Crossing Borders: Hospitality in Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Florence Marryat’s The Blood of the Vampire
- 442 Downloads
The two novels analysed in this chapter, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Florence Marryat’s The Blood of the Vampire (both published in 1897) focus on vampires who constantly negotiate with people and places, transforming and being transformed by the rules and roles of hospitality. Both novels offer an insight into the dynamics of hospitality and show how space, language, food and eating rituals play an important role in the interaction between guest and host. Through the focus on the vampires’ physical and metaphorical movements among different spaces and social communities, a migrant figure emerges—one who lives in endless tension between separation and aggregation. In Dracula, the count who never eats but generously provides food, welcomes his guest into his castle, reminding him that he is to enter “freely” and at his “own will”. Just like Dracula offers the borders of his domestic space as the locus of negotiation, the vampire is allowed to cross thresholds only if he is invited in, a verbal performance which marks that interaction is based on consent. In The Blood of the Vampire, abnormal eating habits and non-conforming behaviour confine mixed-race Harriet Brandt into the condition of a psychic vampire. Harriet’s struggle to overcome the burden of the past and her evil maternal legacy is examined through changes of geographical places and lodgings, spatial expressions of her own inner transformation. In both vampire texts, orality, voracity and hospitality are central to the dynamics of the story, as is the vampirical defeat of human liminality.
- Bachelard, Gaston. 1994. The Poetics of Space: The Classic Look at How We Experience Intimate Places, trans. Maria Jonas. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
- Benveniste, Emile. 1973. Indo-European Language and Society, trans. Elizabeth Palmer. London: Faber and Faber Limited.Google Scholar
- Costantini, Mariaconcetta. 2013. Abnormal Female Appetite in Wilkie Collins and Florence Marryat. Il Confronto Letterario 59: 83–98.Google Scholar
- Davies, Gill. 2004. London in Dracula; Dracula in London. Literary London: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Representation of London 2 (March). http://www.literarylondon.org/london-journal/march2004/davies.html. Accessed 15 Dec 2016.
- Davis, Octavia. 2007. Morbid Mothers: Gothic Heredity in Florence Marryat’s The Blood of the Vampire. In Horrifying Sex: Essays on Sexual Difference in Gothic Literature, ed. Ruth Bienstock Anolik, 40–54. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland.Google Scholar
- Depledge, Greta. 2010. Introduction to The Blood of the Vampire, ed. Florence Marryat, iii–xxxvi. Brighton: Victorian Secrets.Google Scholar
- Depledge, Greta. 2012. Ideologically Challenging: Florence Marryat and Sensation Fiction. In A Companion to Sensation Fiction, ed. Pamela K. Gilbert, 306–318. Oxford: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Derrida, Jacques. 2000. Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- Hayes, Ted. 2008. Writing Count Logos, the Deferred Presence: Thresholds and Uncertainty in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Limina. Log, September 19. http://log.liminastudio.com/writing/essays/count-logos-the-deferred-presence. Accessed 15 Dec 2016.
- Hennelly, Mark M., Jr. 2005. ‘Betwixt Sunset and Sunrise’: Liminality in Dracula. Journal of Dracula Studies 7. http://blooferland.com/drc/images/07Hennell.rtf. Accessed 1 Jan 2016.
- Kristeva, Julia. 1991. Strangers to Ourselves. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
- Macfie, Sian. 1991. ‘They Suck Us Dry.’ A Study of Late Nineteenth-Century Projections of Vampiric Woman. In Subjectivity and Literature from the Romantics to the Present Day, ed. Philip Shaw and Peter Stockwell, 58–67. London: Pinter Publishers.Google Scholar
- Marryat, Florence. (1897) 2009. The Blood of the Vampire. Kansas City: Valancourt Books.Google Scholar
- Moretti, Franco. 1982. The Dialectics of Fear. New Left Review 136: 67–85.Google Scholar
- Stoker, Bram. 2002. Dracula. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
- Turner, Victor. 1969. The Ritual Process. Structure and Anti-Structure. New York: De Gruytere.Google Scholar
- Telfer, Elizabeth. 2000. The Philosophy of Hospitableness. In In Search of Hospitality: Theoretical Perspectives and Debates, ed. Conrad Lashley, and Alison Morrison, 38–55. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.Google Scholar
- van Gennep, Arnold. 1960. Rites of Passage, trans. Monika B. Vizedom and Gabrielle L. Caffee. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Warwick, Alexandra. 1995. Vampires and the Empire: Fears and Fictions of the 1890s. In Cultural Politics and the Fin de Siècle, ed. Sally Ledger and Scott McCracken, 202–220. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Wicke, Jennifer. 1992. Vampire Typewriting: Dracula and Its Media. EHL 59 (2): 467–493.Google Scholar
- Zieger, Susan. 2008. Inventing the Addict: Drugs, Race and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century British and American Literature. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar