To celebrate the upcoming release of Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, I have decided to share with all the dedicated members of the Lestat Book Coven, and beyond, this special scholarly work, focused on the psychological intricacies and nuances of Anne Rice's work!!
Author's Note:In many ways, this is my magnum opus, my decision to post this in such a public way is still fraught with some natural anxiety. I have a great fear of the terrible ways that people can utilize the internet to commit atrocious acts of theft of a person's written material that was written with the same meticulousness and exhaustive research that this paper about Anne Rice's works involved.
For all the wonderful "People of the Page," whom I am inviting to read this, I am entrusting you to honor my wishes and to treat this paper with the same respect that you bestow on Anne Rice's works. Please only share the link to the paper, and do not use the copy and paste function. This is woefully out of my control, and I just hope that you read this paper without infringing upon any of my artistic or scholarly rights. I really hope you enjoy this paper because it reflects the breadth of thought and analysis that I have gleaned from three years of reading Anne Rice's books with unadulterated awe. There are very few contemporary writers, in my personal opinion, that write with the same scope of philosophical questions, and are truly earnest in their pursuit of exploring our deepest existential concerns. Thanks to Anne Rice, all of the readers of her works have undergone dramatic transformation in their perspective of life. Anne Rice's works may ostensibly be seen as frivolous pulp-fiction books for some, but her books have always triggered a deep paradigmatic shift in the minds of everyone of her readers. We can all attest to the mastery of Anne Rice's language and the sensuousness of her prose that brings a deep sense of mysticism and reverence for the deeply mysterious universe that we inhabit!
Thanks to Anne Rice and every member of her Facebook page that Anne fondly and deservedly names the People of the Page!
Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and the Psychological Evolution of the Monster
Historically, the concept of the vampire served as a wild phantasm of people's psyches or another representation of Satan or a fallen angel. Even in recent times, the vampire is still a highly stigmatized, underappreciated literary creation that inexplicably does not warrant the serious critical scrupulousness of other literary creations. If they are studied, the more demonic, grossly degraded models of these figures, like the character of Dracula or the classic Nosferatu, are deemed the only serious vampire figures worthy of critical attention. When Anne Rice first published her seminal work Interview with the Vampire, it was met with facetious comments from many critics, who felt that the novel was trite, soft-core porn that was written with turgid prose. Her book was rejected in the critical realm to the point where Anne Rice never wrote another vampire book, until The Vampire Lestat was published in 1984. By reading Anne Rice's works with a pensive eye, any reader can easily discern that her novels are filled with psychological depth, much like the rest of her novels. Writing vicariously through the figures of either vampires in Interview with the Vampire, or later werewolves in The Wolf Gift, Anne Rice exhumes these literary figures from the morass of mindlessness and grants them a conscience that allows her books to deeply plumb the ethical and existential depths of the human psyche more than any other author of vampire novels in recent times. Through a Freudian reading of these works, it is evident that her books deftly explore the psyche of the monster in traditional psychoanalytic fashion, bringing to light the unexplored realms of our own psyche.
Departing from the generic trappings of earlier vampire novels, Anne Rice skillfully rewrites the vampire as a character with moral depth. More importantly, she allows her central vampire character, Louis, in Interview with the Vampire to examine the morally complex details of his vampire existence in an uncontrived way. The whole book is mindfully structured in the style of an interview, allowing the vampire to speak liberally about the true paradoxical depth that encapsulates the eternal scheme of a vampire's life. Susannah Clements, author of The Vampire Defanged: How the Embodiment of Evil Became A Romantic Hero, persuasively adds that "Rice's Interview with the Vampire is a turning point in the tradition of vampire literature in the way that Rice abruptly shifted the narrative structure from the vampire hunter to the vampires themselves and gave her vampire a complex consciousness" (Clements 35). From the outset of the novel, Louis the vampire even says, "I see," making it clear to the both the interviewer and the reader that the vampire is a sentient being (Interview with the Vampire 1). Naturally, the interviewer himself is apprehensive because his preconceived ideas of vampires cast them in a demonic light. Before Louis divulges his story, he reassures the interviewer: "Believe me, I won't hurt you. I want this opportunity. It's more important to me than you can realize now" (Interview with the Vampire 4). For Louis, it is pivotal that he recounts the details of his life, in order for Louis to cathartically deal with the tumultuous quality of his life. In another sense, the interview styling of this book allows Anne Rice to bring the monstrous figure the depth that the figure has woefully lacked for the past few centuries.