Spanish Vampire Fiction since 1900: Blood Relations 9781138303836, 9780203730683

Spanish Vampire Fiction since 1900: Blood Relations, as that subtitle suggests, makes the case for considering Spanish v

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Spanish Vampire Fiction since 1900: Blood Relations
 9781138303836, 9780203730683

Table of contents :
Half Title
Series Page
Title Page
Copyright Page
PART I: Text-by-Text Analysis
1 Ramón del Valle-Inclán, “Satanás/Beatriz” (1900–01)
2 Emilia Pardo Bazán, “Vampiro” 1901
3 Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent, “Una hora de amor” and “El señor Cadáver y le señorita Vampiro”
4 Carmen de Burgos, La mujer fría
5 Wenceslao Fernández Flórez, “El claro del bosque”
6 Alfonso Sastre, “Las noches del Espíritu Santo”
7 Juan G. Atienza, “Sangre fresca para el muerto”
8 Alfons Cervera, “Una historia de amor”
9 Adelaida García Morales, La lógica del vampiro
10 Mercedes Abad, Sangre
11 Javier García Sánchez, Ella, Drácula: Erzsébet Báthory
12 Clara Tahoces, Gothika
13 Santiago Exímeno, “Al caer la noche”
14 David Jasso, “Víctimas inocentes”
15 Alfredo Álamo, “El hombre de la pala”
16 Elia Barceló, “La belle dame sans merci”
17 Nuria C. Botey, “Viviendo con el tío Roy”
18 Miguel Puente Molins, “Caries”
19 Juan Ignacio Carrasco, Entre nosotros
20 José de la Rosa, Vampiro
21 Marc R. Soto, “Siempre en mi recuerdo”
22 José María Tamparillas, “El sabor de la buena tierra”; “Sangre de mi sangre, carne de mi carne”; and “La vieja, muy vieja Betty”
23 Lorenzo Fernández Bueno, El vampiro de Silesia
24 Carlos Molinero, Verano de miedo
25 Gema del Prado Marugán, “Comer con los ojos”
26 Edgar Sega, “Los dos mundos de Lord Barrymore”
PART II: Comparative Analysis
27 Folklore and Religion
28 Contagion and Transmission

Citation preview

Spanish Vampire Fiction since 1900

Spanish Vampire Fiction since 1900: Blood Relations, as that subtitle suggests, makes the case for considering Spanish vampire fiction an index of the complex relationship between intercultural phenomena and the specifics of a time, place, and author. Supernatural beings that drink blood are found in folklore worldwide, Spain included, and writers ranging from the most canonical to the most marginal have written vampire stories, Spanish ones included too. When they do, they choose between various strategies of characterization or blend different ones together. How much will they draw on conventions of the transnational corpus? Are their vampires to be local or foreign, alluring or repulsive, pitiable or pure evil, for instance? Decisions like these determine the messages texts carry and, when made by Spanish authors, may reveal aspects of their culture with striking candour, perhaps because the fantasy premise seems to give the false sense of security that this is harmless escapism and, since metaphorical meaning is implicit, it is open to argument and, if necessary, denial. Part I gives a chronological text-by-text appreciation of all the texts included in this volume, many of them little known even to Hispanists, and few if any to non-Spanish Gothic scholars. It also provides a plot summary and some brief background on the author of each. These entries are free-standing and designed to be consulted for reference or read together to give a sense of the evolution of the paradigm since 1900. Part II considers the corpus comparatively, first with regard to its relationship to folklore and religion and then contagion and transmission. Spanish Vampire Fiction since 1900: Blood Relations will be of interest to Anglophone Gothic scholars who want to develop their knowledge of the Spanish dimension of the mode and to Hispanists who want to look at some canonical texts and authors from a new perspective but also gain an awareness of some interesting and decidedly non-canonical material. Abigail Lee Six is a Professor of Spanish at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. Among the first Hispanists to argue for taking the Gothic beyond a narrow chronological definition, The Gothic Fiction of Adelaida García Morales: Haunting Words and Gothic Terrors: Incarceration, Duplication, and Bloodlust in Spanish Narrative showcase her research.

Routledge Studies in Comparative Literature

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Taking a comparative approach to literary studies, this series visits the relationship of literature and language alongside a variety of interdisciplinary and transnational topics. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics. Literature and Ethics in Contemporary Brazil Edited by Vinicius de Carvalho and Nicola Gavioli Cryptic Subtexts in Literature and Film Secret Messages and Buried Treasure Steven F. Walker Narrating Death The Limit of Literature Edited by Daniel K. Jernigan, Walter Wadiak and W. Michelle Wang The Limits of Cosmopolitanism Globalization and Its Discontents in Contemporary Literature Aleksandar Stević and Philip Tsang Romantic Legacies Transnational and Transdisciplinary Contexts Shun-liang Chao and John Michael Corrigan Spanish Vampire Fiction since 1900 Blood Relations Abigail Lee Six To learn more about this series, please visit literature/series/RSCOL

Spanish Vampire Fiction since 1900 Blood Relations

Abigail Lee Six

First published 2019 by Routledge 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017 and by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2019 Taylor & Francis The right of Abigail Lee Six to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Six, Abigail Lee, author. Title: Spanish vampire fiction since 1900: blood relations / Abigail Lee Six. Description: New York, NY: Routledge, 2019. | Series: Routledge studies in comparative literature | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2018054363 (print) | LCCN 2018059188 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Gothic fiction (Literary genre), Spanish— History and criticism. | Spanish fiction—20th century—History and criticism. | Horror tales, Spanish—History and criticism. | Vampires in literature. Classification: LCC PQ6147.G68 (ebook) | LCC PQ6147.G68 S593 2019 (print) | DDC 863/.609375—dc23 LC record available at ISBN: 978-1-138-30383-6 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-203-73068-3 (ebk) Typeset in Sabon by codeMantra




Introduction 1 Part I

Text-by-Text Analysis


1 Ramón del Valle-Inclán, “Satanás/Beatriz” (1900–01)


2 Emilia Pardo Bazán, “Vampiro” (1901)


3 Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent, “Una hora de amor” and “El señor Cadáver y la señorita Vampiro”


4 Carmen de Burgos, La mujer fría 41 5 Wenceslao Fernández Flórez, “El claro del bosque” 46 6 Alfonso Sastre, “Las noches del Espíritu Santo” 52 7 Juan G. Atienza, “Sangre fresca para el muerto” 61 8 Alfons Cervera, “Una historia de amor” 66 9 Adelaida García Morales, La lógica del vampiro 68 10 Mercedes Abad, Sangre 73 11 Javier García Sánchez, Ella, Drácula: Erzsébet Báthory 80 12 Clara Tahoces, Gothika 85 13 Santiago Exímeno, “Al caer la noche” 89 14 David Jasso, “Víctimas inocentes” 93

vi Contents

15 Alfredo Álamo, “El hombre de la pala” 97 16 Elia Barceló, “La belle dame sans merci” 100 17 Nuria C. Botey, “Viviendo con el tío Roy” 103 18 Miguel Puente Molins, “Caries” 109 19 Juan Ignacio Carrasco, Entre nosotros 114 20 José de la Rosa, Vampiro 119 21 Marc R. Soto, “Siempre en mi recuerdo” 124 22 José María Tamparillas, “El sabor de la buena tierra”; “Sangre de mi sangre, carne de mi carne”; and “La vieja, muy vieja Betty” 127 23 Lorenzo Fernández Bueno, El vampiro de Silesia 136 24 Carlos Molinero, Verano de miedo 143 25 Gema del Prado Marugán, “Comer con los ojos” 147 26 Edgar Sega, “Los dos mundos de Lord Barrymore” 154 Part II

Comparative Analysis


27 Folklore and Religion 161 28 Contagion and Transmission 184 Conclusion 207 Bibliography Index

213 225


This book has taken a long time to write and would have been impossible to produce without the support of my colleagues and students at Royal Holloway, University of London. I have been encouraged by opportunities to present papers at the Centre for Contemporary Women’s Writing at the Institute of Modern Languages Research of the University of London and the unfailingly constructive feedback received there. Professor David Roas at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona and Professor Ann Davies at the University of Stirling have also given me encouragement, advice, and support worth their weight in gold. My career has always been a family concern too, and my husband, JeanLouis, my two sons, Edward and Henry, their partners, Véronique and Tess, and my parents, David and Leila, have been long-suffering sounding boards, proofreaders, and advisors. I have tapped into my parents’ remarkable knowledge of classic Hollywood cinema; Edward has been the most tireless reader of successive drafts and giver of constructive feedback as well as advice on English literature; Henry has patiently provided me with accessible explanations based on his scientific knowledge of haematology and gene theory; Véronique has let me question her on her experience of receiving vampire narrative from the standpoint of a secular but culturally Roman Catholic heritage; and Tess’s familiarity with contemporary vampire cinema has given me insights about the directions that genre is taking in the Anglophone world. Henry must also be credited with coming up with the title of the book. Jean-Louis has stood by me throughout my career and this book, like all the others, would not have been written without his encouragement and moral support. I dedicate Blood Relations to him.


This book has several aims and purposes. For Gothic Studies scholars who are not Hispanists, it seeks to draw to their attention that there is twentieth- and twenty-first century vampire fiction being produced by Spanish writers that is worthy of inclusion in the international research field, and to make some interesting ideas appearing there accessible to those without Spanish reading skills via the plot summaries provided for each story included here. Part I, which consists of individual close readings of the texts in chronological order, is also intended to raise awareness of at least some of the authors and texts for Hispanists too, since a good many of them are not mainstream and hence are likely to be unfamiliar to them as well. For Hispanists, this book seeks to separate out a category of writing which has hitherto tended to be invisible because subsumed into one of several larger ones: chiefly “literatura fantástica”, a term used by the Hispanic academy to denote literature with a seemingly supernatural element that erupts into a recognizable reality, but also horror, fantasy, science fiction, and popular fiction. These categorizations are not necessarily wrong or invalid; the stories covered in this book amply demonstrate their credentials to be called one or more of the above as well as vampire stories, but the disadvantage with lumping them together with texts that have nothing to do with vampires and separating them from others which do but which are not, say, science fiction, is that it can hamper the discovery of what vampires represent in the Spanish collective imagination. Not only that, but whether they are categorized as indistinguishable members of one of these other types of fiction or even when the label of vampire fiction is used, Spanish vampire stories are often anthologized with – and sometimes swamped by – translations into Spanish of Anglophone and Francophone writing and/or Latin American production. Muddying the waters further, Spanish production sometimes masquerades as a translation from English. To cite just one example for illustrative purposes, an anthology called Historias de vampiros (1986) [Vampire Stories] contains translations of Augustin Calmet’s report on vampires and of Théophile Gautier’s “La Morte amoureuse” [“Clarimonde”] (but

2 Introduction without any attribution as far as the translators are concerned); six stories by known or unknown Spanish and Latin American authors with names that make their Hispanic identity clear but not the continent or country they are from; and two reportedly are by “John Haigh” and “John Richardson”, respectively. Haigh, known as the Acid Bath Murderer, was a real person (1909–49), an Englishman who claimed to drink his victims’ blood before dissolving their bodies in acid. The story imaginatively creates a confessional memoir written from his condemned cell, and even though a Spanish reader might guess this is fiction rather than autobiography, only a very few small details strike an Anglophone reader and give it away as coming from the pen of a Spanish-speaker. The “John Richardson” story is a tongue-in-cheek narrative involving Count Dracula meeting Sacher-Masoch and his wife. This content eliminates the possibility that the story was written by the Canadian of that name, as he died in 1852, when Sacher-Masoch was only sixteen years old and long before Stoker’s character was created, but whether the pseudonym has been adopted by a Spaniard or someone of another nationality is anyone’s guess.1 Because of this kind of subterfuge, it has sometimes been difficult to identify what is a Spanish vampire story and so isolate what characterizes one: in selecting the stories and novels analysed in the present volume, I may have missed some by the cleverest camouflagers of their national identity. In terms of type of content, I have looked for diversity in how the vampire paradigm is used by Spanish writers. In this way, I have sought to gather sufficient textual evidence to advance hypotheses that emerge as key despite a very broad range of themes and approaches and grouped them into two areas, each given a chapter in Part II. These are, first, the relationship between Spain’s rich and diverse folklore and, tightly meshed with that, beliefs and attitudes to religion and religions in Spanish vampire fiction; and second, how the question of contagion or transmission is handled and the relationship between that issue and metaphors concerning blood and smell. These will be drawn together in the Conclusion with the aim of finding some overall answers to the question of what the distinguishing features of Spanish vampire fiction since 1900 are and what they can tell us about Spain and its cultures. The two parts have been planned so that Blood Relations can be read from beginning to end, but can also be consulted selectively as a reference source of information and analysis of the specific texts in Part I; or, for those seeking a comparative overview, Part II can be read in isolation from the individual close readings preceding it. The category of vampire fiction is also intended to exemplify a larger issue for cultural criticism and to serve as one case study that may shed light on it: how does a given culture conjugate the input from its own specific sociocultural history and present state with transnational elements, whether these are films, novels, other cultural production originating from beyond

Introduction  3 its borders, or international current affairs or social issues? If the fabric of a text has a warp that is, say, the massive historical emigration of Galicians to the New World, and a weft that is the transnational issue of wealthy, older men marrying very much younger, pretty, poor women with few if any other options to avoid total destitution, what is the resulting textual fabric like in terms of textual meanings as well as tone? Or what happens if a story interweaves vestiges of the Spanish obsession with limpieza de sangre (literally meaning cleanness of blood, but referring to having no Jewish ancestry) with the wider first-world issue of an ageing population placing an increasingly unmanageable burden on those of working age? Clearly, to understand a given text and how – let alone why – a particular meaning or message has been produced, both need to be recognized, taken into account, and the relationship between them identified, according to which – like weaving different colours together – particular patterns will be the outcome. That is the weave that I am seeking to identify and describe in this book. To imagine the transnational and the local as identifiable threads of different colours is relatively straightforward, but there is a further complicating factor, which does not fit that metaphor: what do Spanish writers and readers project from their own culture onto foreign texts and how much does that lens distort what they see? At the more concrete, demonstrable end of the spectrum of possible answers to that question are issues around translation which cannot but affect readers’ understanding. I discuss below the possible consequences of the accepted Spanish (mis-)translation of the English term undead, but that is just one example – albeit a very significant one for vampire fiction, with arguably far-reaching consequences – of an identifiable misunderstanding of a foreign concept. At the more intangible other end of the spectrum, there is what might be termed the Carmen syndrome, namely the tendency of foreigners to caricature another culture, perhaps in picturesque ways, perhaps in more grotesque or frightening ones. This is particularly striking here, since ­Britain and the United States are apparently just as closely associated with vampires seen through Spanish eyes as Transylvania is for Anglophone readers and cinemagoers, and this inflects how they portray characters and settings in some of the texts included here. What is labelled foreign, alien, exotic, other, relative to what feels familiar, comfortable, and banal is of course always going to vary from one culture to another but it is a dynamic crucial to vampire fiction. Thus, the depiction of the English characters and settings in Stoker’s Dracula, for example, which brings the foreign (Transylvanian) horror home for English readers, takes it from one foreign country and people to another one for a Spanish reader. This is bound to affect authorial choices when a Spanish writer creates a vampire story, and an Anglophone Hispanist writing about this material has to be culturally agile and sensitive to the deictic implications of terms like self and other, exotic and banal.

4 Introduction

The Corpus First, the chronological span: I have limited coverage to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, above all because the Spanish vampire fiction of this period is even more neglected than earlier examples, for a number of likely reasons: those researching modern popular culture, of which vampire fiction undoubtedly forms part, are drawn towards film studies increasingly as we approach the present day; the writers of modern Spanish vampire fiction are often unknown outside their niche fan base; and in the Spanish ­academy – with certain notable exceptions and more and more of them, thankfully – there is still some squeamishness towards the study of low-prestige fiction. There is also a belief that vampire fiction is not a Spanish genre, that its popularity is mainly limited to translations from English, with the implication that even where it is home-grown, it is an ersatz product unworthy of critical attention. 2 I believe that I have been able to disprove that conclusively in the present volume. What is to be defined as Spanish vampire fiction in this period? The answer to this question is anything but clear-cut, but it was essential to establish working criteria in order to make practical decisions as to which texts to include in the present study and which to exclude, for it soon became apparent that, for reasons of space and availability of texts if nothing else, it would not be possible to cover everything that could conceivably come into the category. I make no pretensions to having established an incontestable definition; I present my decisions here as just one of many possible ways to stake out the territory (no pun intended). What is to be meant by “Spanish” here? I have excluded texts written by authors born outside Spain, meaning that the large volume of Latin American vampire fiction is not tackled here. With equal regret, I have not included material in any Iberian languages other than Castilian Spanish; unfortunately, I do not have a good enough command to read critically and grasp nuances in these, and translations vary too much in quality and accuracy to be reliable for my purposes of close reading here. Whilst the above exclusions are chosen, however reluctantly, the gap spanning the post-Civil War period until the sixties is not. Xavier Aldana Reyes asserts: “The dearth of a Gothic from the 1930s to the 1960s  … is … easily explainable as a result of a new censorious system and the devaluation of popular culture.”3 And yet, is it such an easy matter as this? Why should vampire fiction have been considered worthy of censorship? It would seem that vampires had not gone out of fashion nor been forgotten in this period; for example, a papier-mâché vampire mask dating from the forties (somewhat androgynous, but probably intended to be female) was recently auctioned, and a Spanish translation of “La Morte amoureuse” was available in Spain in 1941.4 Vampire films were being screened in the early post-war decades too, if more sparingly before the sixties than from then onwards.5 However, even leaving aside what was newly available to

Introduction  5 read and watch inside Spain’s borders from the end of the Civil War until the sixties, there is plenty of evidence that many Spanish writers could and did read in languages other than Spanish, could and did rummage through their parents’ and grandparents’ libraries, and could and did travel outside Spain and go to the cinema there as well as buy books that were not on sale at home, and that there was also a thriving black market in banned material.6 In other words, there is insufficient evidence to support an explanation for a lack of Spanish vampire stories at this time as being attributable to writers not knowing about the genre because texts were unavailable to them, or believing there was no appetite for it in the reading public. It is therefore unclear why vampire fiction written by Spaniards in these decades has proved so elusive. My working hypothesis is that vampire fiction was being produced by Spanish writers, but that it is not easy to find today because it was appearing in cheap editions and anthologies, works that no academic archives have seen fit to preserve or scholars to write about, for it was – and in some quarters at least, probably still is – considered frivolous. I continue to comb through the stocks of second-hand bookshops, the task being rendered all the more difficult because the titles of anthologies rarely reveal if the contents will include a vampire story and if so, whether it will be by a Spanish author or a translation. So far, the result is a regrettable lacuna in the present volume. Finally, in the most recent period, there is simply more coming out than the present study can fit in and that includes a whole world of creative writing – including vampire fiction – that exists only online and which would doubtless repay sifting through. I can only hope that either I or others will fill these gaps in the future.7 To be able to address the question of defining a Spanish vampire story, I have had to decide what to consider a vampire for the purpose of this book, a thornier matter than it might at first seem. A criterion that any text containing a character called a vampire qualified it for inclusion was not satisfactory for two reasons: some stories containing obvious, classic vampires –“Víctimas inocentes” by David Jasso, for example – never use the word vampiro; and others which do, such as Vicente Molina Foix’s novel, El vampiro de la calle Méjico [The Mexico Street vampire] (2002), use it purely as a figure of speech; this is of peripheral interest, perhaps, but no common-sense reading of a novel like this would regard it as vampire fiction.8 Other seemingly obvious criteria have also proved inadequate. For example, the consumption of human blood is not a sine qua non of vampires in literature or in life, where so-called psi-vamps are also to be found: those who drain the life-force of others psychologically rather than physically.9 One example of several in the present volume is Alfonso in Adelaida García Morales’s La lógica del vampiro. Others, such as Don Fortunato in Emilia Pardo Bazán’s “Vampiro”, do not drink their victim’s blood, but their vampirism is still physical rather than psychological/emotional: Fortunato drinks Inesiña’s breath instead but that kills her too.

6 Introduction With criteria such as these discounted, I have relied instead on an alternative set: first, I have only included texts which explore notions of predation by creatures who are, once were, or who appear to be, human, upon others who also are or appear to be. This seems crucial to the beliefs underlying the paradigm, which are predicated upon an understanding of the human condition as a co-habitation of body and soul. Even though beliefs concerning vampires have oscillated between regarding them as souls without bodies and bodies without souls, that tension between, and potential separability of, body and soul seems indispensable.10 Indeed, the human or once-human nature of vampires has been recognized by scholars as an important distinguishing feature; Mary Y. Hallab, for example, limits the definition of the Anglophone vampires she studies to “only those figures … who are dead humans who are still capable of behaving as though they are alive”.11 The dead criterion, as we shall see, cannot be taken for granted in the Spanish version of the genre, but I have retained the human one, italicized by Hallab to emphasize its importance.12 This demarcation line, however – like any working definition of a slippery and evolving literary category – is not accepted universally. For example, in one of the contemporary anthologies of vampire stories which has been particularly fruitful, the Nocte Collective’s La sangre es vida, the editors have included two which fall outside my definition on these grounds but clearly not theirs. One is about vampiric cats that attack each other as well as humans (“La plaga” by Juan Díaz Olmedo, 25–38) and so seems more like a general horror story about vicious and malevolent animals, inhabiting the same sort of terrain as Poe’s “The Black Cat” or Stephen King’s “The Cat from Hell”. The other is about human sacrifice to a blood-­drinking god (“La sed del dios de la lluvia” by Sergio Mars, 39–58), so also lacks the idea of human or once-human beings preying on others. Juan G. Atienza’s story, “Sangre fresca para el muerto”, which is analysed here as an example of a relatively light-hearted, parodic treatment of the vampire paradigm, gives the central human vampire, Adolfo, a pet dog that is his confederate, a semi-comic sidekick, and also, we gather, a fellow blood-drinker vampirized in Transylvania at the same time as he was. It is, however, Adolfo’s characterization and his relations with the other humans in the story which justify the story’s inclusion here and which will be the focus of the analysis. Then, in order to exclude stories of human cannibalism in extremis, war crimes, and the like, I have considered essential some kind of engagement with the supernatural or at least a disturbing sense that what is happening here is beyond normal; even if a supernatural reading is barely posited, is optional, or explained away in the end, it seems necessary if a text is to feel like a vampire story for it to be at issue in one form or another. Finally, in order to exclude stories of ghouls and zombies, I have eliminated any in which the predator seeks to consume human flesh as well as blood or has no agency.

Introduction  7 There are of course many conventions concerning what vampires look like and what they can and cannot do, and from there, how to identify one reliably, ward one off, or destroy one. These, however, fluctuate considerably from one story to another – in English just as much as in Spanish – and are often even a subject for discussion amongst the characters, something which serves in some texts to enhance a realist illusion by establishing a distance between mere stories about vampires and the “real” ones we are encountering here, sometimes adding some comic relief or parody. Ken Gelder observes: Vampire fiction … depends upon the recollection and acting out of certain quite specific “lores” for its resolution – that vampires must be invited into the house before they can enter, that they are repelled by garlic, that they cannot cross rivers, that they need their own earth to sleep on and so on. Some recent vampire fiction, of course, depends on the frustrating of the kinds of “lore” one assumed would work against them: modern vampires can thus themselves have a disillusionary function, moving around in daylight and not fearing crucifixes any more. The fiction now uses “lore” as a point of reference, trading on the reader’s familiarity with it – taking it “seriously”, even exaggerating its use and effects (as in the Hammer vampire films), or parodying it or modifying it.13 This device is utilized extensively in Juan G. Atienza’s “Sangre fresca para el muerto” and Juan Ignacio Carrasco’s Entre nosotros, for example. In texts like these, we recognize and may find it satisfying or amusing to tick boxes mentally as we read and discover whether or not this vampire has a mirror image; can withstand sunlight or cross running water; can enter uninvited; what effect brandishing a crucifix or a head of garlic at this one will have; and whether this one can turn into a bat, a rat, a sea-mist, or other non-human-looking form. Variability in these matters precludes using any of them as defining qualities, however, and this is just as true for Spanish vampire stories as it is for those in other languages. A particularly thought-provoking issue affecting the definition of a vampire in Spanish fiction is its revenant status. That a vampire is a creature that has risen from the dead accords with the primary definitions given in Spanish dictionaries and encyclopaedia articles on the subject since before the period covered in this book through to the present day. Whether we consult the 1872 Diccionario enciclopédico de la lengua española or the current Real Academia dictionary definition (with the same kind of authoritative status as the OED for English), or any of the many I have checked between the two, vampires are understood to be revenants. The 1872 definition says they are “cadáveres que [los creyentes] suponen salir del sepulcro a chupar la sangre de los vivos” [corpses that believers think come out of their tombs to suck the blood of the living]; the present-day

8 Introduction one has “espectro o cadáver que … va por las noches a chupar … la sangre de los vivos” [spectre or corpse that roams at night in order to suck the blood of the living].14 So, if that much is not in doubt, why then are so many of the Spanish vampires covered in this book either definitely not revenants or, if they are, this is left vague and outside the explicit content of the text? For example, in the clearly non-revenant category, there is the title character of Javier García Sánchez’s Ella, Drácula: Erzsébet Báthory; and among the many undecidable ones, Miguel Puente Molins’s Sumerian vampire protagonist of “Caries” or Nuria C. Botey’s Roy and his two disciples in “Viviendo con el tío Roy”. Two explanations suggest themselves for this apparent downgrading of the importance of the vampire’s status as a revenant in the Spanish version of the type, relative to the Anglophone one. The first is interference from Spanish folklore, which, as we shall see in Part II, features blood-drinking witches who have much in common with vampires in that they are evil and they have supernatural powers, but they are not regarded as revenants. It seems plausible that types like these have served to disassociate evil blood-drinkers from the idea of returning from the grave to do so in the minds of at least some Spanish writers. The second possible explanation – which is only apparently in contradiction with the first, as we shall see – is that, as observed above, a large part of what informs Spanish ideas about vampires undoubtedly comes from reading foreign fiction translated into Spanish and watching foreign films dubbed or subtitled. In both of these, not to mention criticism, blogs, interviews, indeed, every reference to the concept that I have found, the standard translation of undead is “no muerto” or “no-muerto”, which means simply “not dead”. For example, a present-day translation of Stoker’s Dracula has Van Helsing explaining that when Lucy died, “se convirtió en no-muerta” and Dr Seward, following this revelation says, “Empezaba a sentir escalofríos ante la presencia de aquel ser, de aquella no-muerta, como la llamaba Van Helsing” as the translations of Stoker’s “she is Un-Dead” and “I was, in fact, beginning to shudder at the presence of this being, this Un-Dead, as Van Helsing called it”.15 The living, in other words, appear to come into the same category as vampires in Spanish (and the lack of an initial capital in Spanish further normalizes the term), which is precisely what the term undead excludes for an Anglophone. The Oxford English Dictionary makes this clear, for even though the first appearance of the word is dated back to 1400 and in its early usage it does simply mean “not dead”, all the examples given from Stoker in 1897 onwards fit the definition given by the OED of “not quite dead but not fully alive, dead-and-alive. In vampirism, clinically dead but not yet at rest”.16 How this misleading translation came to be, when neologisms equivalent to undead such as “inmuerto” or “desmuerto” could easily have been invented, remains a mystery, but I would argue that it has most likely played a part in bolstering the influence from Spanish folklore, such that it does not jar to present blood drinkers as not necessarily revenants.17

