Analysis of George Haggerty´s Anne Rice and the Queering of Culture

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‘To understand the chronicles they must be read as gay’ , at least this is the incredibly bold statement made by George Haggerty in his essay on Anne Rice and the Queering of Culture. There is no denying that Anne Rice’s Vampires have much to do with homosexuality and Haggerty’s highlighting this is in no way new criticism, but the claim that is must be read as gay is entirely dismissive of the many other sexual paradigms that exist within the collection.
To begin with, his referral of Lestat as a ‘gay predator’ seems unfair in its definition. The fact of his being a vampire automatically asserts him a ‘predator’, but his relationships are not exclusively homosexual. He is a vampire that merely does not differentiate between male and female prey, making his sexual orientation identify with bisexuality rather than only homosexual as Haggerty seems to suggest. In fact, in reference to the sexuality of her Vampires Rice defined them as bisexual herself by saying that ‘the imagination is bisexual’. Haggerty fails to mention any of the heterosexual encounters Lestat has within the chronicles and furthermore completely neglects to mention Queen of the Damned, in which Lestat’s relationship with Akasha is largely heterosexual, despite his sometimes unwilling attitude towards her, he even admits his feelings towards her in conversation with Gabrielle, “Did I love her? Is that what you want to know? Yes, I loved her." This admission of romantic love for Akasha, as well as his sexual encounters with other female characters, is evidence of his bisexuality, something Haggerty seems to have chosen to disregard in favour of reading him as exclusively homosexual. This inability to separate homosexuality and homosexuality within bisexuality i...

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...re original and inspiring in placing these readings in a historical understanding of the receival of homosexuality in society and the way in which Rice both simultaneously defies and reasserts these opinions.

Works Cited

Benefiel, C. R. (2004) ‘Blood Relations: The Gothic Perversion of the Nuclear Family in Anne Rice’s Interview With a Vampire’ Journal of Popular Culture V:38 (2)
Ferraro, S. (1990) ‘Novels you can sink your teeth into’, The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/14/magazine/novels-you-can-sink-your-teeth-into.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
Garber, M. (2013) Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life. Routledge
Haggerty, G. (1998) ‘Anne Rice and the Queering of Culture’ NOVEL: a forum on fiction. V:32(1) Article Stable URL:http://www.jstor.org/stable/1346054
Rice, Anne. (2003) The Vampire Chronicles Collection. Ballantine Books Limited.

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