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Fishman, G.G. (1984). American Imago, XXXVII. 1980: The Vampire Myth. James Twitchell. Pp. 83-92.. Psychoanal Q., 53:335-336.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago, XXXVII. 1980: The Vampire Myth. James Twitchell. Pp. 83-92.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:335-336

American Imago, XXXVII. 1980: The Vampire Myth. James Twitchell. Pp. 83-92.

George G. Fishman

In this piece the author attempts to help explain the universal appeal of the vampire myth. The young men who hunt down Dracula have been compared by other authors to the primal horde of Freud's Totem and Taboo. In a word, the evil father of this toothy saga derives from a projection. He is seen as seizing at a whim

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what all the young men themselves want. Twitchell takes the psychoanalytic case further. He reminds us that for the adolescent male, witnessing sensual sucking captures the ambivalence of reaching manhood. Then, there is the matter of the lamia, or female vampires (rendered so by having been victimized by Dracula) who in turn overpower men in the night. The author suggests that they serve as imagery for nocturnal emissions and other intensely exciting (and frightening) indoctrinations of male adolescence. Moreover, for the adult man, the lamia become the debased, whore-like objects who make forbidden passion licit. Preadolescent girls may also take great satisfaction in the myth. As lamia in their unconscious being, they have their turn at the power of conquest. In addition, as victims, they may vicariously submit to a modern-day analogue of droit-du-seigneur. Twitchell translates the latent meaning of his analogy. The father introduced his daughter to sexuality to temper her disappointment at having to give him up and settle for other, lesser, men. Twitchell elaborates these themes very well.

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Article Citation

Fishman, G.G. (1984). American Imago, XXXVII. 1980. Psychoanal. Q., 53:335-336

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