Introduction  9 There is a significant corollary to this. Another feature of vampire fiction surely taken for granted by readers of Anglophone texts is that the person preyed upon is turned into a vampire too, give or take variations in how many times someone needs to be bitten for this to be the effect or other details governing the process in a given text. This distinguishes vampires and their victims from many other supernatural as well as human predators and theirs. Whilst the convention is respected in some of the stories discussed in the present volume, it is by no means universal and this time, what these Spanish authors have done does not run counter to Spanish dictionary definitions. It is noticeable that the first definition of a vampire in the present-day Real Academia dictionary quoted above in edited form reads as follows in full: “Espectro o cadáver que, según ciertas creencias populares, va por las noches a chupar poco a poco la sangre de los vivos hasta matarlos” (my italics) [spectre or corpse that, according to certain folk beliefs, roams at night in order gradually to suck the blood of the living until it kills them].18 This indeed is the end for many – though not all – of the vampires’ victims in the texts studied in the present book, and it means that the Spanish vampire genre cannot be unproblematically fitted en bloc inside the larger category of contagion horror as has been posited for its Anglophone counterpart. The implications of this will be explored in Part II. Part II also addresses the question of religion in Spanish vampire fiction, another area in which Anglophone expectations are likely to be confounded. A Catholic culture is bound to have a field day with the prominence of religious iconography in traditional vampire fiction, is it not? It may invert some of the connotations when Catholicism is part of “us” rather than of “them”, but it is going to be a rich seam for Spanish authors to mine, one may assume. Nonetheless, the textual evidence does not bear any such predictions out, prompting two questions: why not and how does this change what a vampire can mean? These and related issues around religion will be explored there. The final point that needs to be considered at the outset is the lexical history of the masculine and feminine forms of the word for a vampire in Spanish versus English and its implications. In addition to the type of bat and the spectral vampire of folklore which Spanish dictionaries and encyclopaedias all include from the outset, we also find a figurative meaning for vampiro, dating from 1872, when the Diccionario enciclopédico de la lengua española includes “el hombre codicioso, y también el usurero” [covetous man and also usurer]. By 1895, the figurative definition is more gender neutral, though the noun heading is still just the masculine vampiro: “Persona codiciosa que se enriquece por malos medios, y como chupando la sangre del pueblo” [covetous person who gets rich by evil means, as if sucking the blood of the populus]. The present-day Real Academia definition, by contrast, is given under vampiro, -ra, acknowledging a feminine form of the word. Indeed, in present-day Spanish, a supernatural female

10 Introduction vampire is either called a vampira, putting a feminine ending on the baseword, vampiro, or is called a vampiro, but the term is preceded by a word to show the character is female, such as mujer vampiro [woman vampire]. When a woman is likened to a vampire metaphorically but no supernatural status is intended, the term vampiresa is used, currently defined – to cite the Real Academia, for example – as “1.f. Mujer que aprovecha su capacidad de seducción amorosa para lucrarse a costa de aquellos a quienes seduce. 2. f. mujer fatal” [1. fem. Woman who utilizes her seductive capabilities to acquire wealth at the expense of those she seduces. 2. fem. Femme fatale.] This, in other words, is the Spanish equivalent of the English vamp, for which the OED gives, “A seductive woman who uses her sexual attractiveness to exploit men.” For the male of the species, conversely, the same word, vampiro, is used both for the supernatural creature and metaphorically for a financial predator (although for men, there is no assumption that they use their powers of sexual seduction to achieve their ends). This means that in the present, writers can play with the ambiguities of a single word that covers multiple varieties of predatory behaviour – supernatural or not; sexual or not – when their character is male and this is exactly what Alfonso ­Sastre does, for example, with his con-man vampire, Arpad Vászary in “Las noches del Espíritu Santo”. However, for a female, writers are forced to choose, effectively excluding the supernatural if they elect to emphasize sexual predation by using the word vampiresa in Spanish. This may well be the reason why Elia Barceló, who plays on ambiguity in portraying her seductive female vampire in “La belle dame sans merci”, avoids using any word related to vampiro: for a female character the nomenclature kills the potential for indeterminacy.19 As the following chapters will show, and like blood relations in real life, there is a discernible family resemblance between Spanish vampire fiction and its Anglophone kin, but also like blood relations, we find everything from the spitting image to the ones that take after the other side of the family far more, with most residing somewhere in between, where it is the nature and proportions of the mixture that produce a set of unique individuals, individuals we now shall meet, first of all one by one, from the eldest to the youngest, and then in a series of groups where they can be contemplated side by side.

Notes 1 Aldana Reyes provides valuable information on the publication of anthologies of this kind (Spanish Gothic, 159 et seq.). 2 For example, Monleón asserts that vampire fiction failed to catch on in Spain in the nineteenth century as it had elsewhere in Europe, although he mentions Polidori’s story as having successfully crossed the Pyrenees (“Vampiros y donjuanes”, 24). This is a problematic claim, but it falls outside the chronological scope of the present volume so will not be pursued. It is mentioned now only to illustrate that a respectable scholarly journal has published it, showing that

Introduction  11 in 1995 the Spanish academy is still downplaying the importance of vampire fiction in Spain, in accordance with dubious but well-established scholarly convention. For more on the refusal to acknowledge the Gothic mode (which of course includes vampire fiction) by conventional Spanish literary criticism, see Gutiérrez Trápaga, “La narrativa gótica”. 3 Aldana Reyes, Spanish Gothic, 148. 4 See­mache~x58673215 for the vampire mask (accessed 5 September 2017). For “Carmilla”, see Lázaro Lafuente, “Spanish Readings of Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’”, 84. 5 For some details, see for example, de la Peña Sevilla, “Aproximación iconográfica”; Pérez Gañán, Arquetipos femeninos, especially 21–22. 6 Many examples could be cited, but here are just a few: for going to Perpignan to see films not allowed to be shown in Spain, see Tusquets, Confesiones, 237. For finding and reading books in parents’ and grandparents’ libraries that were out of line with the Franco regime’s policies, see Regàs, “El abuelo y la regenta”. For covert circulation of banned books, see Matute, Voz del silencio, 89. For a typically implicit account, given the censorship of the times, see, for example, a story dated 1966 by Vázquez Montalbán, called “Helena del París de Francia”, in which a young Spaniard with a boring life at home stays in contact with the title character, an old flame who, unlike him, travelled much in her childhood and now lives in Paris where she mixes with the fashionable literary and political gauche divine. Whilst the protagonist admits to buying books that he barely flicks through, one of several reasons why Helena serves as a lifeline for him is that she lends him books, the unstated implication being that as she is based in Paris, these are ones that are not obtainable in Spain (30 and 31, respectively). 7 For a useful list of recent vampire novels, including some which I have not been able to include here, see Aldana Reyes, Spanish Gothic, 164–65 and Gutiérrez Trápaga, 12. 8 For a synopsis of the Molina Foix novel, see Ruiz Vega’s review at www.­ /comentario - el-vampiro-de-la- calle-mejico722idl722idc.htm (accessed 8 November 2017). 9 “Psychic vampires … practise deliberately or unwittingly a parasitism on the energy or will of others. … The effects on victims will consist of a sudden, radical, otherwise inexplicable draining of energy” (Thorne, Children of the Night, 216). An example of psychological vampirism in Anglophone literature is Henry James’s The Sacred Fount. 10 For the two contradictory beliefs of vampires being souls without bodies or bodies without souls, see Ronay, Dracula Myth, 10 (for the medieval bodywithout-soul conceptualization) and 33 (for the eighteenth-century opposite view). 11 Hallab, Vampire God, 2. 12 As Thorne argues, “We have never managed to make the devil meaningful: it is the Vampire [sic] who has represented and represents for us what we fear and try to repress” (Children of the Night, 266). 13 Gelder, Reading the Vampire, 35. 14 “vampiro” in Diccionario enciclopédico (1872) and “vampiro, -ra” in the online version of the Real Academia dictionary at frames.aspx?es=vampiro (accessed 7 November 2017). 15 Stoker, Drácula, trans. Montalbán, 318 and 319, respectively. Stoker, ­D racula, 274 and 275, respectively. The term is also used repeatedly in the prologue to the translation, which makes no mention of translation questions or choices. There are many other questionable decisions too, some of which affect how the reader imagines the characters – such as Van Helsing’s flawless Spanish

12 Introduction with no attempt to find equivalents of his defective command of English – or more subtle issues of style and diction, such as translating what Lucy’s child victims call her, the Bloofer Lady, as the “dama de sangre”, which means “blood lady” (311). 16 “Undead” in Oxford English Dictionary. 17 This also obtains in some folkloric traditions beyond Spain’s borders and of course in real life, among those who identify as vampires today. On the folklore, Ronay explains: In Eastern Europe … according to popular belief, the outbreak of vampirism would in most cases be traced to were-wolves. … After death the were-wolf became a fully-fledged vampire. … The sixteenth-century Serbs of the Balkan peninsula … did not differentiate between were-wolves and vampires, lumping both together under the generic term of vlkoslak, and the Czechs of Bohemia used the word vilkodlak to describe both. The Greeks … used the Slavonic loan-word of vrykolakas both for apparitions returning from the grave and for were-wolves. (Dracula Myth, 14) Such blending of living and revenant blood-drinkers diverges sharply from ­A nglophone literary tradition, however. 18 The present-day online OED definition has “spectre or corpse that roams at night in order to suck the blood of the living” and makes no mention of its effect on the latter, although one of the example sentences provided is “She would have to have bitten me four times before I became a vampire.” https:// (accessed 8 November 2017). 19 I have explored the implications of this semantic evolution of feminine forms of the word for “vampire” in Spanish and English in more depth in “Last of the vamp(ire)s”.

Part I

Text-by-Text Analysis

1 Ramón del Valle-Inclán, “Satanás/Beatriz” [Satan/ Beatriz] (1900–01)1

The Author Ramón del Valle-Inclán (1866–1936) is universally recognized as an original and important author. He is most famous for two types of literature, even though he wrote much more besides: his four “Sonata” novels (1902– 05), about the life and loves of the decadent Marquess of Bradomín; and his esperpentos, plays written later in his life that offer a grotesquely distorted, mocking vision of their characters and subject matter. Traditional critical categorization has placed Valle-Inclán among the modernistas, a literary movement in Spain in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that championed art for art’s sake and is not identical to modernism in the ­English sense. More recently, greater convergence has been acknowledged between the modernistas and the contemporaneous literary grouping, called the Generation of 1898, which is identified with looking critically at the state of the nation and searching for a new meaning and future for Spanishness once the last colonies were lost in the year that gave the movement its name. Valle-Inclán’s writing, including “Beatriz”, certainly bears out such a view of interpenetration between modernismo and noventayochismo [ninety-eightism] and, although it was written early in his career, before he had invented the esperpento, there are also aspects of the story which seem to pave the way for it, as we shall see.

Plot Summary The story is set in the author’s native Galicia, in the home of a countess, the description of which creates the atmosphere of decadent luxury with which readers of Valle’s best-known texts are familiar: shadowy rooms, décor featuring crimson damask, silver candelabra, velvet hangings, coats of arms, and vases of faded roses, for example. Beatriz is the Countess’s daughter, a child of unspecified age, who is confined to bed with an affliction which her devout mother believes is attributable to demonic possession. The family chaplain, Fray Ángel, endorses this conviction. However, a different priest, referred to in the story as Señor Penitenciario, denoting a father confessor,

16  Text-By-Text Analysis has been called to exorcise the child and, taking her confession first, has discovered that she is a victim of sexual abuse committed by Fray Ángel; her state of terrified self-harming semi-delirium arises from her belief that she is now damned. Meanwhile, her mother, unaware of this, has arranged with a somewhat reluctant Fray Ángel that he should go to a remote village to fetch a renowned saludadora; this is a Galician term for a traditional folkhealer, and this one’s power to cast out Beatriz’s demons is her mother’s last hope. After the chaplain has left, Señor Penitenciario reveals the content of the confession to the Countess and insists, contradicting her view of the situation, that the child is innocent. At midnight, the saludadora arrives, but denies that Fray Ángel summoned her, claiming a dream told her to make this journey. She decrees that Beatriz has been bewitched by the evil eye, which she will be able to cure, but she is persuaded by the Countess, against her own better judgement, also to place a curse upon Fray Ángel, which she does. The story ends the following morning when the latter is found dead, drowned in the river.

Analysis This tale was originally entitled “Satanás” [Satan], and first came to the attention of the public before it was published, when it was entered for a short-story competition run by the newspaper El Liberal in 1900 and one of the judges, a famous novelist of the previous generation, Juan Valera ­(1824–1905), was complimentary in his assessment of it. It was then published with a new title, “Beatriz”, on 23 March 1901 in a magazine called Electra and re-published as “Satanás” again in 1903 in a different magazine, Nuestro Tiempo, III: 25. The same year, it was included in a collection of Valle-Inclán’s short stories called Jardín umbrío [Shady/Shadowy ­Garden] with the title “Beatriz”. 2 We will return to the matter of the changes to the title in the conclusion to this discussion. As the plot summary has shown, “Satanás/Beatriz” is not a vampire story of the classic kind: there is no evidence, for example, that any of the characters are revenants or sustain themselves by drinking blood. Nevertheless, it draws on many conventions of vampire fiction, too many, arguably, to refer to briefly in passing and then leave unexamined, as most critics who mention vampirism in connection with the text at all have done. 3 Some have preferred to assert a parallel with Matthew Lewis’s The Monk (1796), a sustainable point inasmuch as both texts are set in Spain, feature a lascivious cleric who dies at the end, and whose first victim’s mother trusts him, though it is hard to see more in common than that between the two texts.4 The conventions of vampire fiction deployed in the story, on the other hand, are glaringly prominent. Most obviously, Fray Ángel attacks his beautiful, blond, virginal victim at night in her bed and leaves visible bitemarks on her breasts, which, as Jörg Waltje observes, has a longer pedigree

Ramón del Valle-Inclán  17 as the site of vampiric penetration than the neck and on which Valle’s description lingers voyeuristically: when she is self-harming in her distress, banging her head on the floor, “su cabellera apenas cubría la candidez de los senos” (50) [“her hair scarcely covered the whiteness of her breasts” (51)] and a few lines later she shows her mother “el seno de blancura lívida, donde se veía la huella negra que dejan los labios de Lucifer cuando besan” (52) [“her bosom of livid whiteness, on which could be seen the black mark left by Lucifer’s lips when they kiss” (53)].5 The child’s beauty is of the deathly variety; lying in bed earlier, “parecía una muerta: con los párpados entornados, las mejillas muy pálidas y los brazos tendidos a lo largo del cuerpo” (42) [“she looked like a dead woman: her eyelids half-shut, her cheeks very pale, and her arms stretched alongside her body” (43)], and this conceptualization of feminine beauty fits squarely in the fin-de-siècle mould that proved so fertile for vampire fiction.6 Some of the imagery is also vampiric, referring – surely not by chance – to the reverberation of Beatriz’s cries in the silence as “como las alas del murciélago Lucifer” (40) [“like the wings of the bat Lucifer” (41)].7 Although Fray Ángel is not destroyed by a stake through the heart, he is pulled dead from a river, reminding one of Van Helsing’s remarks about vampires’ aversion to running water.8 The dénouement of his death enables an optional supernatural reading of the story whereby the ­saludadora’s curse has worked.9 Notably, this has involved paraphernalia familiar to readers of vampire fiction: a Salomonic circle, a prayer book, and a mirror held aloft “igual que hace el sacerdote con la hostia consagrada” (56) [“just as the priest does with the consecrated wafer” (57)], evoking not only of the idea of vampires having no mirror image but also the use to which Van Helsing puts the host wafer, crumbling and scattering it around his own sacred circle in Dracula. These connotations are only emphasized by the spontaneous shattering of the mirror in the saludadora’s hands soon after.10 In keeping with many Gothic narratives, however, the supernatural is neither confirmed à la Dracula nor ruled out conclusively, as in the tradition of the “explained supernatural” made famous by Ann Radcliffe and so, to that extent, “Satanás/Beatriz” can be classed as a tale of the fantastic in Todorov’s sense of the term.11 A non-supernatural reading is just sustainable, though with increasing difficulty, as the story plays out: this would understand Beatriz’s ravings as a rape victim’s post-traumatic reaction exacerbated by her fear of damnation and Fray Ángel’s death as suicide on discovering or guessing he has been unmasked. That much is relatively easy to accept; harder but possible, the saludadora’s dream would need to be a lie she tells to enhance her reputation for clairvoyance when Fray Ángel has in fact summoned her prior to his death or word has reached her by other normal means that she is needed. Hardest of all is the spontaneous shattering of the mirror in the saludadora’s hands when she places the curse upon him: a charlatan’s ingenious conjuring trick or is this the

