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Rough BeastsThe Monstrous in Irish Fiction, 1800-2000$
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Jack Fennell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620344

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620344.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 05 May 2021

The Undead Generations

The Undead Generations

Zombies, Vampires, and the Corporeal Undead

(p.158) Chapter Seven The Undead Generations
Rough Beasts

Jack Fennell

Liverpool University Press

The first half of this chapter establishes the historical context for depictions of the corporeal undead (i.e. reanimated corpses in various forms, such as zombies, vampires and other revenants, as opposed to ghosts, spirits and less-substantial beings). This context incorporates not just the concept of abjection – which describes the actions by which the ‘unclean’ is removed from the space of everyday life – but also looks at Ireland’s haphazard history when it comes to the management of death, from the dilapidation of graveyards to grave-robbing to lackadaisical death registration. All of these factors combined the make burial spots ‘porous’ rather than hermetically sealed, so that death leaked into the space of the living. A number of texts are considered against this backdrop to suggest a general sense of what it means to be undead in Ireland. The second half of the chapter is given over to vampires, and the ways in which the dominant trends in analyses of vampire stories (allegorical reading and humanisation) fail to do justice to the vampire’s unique nature. This extended argument looks at two classic Irish vampire tales, Carmilla and Dracula.

Keywords:   vampires, zombies, Dracula, Carmilla, abjection

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