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Vampires in the sunburnt country : adapting vampire Gothic to the Australian landscape

Nahrung, Jason (2007) Vampires in the sunburnt country : adapting vampire Gothic to the Australian landscape. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

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Abstract

I first became enamoured with vampire Gothic after reading Bram Stoker's Dracula in high school, but gradually became dissatisfied with the Australian adaptations of the sub-genre. In looking for examples of Australian vampire Gothic, a survey of more than 50 short stories, 23 novels and five movies made by Australians reveals fewer than half were set in an identifiably Australian setting. Even fewer make use of three key, landscape-related tropes of vampire Gothic - darkness, earth and ruins. Why are so few Australian vampire stories set in Australia? In what ways can the metaphorical elements of vampire Gothic be applied to the Sunburnt Country?

This paper seeks to answer these questions by examining examples of Australian vampire narratives, including film. Particular attention is given to Mudrooroo's Master of the Ghost Dreaming series which, more than any other Australian novel, succeeds in manipulating and subverting the tropes of vampire Gothic. The process of adaptation of vampire Gothic to the Australian environment, both natural and man-made, is also a core concern of my own novel, Vampires' Bane, which uses earth, darkness and a modern permutation of ruins to explore its metaphorical intentions.

Through examining previous works and through my own creative process, Vampires' Bane, I argue that Australia's growing urbanisation can be juxtaposed against the vampire-hostile natural environment to enhance the tropes of vampire Gothic, and make Australia a suitable home for narratives that explore the ongoing evolution of Count Dracula and his many-faceted descendants.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 16668
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Bourke, Nicole& Bolland, Craig
Keywords: vampire, Gothic, fiction, Bram Stoker, Dracula, Mudrooroo, Master of the Ghost Dreaming, Australian fiction, horror, Dani Cavallaro, Ken Gelder, Gina Wisker, David Stevens, Edmund Burke, darkness, earth, blood, ruins, Milissa Deitz, Tracy Ryan, Jackie French, Keri Arthur, Outback Vampires, Thirst, Bloodlust
Divisions: Current > Schools > Creative Writing & Literary Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Department: Faculty of Creative Industries
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Jason Nahrung
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 14:08
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2011 05:50

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