18  Text-By-Text Analysis inassimilable element of the story, precluding a wholly non-supernatural reading and forcing the reader to re-assess the other elements that s/he has mentally explained away?12 One might note here that however one reacts to this tension between rational and supernatural readings, even considered as suicide, the chaplain’s death would be loosely suggestive with respect to the vampire paradigm, since there is a folkloric belief that one cause of vampires is death by suicide.13 Ultimately, even if the saludadora’s prayers, curses, and paraphernalia are viewed as bogus, they contribute to an atmosphere redolent of vampire fiction pervading the whole story, such that at the very least they can be grouped with the decadent luxury and the crepuscular lighting of its setting. In other words, our uncomfortable oscillations between accepting and rejecting the supernatural within the poetic logic of “Satanás/Beatriz”, bringing with them doubts as to how much parody to impute to the story on the author’s part, do not detract from the haunting effects of the characters’ suffering and, above all, the mood, for the creation of which the echoes of vampire fiction are arguably an essential element. In any event, whether a given reader prefers a supernatural reading, a rational one, or appreciates the opportunities for vacillation between the two with resolution denied, there is a profound and bitter irony undergirding the gothic and specifically vampiric echoes in “Satanás/Beatriz”: however formidable a figure the saludadora is, she is wrong to conclude that ­Beatriz’s problem is having had the evil eye cast upon her, just as her mother was initially wrong to think her possessed.14 In fact, if the child has been a victim of all too human sexual abuse by Fray Ángel, he has got away with it for as long as he has principally because Beatriz is surrounded by people whose judgement is clouded by such beliefs and who consider members of the clergy entitled to unconditional trust. Bringing the irony full circle, who should it be who disabuses the Countess, but another cleric, the Señor Penitenciario. Not only that, he is the only one enlightened enough to exhort her – albeit unsuccessfully – not to wreak murderous revenge on Fray Ángel and to impugn her traditional and abhorrent reaction of blaming a rape victim.15 Thus, the decadent aesthetic and languid mood of the story, which might have seemed an unlikely bedfellow for the kind of social indictment it implicitly espouses in fact serve to sharpen the critique by exemplifying – rather than simply stating – the nature of the problem: the temptation to privilege beauty over ethics, whether this is the hypnotic beauty of Catholic ritual and its positive view of a reclusive life of prayer or an aesthetically pleasing piece of writing. As Beatriz’s mother tells her rosary beads, the description positively wallows: La suave Condesa suspiraba tendida sobre el canapé de damasco carmesí. Apenas se veía dentro del salón. Caía la tarde adusta e invernal. La Condesa rezaba en voz baja, y sus dedos, lirios blancos, aprisionados

Ramón del Valle-Inclán  19 en los mitones de encaje, pasaban lentamente las cuentas de un rosario traído de Jerusalén. (38) [The gentle Countess was sighing, recumbent on the crimson damask sofa. One could hardly see inside the room. An austere winter dusk was falling. The Countess was praying quietly, and her fingers, white lilies imprisoned in her fingerless lace gloves, were slowly telling the beads of a rosary brought from Jerusalem.] (39, corrected) The target of Valle’s attack, then, is not so much the priesthood or a specific individual member of it, but is arguably far more daring: indeed, the frailties and sins of weak or corrupt clerics have a long literary history inside and outside Spain and are not necessarily considered sacrilegious or a threat to the institution and hegemony of the Catholic Church. However, to call tenets of its doctrine into question, namely, the idealization of the contemplative life and the conceptualization of chosen reclusion from the world as virtuous, indeed seems bold.16 The second implicit target of Valle’s critique is consonant with the date of the story being so close to the 1898 crisis that marked the loss of Spain’s last New World colony, Cuba, and thus, the end of its self-image as an imperial superpower. The Countess spends the time when she is not praying dwelling on her family’s glorious past history and the two are intertwined inextricably as the metaphors cross over and interweave. The opening description of her includes the following: Contemplaba el jardín … con la sonrisa amable de las devotas linajudas … . Era muy piadosa la Condesa. Vivía como una noble priora retirada … con los ojos vueltos hacia el pasado. … Descendía de la casa de Barbanzón, una de las más antiguas. … La Condesa guardaba como reliquias aquellas páginas … que de los siglos pasados hacían gallarda remembranza. (36, my italics) [She would contemplate the garden … with the amiable smile of pious aristocratic ladies. … The Countess was very devout. She lived like a noble prioress, … her eyes turned toward the past. … She descended from the house of Barbanzón, one of the oldest. … The Countess preserved as relics those papers which elegantly recalled past centuries.] (37, my italics) Fray Ángel, we learn, is politically old-guard too, as he is a Carlist, the faction associated with traditional values in Spain’s long-running conflict between pretenders to the throne.17 These twin obsessions – religious devotion

20  Text-By-Text Analysis and past history – are what have blinded and deafened the Countess to the needs of the present and future personified in her young daughter. Valle’s acerbic attack on her failings here can be paralleled with his noventayochista contemporaries’ messages articulated in different ways and types of writing.18 Thus, “Satanás/Beatriz” deploys the paradigms of vampire fiction to confront readers with the warning that dwelling in past glories is damaging, but that is accompanied by the even more discomfiting idea that Catholicism as practised and preached by some may be exacerbating matters by sanctifying a culpable abdication of responsibility through its idealization of pious self-reclusion. And the critique reaches right out of the pages, forcing us to ask ourselves: if we are reading this story for aesthetic pleasure – abundant, to be sure – are we self-indulgently reclining on a figurative damask couch telling pretty beads and wilfully deaf to the screams of reality? By way of conclusion, it is worth reflecting upon how Valle avoided jeopardizing his reputation by venturing into the decidedly low-prestige area of vampire fiction in Spain via “Satanás/Beatriz”. He was still at the beginning of his career when he produced it, so was not risking an established canonical position at this point, but that might have made him all the more cautious and keen to do nothing that endangered his chances of becoming a successful writer. One strategy he perhaps deploys to this effect is not to write a straightforward vampire story but to limit himself to importing and adapting freely selected atmospheric elements from this class of fiction.19 Might the prestige issue also play a part in explaining his vacillation between titles for the story? Clearly, he wavered, on the one hand, between naming it after his Gothic villain and priming the reader to have no sympathy for Fray Ángel by labelling him as Satanic from the outset; or, on the other hand, focusing on the victim and giving no advance warning of what the story was to be about other than a female called Beatriz. Stanley Appelbaum considers that the change of title to “Beatriz” was “probably because the three other stories in the book [Corte de amor: florilegio de honestas y nobles damas (1903)] were named for women”, but this seems incorrect since Corte de amor does not include “Beatriz”, at least in the editions I have seen, and even if there was one in 1903 which did, it does not explain why it had already been re-named “Beatriz” for free-standing publication in 1901. 20 Jardín umbrío, where it definitely is included, contains stories with a range of types of titles, not just women’s names by any means. It would seem, then, that we must look further to find what may have been at stake. To name the story after the villain is in keeping with several gothic precursors, such as The Monk or, in the vampire category specifically, Polidori’s “The Vampyre”, Gautier’s “La morte amoureuse”, and Le Fanu’s “Carmilla”, not to mention Stoker’s Dracula, all of which give their villain eponymous status as if to reflect his or her greater stature

Ramón del Valle-Inclán  21 and charisma relative to the characterization of the victims or the heroes in these texts. Gothic and vampire stories pre-dating “Satanás/Beatriz” not named after the villain still tend not to use a victim’s name for the title but instead to draw the reader’s attention to other aspects of the plot, such as the importance of the setting in Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto and Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho, or the macabre nature of the content in Ernst Raupach’s “Laßt die Todten ruhen” [“Wake Not the Dead”]. Naming a story after a sympathetic female protagonist, as with “Beatriz”, has high-prestige non-Gothic credentials from the previous generation’s realist works both inside and outside Spain (Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, or Benito Pérez Galdós’s Gloria are just a few examples of the many that spring to mind). 21 To move from the title of “Satanás” to “Beatriz” in 1901 increases the potential shock value of the content of the story, for the unsuspecting reader is not forewarned that cosmic evil will have anything to do with the plot, perhaps resulting in those prejudiced against the Gothic, reading something they would have avoided or been predisposed to assess negatively had it borne the title “Satanás”. Moreover, not labelling Fray Ángel Satanic in the title then confines the appellation to the benighted discourse of the Countess and Beatriz rather than giving the apparent endorsement of the narrative voice to it. “Beatriz” thus tips the balance towards regarding Fray Ángel as criminal, yes, but all too human, and de-emphasizes the supernatural in the story, which may be seen as further protecting the author’s respectability. By 1903, when Valle returned to the Satanic title, the recognized, if controversial, Emilia Pardo Bazán had already published her short story, “Vampiro” [Vampire], and Valle himself had won recognition with his Sonata de otoño [Autumn Sonata] in 1902, placing him in a stronger position to give the story back its more provocative name with greater confidence that he and it would still be taken seriously and the parodic potential of borrowing the Countess’s diction should not be lost on his readers. 22 Thus, Valle-Inclán’s attitude to his literary precursors – whether the realists for the “Beatriz” title or the producers of Gothic fiction for “Satanás” –, here, as elsewhere, is one which relies upon a tension, as Margaret Persin observes with reference to some of his poetry, whereby he “honors, imitates, and then moves beyond his predecessors by making parodic and ironic use of their models”. 23 In conclusion, “Satanás/Beatriz” confirms that the conventions of nonSpanish vampire fiction had crossed the Pyrenees by 1900, for, as we have seen, a judicious selection of them combine in this story with elements from the local and national cultures. These are then refracted by the author’s own creative vision, already discernibly esperpéntico even at this early stage of his writing career: a picture thus emerges of Spain as if seen in a hall of mirrors, one which delights and troubles in equal measure as it magnifies its beauty and renders grotesque its faults. 24

22  Text-By-Text Analysis

Notes 1 Reproduced with title “Beatriz” in parallel text with an English translation in Short Stories by the Generation of 1898, 36–59. Page references refer to this parallel text edition and the translations given here come from there too. 2 Serrano Alonso, “Estrategia de la escritura en Valle-Inclán”, 69–70 and 73 n.10. See 73 n.11 for details of subsequent re-publications of the story with variants discussed in the main body of the article. 3 For the story’s Gothic elements in general, see Nickel, “Pale Hands and a Trickle of Blood”, which finds the descriptive details of this setting to be “highly reminiscent of Gothic fiction’s focus on shadows, ruins and the dark mysteries of erotic passion, death, and decay” (274). When Aldana Reyes sums up “Beatriz”, vampirism is strangely absent too for he calls it “a Gothic story featuring an aristocratic family, a licentious monk and a deadly curse” (­S panish Gothic, 136). See also Castro Delgado, “Valle-Inclán y la novela gótica”. A fleeting reference to vampirism is made by Ramos, who asserts that one reading of Beatriz’s description of what has happened “da una visión espeluznante de un ente vampírico en su seno” [gives a hair-raising vision of a vampiric being at her breast] (Narraciones breves, 132). She does not, however, elaborate on the implications of this observation. The most sustained discussion to date of this story’s vampiric credentials to my knowledge is Andrés Ferrer and Jiménez Molina, “Vampirismo, mito decadente”, 237–56, which compares “Beatriz” with other stories by Valle-Inclán, arguing that vampirism and rabies are overlapping motifs in real life as well as in his writing. Some of the elements I discuss are raised in this article, but the conclusions drawn are not always convincing. 4 See Castro Delgado, “Valle-Inclán y la novela gótica”, 13 and 15–16, for example. To mention just a few representative dissonances between the texts, Fray Ángel does not imprison or murder anyone, does not fall in love with and lose his virginity to a woman he has met dressed as a boy, is not a celebrated preacher in Madrid, does not fall foul of the Inquisition and, if he has sold his soul, this is not a narrated episode, as it is in The Monk. For further discussion of the relationship between The Monk and Hispanic Studies, see Lee Six, “The Monk (1796): A Hispanist’s Reading”. 5 For more on the site of vampiric penetration being the breast rather than the neck, see Waltje, Blood Obsession, 47–53. We recall that it is where Carmilla bites Laura and even in Dracula, the Count forces Mina to drink blood from his breast. 6 Dijkstra refers to “the esthetic, psychological, and ideological fascination which the theme of the dying or physically spent woman as martyr held for males of the late nineteenth century” and devotes a chapter to this motif. See Idols of Perversity, 25–63 (this quotation: 35). 7 There is no evidence that Valle-Inclán knew classic vampire texts such as Le Fanu’s “Carmilla” or Stoker’s Dracula. However, Monleón mentions Polidori’s “The Vampyre” as having successfully crossed the Pyrenees (“Vampiros y donjuanes”, 24) and Andrés Ferrer and Jiménez Molina assert that “sabemos que Valle fue un lector asiduo de Theophile [sic] Gautier. Es probable que hubiera leído su relato La muerta enamorada” (“Vampirismo, mito decadente”’, 252) [we know Valle was an assiduous reader of Théophile Gautier. He had probably read his story “La Morte amoureuse”]. 8 Van Helsing claims to be drawing on folk-wisdom in his pronouncements about what vampires can and cannot do. Folklore indeed includes references to witches’ and evil spirits’ inability to cross running water, but not specifically vampires, according to Guiley, Encyclopedia of Vampires, 104. It is worth

