More documents from Williamson, Milly
More documents from European Journal of Cultural Studies

Export to your Reference Manger

Please Copy & Paste



Bookmark and Share

Spike, sex and subtext : intertextual portrayals of the sympathetic vampire on cult television

[journal article]

Williamson, Milly

fulltextDownloadDownload full text

(420 KByte)

Citation Suggestion

Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:

Further Details
Abstract The vampire Spike of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the latest in a long line of a mbiguous but sympathetic vampires which have caught the public imagination, stretching back to Polidori’s Byronesque vampire, Lord Ruthven. This article argues that the vampire image that circulates across contemporary vampire fan cultures is one that exceeds any individual depiction of the vampire; the sympathetic vampire operates as a metatext for vampire fans who draw on textual cues to interpret vampires sympathetically, even when the text itself does not. In the case of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the text overtly encourages a sympathetic subtextual reading of Spike by linking his glamour, sex appeal and rebellion to a hinted-at unseen suffering, which is easily recognized by fans. Fans read Spike’s bad-boy pose as symbolic of hidden pathos. Indeed, the text adopts conventions associated with fan fiction in order to encourage and sustain a surrounding fan culture.
Classification Cultural Sociology, Sociology of Art, Sociology of Literature; Broadcasting, Telecommunication; Impact Research, Recipient Research
Free Keywords Buffy; cult TV; fan culture; intertextuality; metatext; outcast; slash fiction; subtext; sympathetic vampire
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 289-311
Journal European Journal of Cultural Studies, 8 (2005) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)