholar
  6. Rice, Anne. 1976. Interview with the Vampire. New York: Knopff.Google Scholar
  7. Wallis, Meredith. 2011. ‘True Blood Waits: The Romance of Law and Literature’. In Bringing Light to Twilight: Perspectives on a Pop Culture Phenomenon, edited by G. Anatol, 83–95. London: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Žižek, Slavoj. 1989. The Sublime Objet of Ideology. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  9. ———. 2000. The Fragile Absolute, or, Why is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting For? London: Verso.Google Scholar
  10. ———. 2006. The Parallax View. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  11. Rice, Anne. [1985] 2003. The Vampire Lestat. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Chaplin
    • 1
  1. 1.Leeds Beckett UniversityLeedsUnited Kingdom

Personalised recommendations