Ramón del Valle-Inclán  23 noting in that context that Galician folklore associates blood-sucking with witches via the figure of the meiga xuxona [“sucking witch” in the Galician language] so there is an indirect link here. Andrés Ferrer and Jiménez Molina assert that the lolling head of the chaplain’s dead body suggests decapitation (“Vampirismo, mito decadente”, 249), which they read as a vampiric echo, but this seems problematic, since it would be impossible for a head separated from a body to dangle off the stretcher in the way described in the story. 9 Andrés Ferrer and Jiménez Molina state as fact that the saludadora’s curse causes Fray Ángel’s death (“Vampirismo, mito decadente”, 245). Ramos also asserts without further explanation that there is no alternative but to consider the saludadora’s curse effective (Narraciones breves, 130), which seems at odds with her own more convincing preceding categorization of the story as fantastic (Narraciones breves, 127). This will be discussed presently. 10 For an acknowledgement of both Valle’s inclusion in several texts of a Salomonic circle and the belief that one of its purposes is to ward off vampires, see Speratti-Piñero, “Brujos de Valle-Inclán”, 60. For more on Valle’s interest in the paranormal, see Speratti-Piñero, Ocultismo en Valle-Inclán, 3–5. For more on how he draws on folklore and superstitions, see Seeleman, “Folkloric Elements in Valle-Inclán”. 11 This point is also made by Ramos (Narraciones breves, 127). For a succinct definition of Radcliffe’s “explained supernatural”, see Townshend, “Introduction to Ann Radcliffe”,­ introduction-to-ann-radcliffe (accessed 12 July 2016). 12 For more discussion of the concept of the inassimilable element (with reference to Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw), see Lee Six, Gothic Fiction of Adelaida García Morales, 56–57. 13 Thorne, Children of the Night, 71. The correspondence between suicide and vampirism only contributes to a general atmosphere rather than working out literally, since Valle’s story posits Fray Ángel as vampiric before his death and folklore requires a vampire to be a post-suicide revenant. 14 This, at least, is what the grain of the story invites the reader to conclude. Nevertheless, Ramos points out that in view of the lack of hard textual evidence either way, it is not impossible to give a different interpretation, whereby Beatriz is possessed after all and the rape is a lie she has told her confessor (Narraciones breves, 135). The same type of logic could be adduced to argue that nothing in the text of the story makes it impossible for Fray Ángel to be a supernatural vampire. Either way, though, the saludadora’s evil eye hypothesis is not supported by any textual evidence. 15 This balancing of the despicable Fray Ángel with the wise and merciful Señor Penitenciario undermines readings of the story that classify it as virulently ­anti-clerical, such as Barbeito’s (Épica y tragedia, 49). 16 See Aldana Reyes, Spanish Gothic, 71–79, for an interestingly complementary analysis of anti-clericalism in two early-nineteenth-century Spanish Gothic texts. 17 It must be acknowledged that Valle-Inclán was a Carlist himself, so it would not be right to read the story as an indictment of Carlism per se. 18 Among the most celebrated of these are Ángel Ganivet’s extended essay, Idearium Español (1897), Miguel de Unamuno’s essay collection, En torno al casticismo (1902), and Antonio Machado’s poetry, especially Campos de Castilla (1912). Writers of this generation tend to critique hankering after past glories of the country and exhort their compatriots to look to the future and forge a new, modern identity for Spain, whilst retaining pride in the timeless qualities of the national character, shaped and reflected by the austere beauty and living conditions of the Castilian plateau.

24  Text-By-Text Analysis 19 Andrés Ferrer and Jiménez Molina describe the author’s use of vampire convention as “siempre sutil y más aludida o sugerida que expresamente nombrada” [always subtle and alluded to or suggested rather than explicitly named] (“Vampirismo, mito decadente”, 237). Ramos highlights Valle’s alternation between ways of utilizing folkloric motifs in general, now adopting elements directly, now modifying them (Narraciones breves, 14–15). 20 Appelbaum, “Introduction”, x. 21 At the time of writing and publishing “Satanás/Beatriz”, Valle was on cordial terms with Galdós although they fell out subsequently. For this and more detail on their relationship, see Philips, “Galdós y Valle-Inclán”, 110. 22 On Valle and Pardo Bazán, see Patiño Eirín, “Horizonte modernista”, www.­femeninas-devalleincln-y-la-esttica-pardobazaniana-de-fin-de-siglo-0/html/ffc1013c-82b1– 11df-acc7–002185ce6064_1.html#I_1_ (accessed 1 July 2016). Appelbaum calls the Sonatas Valle’s “breakthrough work” (“Introduction”, ix). 23 Persin, “Valle-Inclán”, 73. 24 This accords with Barbeito’s reading of Valle’s evolution, which rejects the view that there are well-defined and separate periods across his writing career (Épica y tragedia, 9) and, in particular, sees the roots of his later esperpentos in the early publications, including this one (50).

2 Emilia Pardo Bazán, “Vampiro” [Vampire] (1901)1

The Author Emilia Pardo Bazán (1851–1921) is one of the few nineteenth-century women writers accepted by the Spanish literary establishment as canonical and the most prominent of those few. Although she lived in Madrid for much of her adult life and also travelled widely, she was a Galician and set many of her fictional texts there, including “Vampiro”. Her literary production was prodigious and wide-ranging, including novels universally recognized as important, many short stories, travel writings, essays, lives of saints, a little poetry and drama, and journalism. She was a polemical figure in her lifetime and remains complex to present-day scholars as her position on the issues of her day contains tensions that make facile pigeon-holing impossible. For example, she supported feminist causes such as the abolition of the death penalty for women, and her fiction dramatizes the disastrous consequences of women’s lack of agency in a wide range of situations, but as a member of the minor nobility and a believing Catholic, she can be quite conservative on some issues. She defended her version of French Naturalism as espoused by Emile Zola, a brave line to take, given that it was considered pornographic and immoral by many at the time in Spain; but her religious faith led her to seek a way to square Zola’s determinism with her acceptance of the doctrine of free will.

Plot Summary In this short story, Inesiña, a girl aged fifteen from a humble rural ­family in Galicia, is persuaded by her uncle, an abbot, to accept a marriage proposal from Don Fortunato Gayoso, a man originally from the local area, who emigrated to the New World and has now returned at the age of ­seventy-seven, phenomenally wealthy, but extremely decrepit. Following the marriage, however, Don Fortunato is seen by the locals apparently growing increasingly youthful, whilst Inesiña, much to the consternation of the local doctor, is wasting away in her palatial home and eventually dies. The omniscient narrator, who at times tracks the ill-informed perspective

26  Text-By-Text Analysis and echoes the diction of the local gossips, also reveals the truth of the matter, which is that Fortunato met an English quack doctor in the New World, who gave him the secret to eternal life and this involves absorbing the youth of his young wife, mainly it seems, by inhaling the air she exhales while they lie in bed together, although we are told that if he needed to drink her blood to regain his youth, he would not scruple to do so. At the end of the story, the widower has left for a nearby village and is looking to remarry another unsuspecting young girl.

Analysis This story paves the way for several innovative uses of the vampire paradigm that will be found in Spanish vampire fiction later in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. First, the presentation of vampirism within a marriage blessed and sanctified by the Catholic Church fundamentally reconfigures its association with transgressive sexual relations or, to look at this another way, codes at least some marriages as morally questionable, perhaps as much so as exploitative extra-marital relations. Second, the characterization of vampirism as the old preying upon the young rather than the dead on the living – for there is no textual evidence for reading Don Fortunato as a revenant – opens up new metaphorical potential. 2 Third, although Don Fortunato is an entirely antipathetic character, he has in common with the sympathetic vampires post-dating him that he does reflect upon the ethics of what he is doing. Finally, the plot foregrounds the role of money in this predatory relationship, so that it is just as much a story of the rich preying upon the poor as the old on the young, and as such, it incorporates one of the oldest – but still active – figurative connotations of vampirism, seemingly pre-dating – in Spanish at least – the sexual implications of the concept. Indeed, the figurative meaning of financial predator for vampiro in Spanish dates back to 1872 at least, appearing as the only metaphorical usage in a dictionary of that date, as observed in the Introduction above. In February of 1901, the same year as this story was published on 31 July, Henry James’s The Sacred Fount came out, the premise of which is also the old preying upon the young within marriage, with the older spouse – in James’s case, the wife – becoming more youthful, whilst the younger partner ages prematurely. The novel is lengthy, complex, and was not translated rapidly, so it is unlikely that Emilia Pardo Bazán had read it before inventing her own story. However, it was widely reviewed and James was well known in French literary circles, and so it is very possible that she had heard about its premise, and this may have given her the germ of the idea she developed into her own “Vampiro”.3 A key feature of James’s narrative method in this novel is the unreliable narrator, who speculates and imagines what is going on between the different characters; might this have metamorphosed into the local community’s guesswork in “Vampiro”?

Emilia Pardo Bazán  27 It is not surprising that if Pardo Bazán, a lifelong feminist, had heard of James’s text and used it in any way, she would have reversed the genders of predator and prey and utilized the core idea to critique the marriage norms of her time by giving Gothic proportions to the convention that girls need to marry young, when they are at their prettiest and their virginity is least questionable, whilst men should not do so until they are old enough to have sown their wild oats and made or inherited sufficient money to constitute a good catch in the eyes of the girl’s family. This accords with Trevor ­Holmes’s assertion that “one of the purposes of vampires in general [is] the displacement of real social relations onto the fantastic in order to foreground the fault line in what is taken as natural in any particular social sphere”.4 Indeed, the negative consequences of contemporary ideas about marriage are treated repeatedly elsewhere in Pardo Bazán’s fiction, and so this part of the present story’s message is consistent with what can be inferred more generally about the author’s position on the matter. To mention just a few examples of the same issue addressed by the author away from vampires, her short story, “Champaña” [Champagne], features a woman working as a prostitute who explains to a client how she came to that profession: she was in love with a penniless man her own age, but was coerced into marrying an older man perceived as a good catch, who then deserted her when, her tongue loosened by the champagne she had drunk at the wedding feast, she told him about her past. Especially noteworthy for our purposes is the reaction of the client; at one point, he says, “Hija, por ahora no encuentro mucho de particular en tu historia. Casarse así, rabiando y por máquina, es bastante frecuente” (1160) [So far, I can’t see what’s out of the ordinary about your story. Marrying like that, mechanically and in a fury, is pretty common, my dear]. Here and elsewhere, Pardo Bazán implicitly addresses the limitations of the supposed safeguard that a bride needs to consent at the altar, showing rather than telling how unrealistic saying no is in almost all cases, not least because a submissive and obedient demeanour towards figures of male authority in a family – men like Inesiña’s uncle in “Vampiro” – was viewed as a feminine virtue. Women’s lack of agency in choice of husband is implicitly critiqued in many other stories too, but it is encapsulated well by a character in one called “’La bicha’” [“The Viper”], who remarks, “Los hombres eligen, mientras las mujeres toman lo que se presenta” (1182) [men choose, whilst women take what’s on offer]. It is noteworthy that the presentation of marriage as predatory on the husband’s part and as being consumed on the wife’s is explicitly distanced from sexual relations: Don Fortunato, we are told, makes no sexual demands on Inesiña, only asking of her that she should keep him warm in bed: “Acércate, échame los brazos; si no, tiritaré y me quedaré helado inmediatamente. Por Dios, abrígame; no te pido más” [Come close to me, put your arms around me; if not, I’ll shiver and freeze straight away. In Heaven’s name, keep me warm; I ask no more of you]. 5 What Pardo Bazán

28  Text-By-Text Analysis would seem to be critiquing, then, is not so much “the old gender bargain” as Amy C. Wilkins has called the cultural acceptance that women give sexual consent in return for financial security, but something more radical, more akin to bonded labour: the idea that marriage involves men buying ownership of a whole human being, a concept phrased in surprisingly Marxist-sounding language in the story.6 Even though Inesiña is viewed as having given away rather than sold herself to her husband, a reference to capital is striking; in the closing paragraph, the narrative voice reaches the following verdict on Inesiña’s sad fate: “Consunción, fiebre hética, algo que expresaba del modo más significativo la ruina de un organismo que había regalado a otro su capital” [consumption, hectic fever, something that expressed in the most meaningful way the ruin of an organism which had given away its capital to another]. Indeed, it is just such reasoning which we are told Don Fortunato had used to square what he was doing with his conscience: Sabía Gayoso que Inesiña era la víctima, la oveja traída al matadero; y … no sentía ni rastro de compasión. … ¿No había pagado? Pues Inés era suya. [Gayoso knew that Inesiña was the victim, the sheep brought to the slaughter-house; and he felt not the slightest trace of compassion. Had he not paid? So Inés was his].7 Expecting her merely to share a bed with him, however, is not necessarily as neutral or seemingly harmless as it may appear to a reader in the present day. We note, for example, that in novels by writers who were Pardo Bazán’s contemporaries, married couples wealthy enough to afford spacious homes did not automatically spend the night in the same bed or even the same room, with the wife typically having the double bed and bedroom to herself and being visited by the husband for sex (or not, in the case of dysfunctional relations for whatever reason).8 Perhaps Inesiña does not realize that Gayoso’s request to share a bed with him is abnormal in their palatial home because she is from an extremely poor family. It would seem that it was regarded not only as a social or sexual convention for marriage partners to sleep separately, but also a matter of hygiene at this time, precisely because partners breathing each other’s exhaled breath and absorbing each other’s warmth were considered health risks. Hilary Hinds cites the thinking on this in England and it maps almost uncannily onto the premise of this story: The journalist, author and publisher Alexander Hay Japp [stated…]: “Such a thing even as a double Bed, should not exist … the single Bed must once more have the preference”; … Japp argued that the advantage of single beds was that sleepers did “not inhale each other’s ‘breathed breath’”. … The inhalation of impure exhaled air, however, was not the only “enemy within” to threaten those who shared double beds.

