Online Artifact

Friday, November 12, 2010

Online Artifact
Lindsay Brown

                This blog post deals with the queer relationships between the vampires of Anne Rice’s chronicles.  It also mentions how these vampires are different from the classic vampire.  For this paper, however, I will be focusing on the relationship between Louis and Lestat.
                This blog states that these books are often referred to as the turning point from a traditional view of vampires to a more modern view.  Instead of reading about a hairy vampire in an old castle, we are reading about young looking vampires that are sensual and attractive to us.  This book also gives us a different perspective of a vampire.  Looking at Count Dracula, he was something to be feared and destroyed.  However, the vampires in this novel almost draw out our sympathy towards them.  For example when Louis is talking about his brother’s death while he was still human he says “I could not forgive myself.  I felt responsible for his death.” (Page 9).  Even this little statement has us feeling pity for Louis and his past mistakes.  The fact that it is written in such a way that we get to hear the first-hand account of what happened to Louis and how his life thus far has been helps us to feel this way about the vampire.   We are almost taking this journey with him, and feeling what he feels.   It’s a much more intimate view of the vampire, instead of it being off in some other country away from us, it is actually here.  Vampires could actually be someone you interact with, without knowing so.  Also different about Louis is the fact that he does not take death lightly.  “I never laugh at death, no matter how often and regularly I am the cause of it.” (Page 16).  This isn’t just a break from traditional vampires, like Dracula, but also a break from other vampires in this novel.  Lestat  actually takes death very lightly, laughing about it.  “Lestat was laughing, telling me callously that I would feel so different once I was a vampire that I would laugh, too.” (Page 16).  I think it’s interesting that even though in most of the vampire novels that we’ve read death is taken lightly by the ones that are killing, Louis is a vast departure from this way of taking death lightly.  I think it stems from the fact that Louis felt so responsible for his brother’s death, and the fact that his depression about it defined the rest of his human life.
                As in other novels, the act of drinking blood is a very sensual act.  This blog states “While they are capable of sexual acts, it is no longer important to them.”  We’ve seen this in Lucy’s transformation in Dracula, and we see it in Louis’ transformation in Interview With The Vampire.   When Louis is telling of Lestat drinking his blood, he says “I remember that the movement of his lips raised the hair all over my body, sent a shock of sensation through my body that was not unlike the pleasure of passion . . .” (Page 19).  This can be seen as Lestat really taking over Louis, and it obviously has a sexual connotation attached to it.  It can be easily seen as the vampires having sexual intercourse, just as Dracula’s visits to Lucy to drain her blood can be seen as sexual intercourse as well. 
                The way that Louis also drinks Lestat’s blood also is seen to be sexual.  “I drank, sucking the blood out of the holes, experiencing for the first time since infancy the special pleasure of sucking nourishment, the body focused with the mind upon one vital source.” (Page 20).  Louis also says “…Lestat pulled his wrist free suddenly, and I opened my eyes and checked myself in a moment of reaching for his wrist, grabbing it, and forcing it back into my mouth at all costs” (Page 20).  This passage shows the draw of Lestat’s blood to Louis.  Even though he does stop himself from drinking more of Lestat’s blood, its draw is still evident in the fact that he had to stop himself from drinking more in the first place.
                Another moment showing the queer relationship between Louis and Lestat is when they have to sleep in the same coffin.  “‘Now I’m getting into the coffin,’ he finally said to me in his most disdainful tone, ‘and you will get in on top of me if you know what’s good for you.’  And I did.  I lay face down on him, utterly confused by my absence of dread and filled with a distaste for being so close to him, handsome and intriguing as though he was.  And he shut the lid.”  (Page 25).  It’s interesting that Louis is disgusted to be so close to Lestat, especially after how Louis felt while drinking Lestat’s blood.  Though, in this scene of the book, there is no blood drinking or other sexual connotations.  I think this shows that although Louis is sexually attracted to Lestat (shown in the way that he did not want to stop sucking his blood), he is not interested in him romantically past that point.  This can be shown when Louis says “The thing that became apparent to me, even while Lestat and I were loading the coffin into a hearse and stealing another coffin from a mortuary, was that I did not like Lestat at all.  I was far from being his equal yet, but I was indefinitely closer to him than I had been before the death of my body.  […] But before I died, Lestat was absolutely the most overwhelming experience I’d ever had.” (page 25).  When reading this quote, it seems that Louis was in love with Lestat (at least, was mesmerized by him) when he was human.  However, when he turned into a vampire Lestat lost his appeal.  This would fit, because when Louis was drinking Lestat’s blood and feeling sexually towards him, he was still human. 

Sources :
Rice, Anne. Interview With The Vampire. New York: Ballantine Books, n.d. Print.


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