So this past week’s reading was Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire. Although the recent onslaught of vampires in mainstream culture – thanks Twilight – has built my distaste in vampires, I decided to give this story a fair chance.
Anne Rice’s vampires differ from that of the traditional Dracula. For one thing they’re immune to the whole garlic, holy water, stake in the heart kind of stuff. Also, instead of turning victims into fellow vampires upon biting them, victims are transformed when they feed upon a vampire’s blood. Now the story takes off as a young boy is interviewing Louis, who’s been a vampire for over 200 years. Louis’s character is portrayed as a teenager or young adult when he’s affected by life at the beginning of his told story.
Louis’s life is on its last rope. He’s pretty much at rock bottom when Lestat discovers him. Lestat takes advantage of Louis’s weakness and turns him into a vampire. He then shows Louis the way of life as a vampire as they prey upon unsuspecting victims that are both male and female. One thing that occurred to me while perusing through this story, although it’s not exactly mentioned, is that there is a sense of a bisexual dominance/recessive relationship between Lestat and Louis within this story. In a way it feels kind of like Anne Rice paved a pathway to making female pornography more popular, kind of like how it is in more modern culture today, particularly with Yaoi in Japan. It feels like Louis is trapped in this awful sort of relationship with Lestat in which he’s now forced to live forever as a vampire. Its not until he meets up with the old world vampires that he has his chance to leave. The story also sparks a lot of other interesting concepts, like Claudia for instance, who is pretty much like a child to Louis. She’s stuck as an immortal child, so that even though her mind matured to adulthood, her body never did. Also the Old world vampires are more like savages. They’ve been used to feeding on the living for so long, they’ve lost any sense of their human minds. Louis and Claudia tried to dispose of Lestat and failed. Its not really until after Lestat comes back to extract his revenge by killing Claudia that Louis is really fueled to get rid of Lestat. Also at the end of the story the interviewer, being the young naïve boy that he is, doesn’t realize any of the tragedy behind Louis’s woeful tales. Instead he thinks it’d be cool to be a vampire for the immortality and power. Louis angered at the boy’s ignorance, turns him into a vampire and flees. At that point the story ends with the interviewer wanting to seek out Lestat as well. In a way, this is kind of like a commentary about how people don’t realize the consequences of things as youth. They don’t tend to think things through, but rather learn the hard way because they do things that they think are cool.
Even though the whole male dominance relationship part of this book kind of creeped me out, I still think it provided some interesting points with the concept of being an immortal child and the mindless old world vampires.