Emilia Pardo Bazán  29 Co-sleepers also risked the depletion of their energy levels, or vital forces. These were seen by some to be in danger of being sapped by the forces of the stronger or more demanding sleeping partner. [… Several commentators] were also concerned that “vital warmth” should not be hijacked by the stronger party; both thought this to be particularly deleterious for young children sharing with “the aged”.9 Pardo Bazán, in the supernatural logic of her text, then, is not creating a new form of vampirism out of a vacuum; rather than taking a leap into outlandish fantasy, she is simply inverting what was the current scientific position, so that inhaling a partner’s breath and absorbing his or her warmth is endowed with rejuvenating, life-giving properties for the weak as well as life-threatening ones for the strong. In 1901, the returning émigré, who has made a huge fortune in the New World, was already a long-standing stock character in Spanish cultural production.10 Rumours concerning what sacrifices of moral standards had been made in order to amass such fortunes are also a common corollary. These are to be found in “Vampiro”, but the local community decides to turn a blind eye, a community including Inesiña’s uncle and Inesiña herself, a fatal mistake as it turns out, suggesting that that is one cautionary message of the story. In other words, even if someone is one of “us”, a local man like Fortunato, if s/he has been in contact with alien others, there is no telling what evils s/he may bring home and into the sanctity of a Christian marriage. This is analogous but not identical to readings of vampire fiction which interpret it as tapping into fears around syphilis, for which there was no reliable cure then.11 The resemblance is strengthened by the ending of the story, with Fortunato on his way to a new village, where he plans to repeat his dangerous wife-killing. However, Inesiña does not become a contagious vampire herself, so the echo is relatively faint. Resounding more loudly is to beware of giving money a status which cancels out all other considerations, a warning not to be like the local community, whose collective opinion is expressed thus: caudal como el de don Fortunato no se encuentra otro en toda la provincia. Él sería bien ganado o mal ganado, porque esos que vuelven del otro mundo con tantísimos miles de duros, sabe Dios qué historia ocultan entre las dos tapas de la maleta; solo que…. ¡pchs!, ¿quién se mete a investigar el origen de un fortunón? Los fortunones son como el buen tiempo: se disfrutan y no se preguntan sus causas. (ellipsis in original text) [a fortune like Don Fortunato’s is not to be found anywhere in the whole province. It might have been earned by fair means or foul, because these men who come back from the other world with so, so many thousands, only the Lord knows the story hidden under the lid of their

30  Text-By-Text Analysis suitcase; except that… pshaw! Who’s going to start nosing around to investigate the origin of a great fortune? Great fortunes are like good weather: to be enjoyed and no questions asked about the reasons for them]. The money question thus adds an important layer of meaning to the story. Emilia Pardo Bazán was proud to be a member of the nobility, and we find elsewhere in her writings some dismay at the rise of a new class of people who have social standing by virtue of money rather than birth. It fits with that outlook that she should have cast as her Gothic villain, not an evil nobleman but a nouveau-riche commoner.12 Finally, a note of caution needs to be sounded for the non-Spanish reader: the virtual invisibility of Inesiña once she is married does not ring alarm bells in the village community but this is not as implausible as it might seem to an outsider; the only evidence the locals have of strange goings on are the increasingly youthful looks and behaviour of Don Fortunato. Whilst a wealthy young wife’s failure to be seen out and about for almost five years would be more than somewhat suspicious in an English setting, for example, this enclosure within the home is a mark of a married woman’s respectability and good standing in Spain, as is attested by the fact that although the rumour mill is in overdrive at the changes wrought in Don Fortunato, nobody so much as mentions as odd that Inesiña has not been seen.13 This gives a different inflection to the Gothic staple of female enclosure: in a Spanish cultural setting, there is no need for the kind of commentary Tania Modleski makes concerning the motif of the imprisoned woman, a­ rguing – rightly no doubt for Anglophone Gothic texts – that these stories “radically displace reality by putting the action in distant times and strange and ghostly places” as a way to help women readers confront the lesser and more intangible confinements of modern marriage.14 In conclusion, one can see how Emilia Pardo Bazán has ingeniously moulded the Gothic vampire story to give her a platform to voice opinions and concerns recurrent in her writings, including a critique of the institution of marriage and mistrust of the standing and power that money was increasingly buying the new middle class. Similar recastings fit the mode to her culture, retaining many key features but reconfiguring them: the harm done to one of “our” pretty, innocent young girls, who is of course a devout Catholic, is still traceable to an evil foreigner but this is now an Englishman and hence, a Protestant by implication; and he has contaminated a local man, perhaps an even more devious modus operandi than if he had come to the village in person, when the abbot would have doubtless kept his niece away from him. And if Henry James’s narrator’s inferences in The Sacred Fount concerning the married couple he is observing can be based on how they both seem to him, the one rejuvenated and the other prematurely aged; if other classics such as Dracula, and countless others may mention the vampire’s growing vigour but focus the reader’s attention

Emilia Pardo Bazán  31 far more on the victim’s failing health, the pathos attaching to Inesiña’s demise in “Vampiro” is intensified by its invisibility and the normality that is universally imputed to that.

Notes 1 Blanco y Negro, 539: 31 July 1901 and then included in Cuentos del terruño–11df-acc7-002185ce6064_2.html#I_16_ (accessed 30 July 2018). 2 López Gonzálvez notes that the New World is referred to as the “otro”, or “other” world in the story, which does at least gesture towards the revenant tradition, though the plot makes it clear that this remains a metaphor rather than being posited as the truth within the poetic logic of the story. See Metamorfosis del vampiro, 156. 3 T.J. Lustig discusses and reproduces a selection of Anglophone contemporary responses to The Sacred Fount in “Mocking the Master: Early Responses to The Sacred Fount”, (accessed 11 August 2017). Reception of Henry James in Europe, ed. Duperray, details how well known he was in several European countries, particularly France, suggesting that it is more likely than not that Pardo Bazán would have been aware of him. 4 Holmes, “Coming Out of the Coffin”, 182. 5 The lesser importance of vampirism as bound up with sexuality in Spanish vampire texts compared with Anglophone ones will be discussed in Part II. 6 Wilkins, “‘So Full of Myself as a Chick’”, 330. 7 “Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. The time during which the labourer works, is the time during which the capitalist consumes the labour power he has purchased of him” (Marx, Capital, 241). 8 For example, in Leopoldo Alas’s La Regenta (1885) and Su único hijo (1890), the respective husbands have their own bedrooms (La Regenta, 74; Su único hijo, 21) and the same is still true of texts post-dating “Vampiro”, such as ­Carmen de Burgos’s Confidencias (1920) (47). In Pardo Bazán’s own novel, Los pazos de Ulloa (1886), Pedro and Nucha stop sharing the bed and the bedroom once she has had a child and he has lost interest in her (178). 9 “Together and Apart”, 281–82. 10 There are several examples from seventeenth-century drama, but one that is closer in date to Don Fortunato’s creation appears in Tormento (1884), by Pardo Bazán’s contemporary, Benito Pérez Galdós. After 1901, the figure lost no traction either, featuring in Antonio Machado’s narrative poem from his collection, Campos de Castilla, “La tierra de Alvargonzález” (1911) and in Miguel de Unamuno’s story, “Nada menos que todo un hombre” (1916). 11 “Syphilis lost its mystery in medicine [and, one might add, therefore in literature] in 1913 with the discovery of the spirochete, Salvarsan, and the ­Wasserman blood test” (Showalter, Sexual Anarchy, 200). “Vampirism, with its connotative yoking of sexuality and contagion, has a long history of being linked to horrors of venereal diseases – syphilis in particular” (Nixon, “When Hollywood Sucks”, 118). This will be discussed further in Part II. 12 For example, in Los pazos de Ulloa, seen as a Gothic novel by several critics, Don Pedro explains his preference for a rural life over an urban one, as follows: “las personas decentes, en la poblaciones, no se distinguen de los zapateros… Un zapatero que se hace millonario … se sube encima de cualquier señor de los que lo somos de padres a hijos’” (72, first ellipsis in original text) [“In a town,

32  Text-By-Text Analysis you can’t tell a decent person from a cobbler. A cobbler who gets rich … can rise above any gentleman, such as myself, who is what he is from father to son” (The House of Ulloa, translated by Paul O’Prey and Lucia Graves, 84]. Whilst with this Don Pedro, she comes closer to adopting the evil nobleman type as the villain, it is striking that although he calls himself a marquess, the narrator makes it clear that he is not in fact the true heir to the title (41). For the identification of the novel as a Gothic text, see, for example, Colahan and Rodríguez, “Lo ‘gótico’”. 13 We are told that Inesiña married Don Fortunato when she was fifteen years and two months old and that she died before her twentieth birthday, so the story, despite its own brevity, condenses a horrifically slow and agonizing death, yet without arousing any local suspicions. 14 Modleski, Loving with a Vengeance, 20 (my italics).

3 Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent, “Una hora de amor” [One Hour of Love] (1913) and “El señor Cadáver y la señorita Vampiro” [Mr Cadaver and Miss Vampire] (1919) The Author Little known nowadays and even scorned, Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent (1884–1940) was nevertheless a successful writer, chiefly of fiction, but also of plays, essays, and journalism in pre-Civil-War Spain.1 A member of the minor nobility, educated in Vienna where his father was a diplomat, he moved in the fashionable circles of avant-garde writers and artists in ­Madrid as a young man, cutting an Oscar Wilde-like figure of the dandy and making no secret of his homosexuality. He is associated with the decadent erotic fiction in vogue at the time, as both of the vampire stories discussed below illustrate. Supporting the Anarchists during the Civil War, he was imprisoned by the Nationalists and died in prison.

“Una hora de amor” Plot Summary Estrella is working as a prostitute in a Madrid brothel for a Madam who is losing patience with her failure to attract clients. We learn of her extremely disadvantaged background: she grew up in grinding poverty and was the victim of sexual abuse by her brothers and father before they sold her into prostitution. At the story’s opening, on a rainy night, she is desperate to pick up a man to take back with her, having been threatened with eviction if she fails. Her recent lack of success comes as no surprise when we read her physical description for she is well over the hill physically and was no great beauty even when she was young. It is now past three in the morning and she is soaked, shivering, and on the verge of tears when she sees a tall, skinny man and accosts him, offering her services insistently. Though strangely silent, the man lets Estrella take his arm and lead him to the brothel. In the bedroom, he starts to treat her roughly, even by her standards, and then asks if he can cut her, offering to pay her more and more until she agrees for a hundred pesetas, on condition of payment in advance, which he gives. Since her standard rate is two, this is a huge bonus for her. He goes ahead, making a cut in her breast with a pen-knife (he is toothless, we are told, so biting her is not an option) and then proceeds to

34  Text-By-Text Analysis suck her blood, much to her horror as she struggles to escape him. This she eventually does and the story ends as she runs, half-dressed, into the street in panic.

“El señor Cadáver y la señorita Vampiro” Plot Summary Introduced by an epigraph that quotes Charles Baudelaire’s poem “Le Vampire” from Les Fleurs du mal (1857), this story, narrated by an unnamed man, opens in a flea-pit of a theatre in Madrid. The narrator’s attention is drawn to a strange couple in the audience: the woman is extraordinarily beautiful and full of life, while the man with her resembles a cadaver. The narrator’s fascination with the woman grows when he sees her again, this time at a more elegant theatre in Paris and with a man who seems very similar and equally cadaverous, but not quite the same person as the one with her in Madrid. The third time he comes across her, now in a café in Paris, she is on her own and they strike up a conversation. The action then jumps forward to the narrator waking up in a hotel bedroom with her and, as she lies sleeping next to him, seeming strangely cold and reptilian in this state, he slowly remembers the events that led to this, culminating in a sexual encounter he presents as frighteningly extreme. The story ends with him coming to the realization that he has become indistinguishable from the cadaverous men with whom he first saw her, at which he flees in terror.

Analysis “Una hora de amor” is wholly set in Madrid and repeatedly alludes to Don Quixote: the tall, skinny vampire looks like him, according to the narrator (not that Estrella could realize this since she is illiterate, he adds); and her unprepossessing looks recall an ugly servant called Maritornes in Cervantes’s novel, that Don Quixote delusionally sees as a beautiful damsel in distress he must rescue. The slapstick comedy of this Cervantine episode stands in sharp contrast to the entirely unfunny and pathos-laden content of de Hoyos’s story, but it also establishes it as a vampire story which has no need to import characters from Transylvania or find some other way to present vampirism as non-Spanish in origin. De Hoyos’s imagery is one of the story’s most striking features. The vampire cuts Estrella on her breast rather than anywhere else on her body and, taken together with his toothlessness, the ensuing blood-sucking offers a grotesque parody of a suckling baby and thus contributes to the text’s invitation to the reader to exonerate Estrella for finding this intolerably horrific, which leads to her keeping the money but then running away: after all, the bargain struck was that she would let him cut her, but she did not consent in advance to his sucking her blood. The same blood/milk parallel would be deployed by Miguel de Unamuno just a few years later, in his

Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent  35 short story, “Dos madres” [Two Mothers] (1920), when a barren woman, Raquel, treats her lover like the baby her barrenness denies her: Volvió a cogerle Raquel como otras veces, maternalmente, le sentó sobre sus piernas, le abrazó, le apechugó a su seno estéril, contra sus pechos, henchidos de roja sangre que no logró hacerse blanca leche. 2 [Once more, as she had done before, Raquel took him in her arms, like a mother, seated him on her lap, caressed him, pressed him to her sterile bosom, against her breasts, full of red blood that could not be changed into white milk].3 Federico García Lorca would use the same image a few years after that to tragic effect, in his play, Yerma (1936), likewise focusing on the plight of a barren woman in a society that regards child-bearing as women’s raison d’être, when the protagonist laments: Estos dos manantiales que yo tengo de leche tibia son en la espesura de mi carne dos pulsos de caballo que hacen latir la rama de mi angustia. ¡Ay, pechos ciegos bajo mi vestido! ¡Ay, palomas sin ojos ni blancura! ¡Ay, qué dolor de sangre prisionera me está clavando avispas en la nuca!4 [These two breasts of mine That should now fill with warm milk Are two hard pulses Throbbing in my flesh, Shaking the branches of my bitterness. O, blind breasts beneath my dress! O, blank-eyed doves! O, pain of imprisoned blood, That pricks my belly As though it were swarmed by wasps!]5 The perception of breastfeeding as erotic is, however, implicit at least and arguably even absent in these authors’ usage of the image, whereas its deployment by de Hoyos via the vampiric trope is troubling for its elision of sex of a particularly sordid kind with the culturally sacrosanct iconography of the breastfeeding mother. This is further explored and critiqued in a much more recent vampire story, Nuria C. Botey’s “Viviendo con el tío Roy” (2010), discussed below and indeed, the transgressive link is perhaps embedded in vampire tradition, where, as we saw above in the discussion

36  Text-By-Text Analysis of “Satanás/Beatriz”, the site of penetration being the breast has a longer pedigree than the neck.6 “El señor Cadáver y la señorita Vampiro”, in contrast to “Una hora de amor”, presents us with a female vampire whose nationality is unclear but seemingly not Spanish at any rate: the narrator’s friend, who is with him the first time he sees her and indeed points the odd couple out to him, tells him they are known by French nicknames, as Monsieur Cadavre and Madame Vampire, adding that he has seen them across Europe – in Nice, Ostend, and Venice – calling them “ciudadanos de Cosmópolis” (88) [citizens of Cosmopolis]. The fateful encounter with the narrator takes place in Paris, a city typically symbolizing un-Spanishness in Spanish cultural production, whether this is coded as thrilling and liberating or dangerous relative to “home” (here it is apparently both). Thus, de Hoyos has not only switched the sex of his vampire from male to female and from extremely ugly to beautiful and charismatic relative to “Una hora de amor”, but also the identity of the figure from quintessentially Spanish – who could be more so than a Don Quixote lookalike? – to equally quintessentially foreign. The imagery found in “El señor Cadáver y la señorita Vampiro” is at least as grotesque as that of “Una hora de amor”, but turns upon notions of performance here, for the two opening theatre scenes include lengthy descriptions of the shows. The first, in Madrid, is a history of dance, watched smilingly by Señorita Vampiro, while Señor Cadáver ignores it and just gazes at her. Selected for detailed description are Salomé’s Dance of the Seven Veils, performed with “malsana gracia” [unsavoury grace] which includes the dancer showing “sus senos núbiles, erectos” [her nubile breasts, nipples erect] and rotating her hips “con un gran ritmo de lujuria” [rhythmically and with tremendous lasciviousness] (all 89) and then, having dismissed the next many centuries with a few words, the narrator pauses to luxuriate in the description of a couple performing another erotic dance, in which the diction used to describe the sex at the end of the story is prefigured, for the dancers are to be seen “fundiéndose en un absurdo abrazo, oscilando despacio, muy despacio, en un ritmo de espasmo voluptuoso” (90) [melting into one another in an absurd embrace, oscillating slowly, very slowly in voluptuous rhythmic spasms] and “espasmos de voluptuosidad” [spasms of voluptuousness] will figure in the description of the sex, as we shall see. The effect on the narrator of watching this part of the show is to trigger a strange hallucinatory experience which includes visions of “torsos de mujer que acababan en cabezas de serpientes … orquídeas de una sexuación repulsiva … seres informes que se enlazaban entre sí en combinaciones de horror pintoresco’” (all 91) [women’s torsos connected to serpents’ heads, repulsively sexed orchids, formless beings entwining together in horrifically picturesque combinations]. Here again, the contact with Señorita Vampiro is foreshadowed, since he will find her to be reptilian too. On the stage in Paris, the description prefigures the sex scene more indirectly, but we note the suggestiveness of finding the performance disturbing, when a boy-girl couple of contorsionists is described as having

Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent  37 “una gracia andrógina turbadora” (93) [a disquietingly androgynous grace] as well as the description of the way in which they entwine their bodies improbably as monstrous and unnatural, welding them together “a modo de monstruosa caricatura de la Naturaleza contrahecha” (94) [like a monstrous caricature of deformed Nature]. Taken together, these two theatrical spectacles not only create an atmosphere of decadent eroticism for narrator and reader alike, but in the resemblances between them and the culminating sexual encounter, they invite us to draw parallels. Since the two interchangeable cadaverous men at the two theatres only watch Señorita Vampiro rather than what is happening on the stage, does this mean that her presence in the auditorium is itself a performance, watched by them and the narrator (and us), and then merely extended to the bedroom? Is the sex there a performance too, in which case, who is or are performing and who is or are the audience? Can both participants be both? Certainly, when the narrator recalls it the following morning, he describes it as if watching the scene rather than participating in it: los feroces arrebatos de un deseo insaciable [whose?], las eróticas brutalidades [whose?], el demoníaco torbellino que nos había arrebatado en dantesca maldición. Y los besos crueles, inacabables, absorbedores de vida [whose?], y las caricias sabias, intensas, profundas, que destrozaban la medula en espasmos de voluptuosidad dolorosa en que se sentía acabar la vida. (99) [the ferocious outbursts of insatiable desire [whose?], the erotic brutalities [whose?], the demoniacal whirlwind which had swept us away in a Dantesque curse. And the cruel, endless, life-absorbing kisses [whose?], and the knowing, intense, profound caresses which destroyed the bone-marrow in spasms of voluptuous pain in which it felt like life was ending.] Finally, as he contemplates Señorita Vampiro sleeping beside him, it is as if he were catching a glimpse of a performer off guard behind the scenes, suggesting that the red-hot sex was indeed an act rather than having some kind of authenticity; not only is she now cold, but as he bends to kiss her, he discovers that this is “una glaciedad viscosa, de reptil, una glaciedad repulsiva” (100) [a viscous iciness, reptilian, a repulsive iciness] recalling the hallucination he had in the Madrid theatre and drawing on imagery for women whom men perceive as dangerous at least as ancient as the Gorgon Medusa but very much in vogue around this time.7 Notwithstanding their many contrasting features, both stories turn upon a conceptualization of the sexually active woman as predatory but arguably interrogate the demonization of this. In Estrella’s case, we recall that as noted in the Introduction, the Spanish primary figurative sense of being a vampire is financial but for women it assumes that they use seduction to

38  Text-By-Text Analysis extract money from their victims. Thus, it is possible to read “Una hora de amor” as the story of a man who is minding his own business when he is accosted by a woman determined to suck some money out of him in return for sex and who achieves precisely this, obtaining a princely sum for what seems like a good deal less than the hour’s access to her far from appealing body which the title has led us – and presumably him – to expect. However, we are given enough insight into Estrella’s life to date to realize that she is in a desperate predicament and acting as she does is an understandable survival strategy in a world where fate has dealt her a very poor hand. We know of her lack of intelligence and education, closing the door on the classic if scarce options open to unsupported single women in teaching and governess positions; we also know she was sold into prostitution, precluding the possibility of marrying her way out of destitution. Above all, we understand why she consents to the vampire’s offer because we are given psychological insight into her thought process at the time: ¡Veinte duros! ¡Sus deudas con ama Dolores [the madam of the brothel] saldadas! ¡Unos días de tranquilidad! Y al fin y al cabo, ¿qué importaba? Un rasguño. Si le hacía daño, pediría socorro. ¡Bah! ¡Más dolía una paliza! Desfalleciendo de terror, pero galvanizada por la codicia [the very word used in the dictionary definitions for vampires in a figurative sense], murmuró: —Bueno. Pero a ver el dinero. (72) [A hundred pesetas! Her debts to Madam Dolores paid off! A few days’ relaxation! And, after all, what did it matter? A scratch. If he harmed her, she would call for help. Bah! A beating hurt more! In terrified trepidation, but galvanized by covetousness [the very word used in the dictionary definitions for vampires in a figurative sense], she murmured: ‘All right. But let’s see the money.’] Armed with all of this information, we realize that rather than condemnation, Estrella is deserving of pity and so, one message of “Una hora de amor” might be a warning not to demonize predatory women – or men, for that matter – before knowing why they are behaving in this way. Can this be carried over to Señorita Vampiro? Here too, access is limited to the thoughts and feelings of just one character and again, this is the one who regards him- or herself as the victim of the one labelled a vampire, in another story which implicitly interrogates who is preying on whom and why. Like Estrella, the narrator of “El señor Cadáver” is horrified by the nature of the sexual contact and flees; like Estrella too, he had initially been the proactive one: we learn of his “asedio a la peligrosa beldad” (98) [besieging of the dangerous beauty] and de Hoyos’s word-choice is telling: besieging is something aggressors do, not their victims; the narrator has set

Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent  39 this up in such a way that we might be persuaded that it is one of Señorita Vampiro’s seductive wiles to make men want to pursue and besiege her, but that seems a perverse kind of logic, akin to convenient self-exoneration. Furthermore, the description of the sex itself gives no indication that he was not participating fully, as we have seen. Finally, he has left Señorita Vampiro asleep in the hotel bed and run away without a word of explanation; is this what the other cadaverous men did too, men we are invited to regard as interchangeable and whose ranks he has now joined? If so, then here too, one can ask: who is the vampire and who the victim? Yes, she may be a serial consumer of men out of choice, but as he is the one who has chased and then left her, it remains possible to regard her predicament as the sad fate of someone whose effect on men of attracting them and then frightening them off just might be unsought and a cause of suffering for her, an idea that will be developed by de Hoyos’s contemporary and friend, Carmen de Burgos, in La mujer fría, discussed below. Thus, both “Una hora de amor” and “El señor Cadáver y la señorita Vampiro” can be read as interrogating the demonization of the vampire figure, the first by bringing in the time-honoured monetary metaphor, as we have seen, and the second by showing the reader, over the narrator’s head, that the latter’s interpretation of events and his resulting demonization of the woman involved are unreliable.8 Taken together, de Hoyos’s two stories add up to an important development in the presentation of vampires and their victims in Spanish cultural production: by problematizing the black-and-white characterization of the vampire and the victim, the stories implicitly distance themselves from a discourse concerning a struggle between good and evil, with moral messages arising therefrom. De Hoyos’s fictional world is ruled by a more Darwinian survival of the fittest, a state of affairs coloured as regrettable in both stories, something that does not surprise us coming from the pen of a man who was to support the anarchist cause along with its aspiration to build a new society devoid of a predatory dynamic.9

Notes 1 For his status as little known and scorned, see Cruz Casado, “Misterios del pensamiento”, 243. 2 Unamuno, “Dos madres”, 52. 3 Unamuno, “Two Mothers”, translated by Angel Flores, 97–98. 4 García Lorca, Yerma, II, 2, 80. 5 García Lorca, Yerma, translated by Peter Luke, II, 2, 185. 6 Waltje, Blood Obsession, 47–53. Waltje associates the breast with proximity to the heart rather than positing a metaphor with breastfeeding, as I do here, despite his own citing of Paul Barber, who notes that in Gdansk folklore, the vampire actually bites the nipple of the victim (Vampires, Burial, and Death. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1988, 88, cited on 47 by Waltje). 7 See Dijkstra, Idols of Perversity, passim, but especially 305–14. Dijkstra links this serpentine/reptilian association of femininity with Salome, arguing that

40  Text-By-Text Analysis she “became the archetypal image of woman as serpent” (385) and thus bringing the ending of the story round full circle to the beginning with the Salome dance on the stage. 8 This reading is at odds with that of Arias Vega in “Mujer vampiro”. She takes the narrator to be reliable without defending that position and also makes some untenable claims about Señorita Vampiro’s blondness based on incorrect information about female vampires’ hair colour. 9 I analyse these stories comparatively in “Last of the vamp(ires)”.

4 Carmen de Burgos, La mujer fría [The Cold Woman] (1922)1

The Author2 Carmen de Burgos (1867–1932), like her friend, Antonio de Hoyos y ­Vinent, was a successful and well-known writer in her lifetime, but largely forgotten during the Franco years and is only slowly emerging from that oblivion now. She wrote and published prolifically, producing twelve novels and more than a hundred short stories or novellas over her lifetime, as well as translations, essays, and journalism.3 The sociopolitical causes dearest to de Burgos’s heart reflect her belief in justice and equality for all. The improvements to women’s education and their equality with men under the law, for which she argued all her life, can be seen as the gendered facet of this, but there was a racial one too, as she also fought against the prejudice and injustice directed at Sephardic Jews. Amongst other causes, she advocated for the legalization of divorce and the abolition of the death penalty. Her passionate support for Spanish Republicanism translated her wish for class equality; indeed, her last words, pronounced publicly, for she was speaking on sexual education at the Círculo Radical Socialista when she collapsed, were “Muero contenta, porque muero republicana. ¡Viva la República! Les ruego a ustedes que digan conmigo ¡Viva la República!” [I die happy, for I die a Republican. Long live the Republic! Say it with me: Long live the Republic!].4

Plot Summary La mujer fría centres on Blanca, the title character, who has an abnormally low body temperature and whose breath smells of death. She is extraordinarily beautiful, though, and extremely wealthy, since she is a widow whose two deceased husbands left her their fortunes. Spotted initially at the theatre in Madrid, she causes a stir because of her looks and mysterious origins. Among the young men whose attention she attracts is Fernando, who falls in love with her, abandoning and breaking the heart of his girlfriend, Edma. Blanca is equally enamoured of him and they start a relationship, but it is doomed because he cannot overcome his repulsion whenever he

42  Text-By-Text Analysis kisses her. Through an older man, who knew Blanca when she was living in Vienna with her second husband, we find out her nickname, which is la muerta viva [the living dead woman] and some of her backstory, including the superstitions surrounding her putative death-dealing effects on all around her: from plants to her parents, husbands, and two children. At the end of the story, Fernando abandons her after one last unsuccessful attempt to overcome his revulsion and she is left broken-hearted and alone.

Analysis This is one of many stories by de Burgos which took advantage of what Susan Kirkpatrick describes as a “new arena of print culture that took off like wildfire in the first decades of the twentieth century – the highly profitable paperback short novel series pitched both in price and style toward a mass audience”.5 Robin Ragan calls Blanca’s story “tragic”, and I have argued elsewhere that she is certainly one of the first and may actually be the very first pitiable vampire, but be that as it may, she is surely the first of her kind in Spanish cultural production.6 Earlier texts, such as de Hoyos y Vinent’s “El señor Cadáver y la señorita Vampiro” discussed above, only permit a reading which evinces pity for the vampire if one goes against the grain of the overt characterization and perhaps is re-reading it in the light of La mujer fría. Thus, de Burgos’s story can be regarded as a landmark in the evolution of vampire fiction in Spain – and possibly transnationally too – and this portrayal goes a long way towards explaining why it comes across to a reader in the present day as surprisingly fresh and unlike a dated period piece. De Burgos cleverly plays with undecidability concerning Blanca’s status as human, if odd, and, to that extent, one of us, or a supernatural, alien creature, a game which necessitates avoidance of the words vampiro, vampira, and vampiresa, as discussed in the Introduction.7 But Blanca blurs the boundaries between self and other, us and them in several further dimensions too. She is definitely Spanish and hence one of “us” in that sense, but she comes from a remote and mountainous part of the Basque country a long way away both geographically and culturally from the capital, where the action is set, and she has travelled to exotic places such as Egypt and India. When Fernando is searching for an explanation for her smell, he wonders, not only whether this is how women are meant to smell but also, alternatively, whether “tal vez no era más que un olor ‘de raza’” (109) [perhaps it was just the smell of a “race”], implying that he at least views being Basque as belonging to a separate race, alien from his own. This view of Basques from the perspective of other Spaniards is a long-standing one and has even been linked to historical accusations of witchcraft.8 Blanca’s Basqueness and the ambivalent identity of being both “us” and “them” that it gives her echoes a character as iconic as Lord Ruthven in Polidori’s “The Vampyre”, a Scot arriving in London and also marked by exotic travels.

Carmen de Burgos  43 The way in which Blanca dresses and decorates her home is different from the social norm and so regarded as alien by the Madrilenians, and yet she follows convention impeccably in her way of conducting herself both when she is a guest and a hostess and says imploringly to Fernando that she wants to be treated like a normal woman. Where this self/other dichotomy is most poignantly exploited, however, is in the gulf separating her alien physicality – abnormally cold to the touch, abnormally fair-skinned and blond-haired, with abnormally emerald eyes, and of course suffering from that abnormal smell on her breath – from her wholly human emotional life. She feels sorry for Edma, for example, saying “me apena saber el estado de esa pobre muchacha” [it pains me to learn of the state that poor girl is in] but also stakes her own equal claim to happiness:“¿Acaso la mía no es tan respetable como la suya?” (both 59) [Is mine any less respectable than hers, pray?]. She gets dressed up and then frets when Fernando is late, “mirando impaciente el roloj, pensando cosas descabelladas que podían haberle sucedido, y haciendo proyectos locos para buscarlo” (104) [looking impatiently at the clock, having crazy thoughts about what might have happened to him and making mad plans to search for him] and her heartbreak when she loses him is the culmination of this recognizably human characterization bestowed upon her by the author and encapsulated by our last picture of her in foetal position, “ovillada sobre el diván, gimiendo” (110) [curled up on the couch, moaning] as he walks out on her. Having given Blanca the outward characteristics of a vampiric femme fatale or a supernatural vampire (both readings remaining viable), but the inner life of a normal woman, de Burgos not only critiques the stock characterization of both figures as evil and cruel by definition, but also implicitly challenges her readers not to judge others according to pre-conceived ideas concerning appearances more generally, whether these are physical features or actions, and to look instead at the context, at the backstory. Might Blanca, equally beautiful, also first spotted at the theatre, and also abandoned by a young man who fell under her spell, have been a deliberate riposte to her friend, Antonio de Hoyos’s presentation of his Señorita Vampiro? As someone who was herself considered scandalous by many for leaving her marriage and home in Andalusia, taking her young daughter with her; and subsequently for having a long-standing affair with a man much younger than herself (the avant-garde writer, Ramón Gómez de la Serna), such judgemental pigeon-holing of women’s morality based on decontextualized external appearances would have been close to her heart.9 ­Blanca’s characterization is also worth considering in the light of the author’s activism against anti-Semitism; whilst Blanca is certainly not depicted in such a way as to suggest a reading of her as a metaphor for Jewishness, the general otherness of her looks and lifestyle coupled with her pathos and humanity, might be read as anticipating the vindication of the racial/ethnic other via the vampire paradigm, something acknowledged by Jules Zanger

44  Text-By-Text Analysis as a current usage of vampires: “No longer embodying metaphysical evil, no longer a damned soul, the new vampire has become, in our concerned awareness for multiculturalism, merely ethnic”.10 Racial interpretations of vampire fiction are not, of course, limited to contemporary texts. Judith Halberstam reads Count Dracula and vampires of his ilk as an expression of anti-Semitism: ‘The Jew and the vampire … are both degenerate – they both represent parasitical sexuality and economy, they both unite blood and gold in what is feared to be a conspiracy against nationhood’.11 On the other hand, Gabriel Ronay records: During the Second World War, … posters calling on Americans to fight against the Nazi hordes showed a Hun soldier with Dracula fangs dripping with the blood of innocents. … The United States Army [decided] to issue free paperback copies of Stoker’s Dracula to the troops serving overseas.12 What this contradiction (Dracula standing for both Jew and Jew persecutor) illustrates is the vampire’s adaptability to take on the role of whichever hated and feared other suits the times. De Burgos is thus innovative and ahead of her time in that she retains the otherness, retains the racial dimension of it by giving Blanca such strange colouring and, by making her Basque, suggests foreigner-within identity, not unlike the Jews in Spain until the expulsion of 1492, but still offers a sympathetic depiction of her. Neither Zanger nor anyone else to my knowledge traces the figure of the pitiable vampire as far back as 1922 when La mujer fría came out, the same year, one may note, as Murnau’s Nosferatu premiered, reminding us just how entrenched was the equation of the supernatural vampire with the evil other at this time; and just seven years after Theda Bara had established the figure of the femme fatale as a non-supernatural and equally hateful vamp(ire) in the silent film A Fool There Was (dir. Frank Powell), which took for its title the first line of Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “The Vampire” (1897), about a non-supernatural femme fatale, and reproduced it piecemeal in the intertitles. It seems fair to conclude, then, that de Burgos was an innovator in her use of the vampire figure: she combines a sympathetic treatment of the figure with a racial dimension as well as a gender one, enabling her to expose and implicitly critique several socio-political and cultural ills in a single character’s story: the sexual mores of her times, including keeping young men and women of marriageable age so far apart that the opposite sex is a mystery to them, as we see when Fernando wonders if Blanca’s smell is perhaps just normal for a woman; xenophobia, as we have seen in the fears she generates by being Basque, the widow of two foreigners, and well travelled; judgementalism in all the ill-founded gossip about her; and the lack of good, secular education for women, which has denied her alternative life-choices to marriage to achieve financial security.

Carmen de Burgos  45

Notes 1 First published in La Novela Corta, 25 March 1922. Page references here are taken from its reproduction in Carmen de Burgos, Three Novellas. For a fuller analysis of this text and more information on the author, see my introduction to this edition (1–34, especially 8–17). 2 The fullest and most authoritative biography to date is Núñez Rey, Carmen de Burgos, from which many of the details here are taken, but for a helpful overview in English of de Burgos’s life and writing, see Davies, Spanish Women’s Writing, 117–36. 3 This calculation of de Burgos’s publications is taken from Imboden, Carmen de Burgos, 25. 4 El Sol, 9 October 1932, widely cited; see for example Núñez Rey, “Introducción”, 37. 5 Kirkpatrick, “Women as Cultural Agents”, 239–40. 6 Ragan, “Carmen de Burgos’s ‘La mujer fría’”, 253. Lee Six, “Carmen de ­Burgos, ‘La mujer fría’”. 7 For more on this see Lee Six, “Last of the Vamp(ire)s”. 8 Gifford, “Witchcraft”, 16. 9 For the scandalous label attached to de Burgos, see Mangini, Modernas de Madrid, 76. Mangini also states that “su obra era siempre autorreferencial, es decir, recoge pinceladas autobiográficas, observaciones de situaciones vividas por ella misma” (70) [her work was always self-referential; that is to say, it compiles autobiographical brush-strokes, observations from situations through which she had lived herself]. 10 Zanger, “Metaphor into Metonymy”, 19. 11 Halberstam, Skin Shows, 105. 12 Ronay, Dracula Myth, 166.

5 Wenceslao Fernández Flórez, “El claro del bosque (historia de pesadilla)” [The Clearing in the Wood (Nightmare Story)] (1922) The Author Wenceslao Fernández Flórez (1885–1964)1 was from La Coruña in Galicia, a part of Spain strongly represented in Spanish vampire fiction. Although he is not considered a canonical writer nowadays, he was recognized in his lifetime by the prestigious honour of being elected to be a member of the Real Academia Española in 1934 (taking up his seat only in 1945) and was awarded several prizes both for his literary writing and his journalism; indeed, his writing style is elegant and his fiction atmospheric, often characterized by bitter-sweet irony in the narrative voice and/or storyline. As well as being very widely read, above all in the 1920s and 30s, several of his novels were adapted for the cinema and he was actively involved in some of the screenplays. Summaries of his contribution to Spanish letters invariably present him as a humorist, his obituary by Manuel Halcón nuancing this slightly by mentioning realism as his preferred mode prior to a switch to humour; if this description fits the majority of his fiction, then the present story is certainly a departure from both realism and humorism; perhaps that is why it seems to be rarely if ever mentioned when his key works are listed. Fernández Flórez was a fervent anti-Communist, supporting the Nationalists in the Civil War, but he did not shrink from social critique in his writing published during the Franco regime and is also remembered as a respected and incisive parliamentary commentator and political journalist. 2

Plot Summary The protagonist and first-person narrator of this story is a man called ­Mauricio, whom we meet on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. On a dark, windy night, fearing he has lost his way in a wood, he stumbles upon a house in the eponymous clearing and begs for food and shelter. In the house, he finds the man who lives there, a certain Ricardo Mans, with three strange daughters, Octavia, Ofelia, and Otilia, as well as another man, Senén, a grotesque figure with no legs, claiming he too is on his way

Wenceslao Fernández Flórez  47 to Santiago. When the householder offers Mauricio a bed for the night, he declines and asks just to be allowed to rest next to the fire, explaining that he is making the pilgrimage to pray to be freed from a recurrent nightmare which is traumatizing him so much that he is trying to avoid sleeping altogether and a comfortable bed is therefore not what he wants or needs. At this, Mans declares he must be bewitched and throws him out of the house into the dark, windy wood once more. Mauricio, meanwhile, believes that one of the daughters, Octavia, is the woman haunting his dreams and describes meaningful looks that pass between them in secret. He manages to walk to an unnamed city, arriving still in the dead of night and finding it strangely deserted, but for the mutilated Senén, who unsettles him further by saying Mans’s daughters are vampires who have made a pact with the devil, such that their souls are separated from their bodies and roam freely, experiencing intense pleasure. Part of this derives from ambushing other people’s souls while they are asleep, sometimes to torture them, sometimes to flood them with pleasure. Octavia then appears to the two men and Mauricio confronts her, shouting “-¡Tú eres … la mujer de mi pesadilla! … ¡Tú has querido beber mi sangre en un sueño angustioso!” (51) [You are the woman from my nightmare! You wanted to drink my blood in an anguished dream!]. She tells him that she had indeed been visiting his soul every night and taking it willingly to “lugares de delicia” (52) [places of delight] in his dreams. She is dismayed to have been shut out by him recently. Lulled and simultaneously aroused by her voice, he now succumbs to the temptation to kiss her lips, which taste of blood. They embrace increasingly passionately but the experience is clearly not of this world: at one point, for example, his hands pass right through her body, which has become pink smoke. Then as she cuddles up to him, her body feels ice cold, more and more so, until he panics and pushes her away. He runs and runs, but as in dreams, he does not move and Octavia is still sitting at his feet “sonriendo con los ojos terribles y con los labios sangrientos” (56) [smiling with her terrifying eyes and bloody lips]. And then, “bajo los labios ansiosos de la mujer” (56) [beneath the woman’s anxious lips], he feels his blood slowly flowing away, tries to cry out but cannot and then begins to drift into unconsciousness, his last thought and the closing words of the story being something Senén had said to him is the fate of vampires’ victims: perhaps like them, dawn will find him dead and nobody will know.

Analysis The parenthetical subtitle of this story means “Nightmare Story”, and, as in English, the most obvious interpretation is to construe “de pesadilla” as a figurative adjectival phrase, synonymous with “nightmarish” or “dreadful” rather than to expect the story to be the recounting of an actual nightmare. However, on reading it, one discovers its oneiric tone and sequence of events, such that what seemed at first to be a story in

48  Text-By-Text Analysis which a particular nightmare concerning a vampiric encounter was to play an important part, but was clearly separable from the protagonist’s waking life, gradually metamorphoses into one in which the two are drifting into and away from one another so seamlessly that it is impossible to tell which is which. 3 Thus, by the end, the impression is more reminiscent of a feverish state of hallucinatory delirium than of a realist account of a man’s frightening night terror. The characterization of Octavia, of Mauricio, and the use of the dream state are all clearly reminiscent of Gautier’s Clarimonde, Romuald, and the plot of “La Morte amoureuse”: both of the female vampires are beautiful, seemingly gentle and feminine, and act as though they were in love with the male protagonist.4 The latter for his part is a pious man in both cases, who cannot reconcile his desire and his actions with his Catholic faith. Both men are also confused and unsure of what is dream and what is reality. “El claro del bosque” also echoes other vampire narratives which deploy the idea of a dream which seems to carry over into waking life, such as Le Fanu’s “Carmilla”; there as here (but unlike Gautier’s story), the dream apparition precedes the apparently waking encounter with the vampire. However, in contrast to both of these antecedents, Fernández Flórez chooses not to establish a premise which encourages us to trust the narrator and therefore suspend disbelief: the sole focalizer here is Mauricio himself and his reliability is carefully, systematically, and increasingly undermined as the story progresses. This is the opposite of Le Fanu’s choice to place the reliable Dr Hesselius between us and Laura’s story, giving his scientific imprimatur of serious case-notes to it. In analogous fashion, Gautier introduces his first-person protagonist as a sober priest now in his mid-sixties, adding credibility to the extraordinary experience of his youth that he is about to recount. Here, on the other hand, there is no credible frame story or reliable narrator to hypothesize as to the explanation for the content of the story, or otherwise to guide us and, as a result, we feel more and more trapped inside a mind and a version of events that we are at a loss to interpret. To that extent, Fernández Flórez is deploying a technique in his prose analogous to one found in more recent horror texts, as observed by Jack Morgan: An unreliable narrator in horror literature … serves a purpose he or she does not in ordinary narration – readers are exposed to the horrific through a flawed, distorting intermediary; they therefore lack the essentials of … a full and clear rationalization of that which threatens. They feel incapable of warding off fear, helpless because they lack sufficient command of the facts. … The now familiar tracking shots associated with horror films function similarly in that the viewer shares the viewpoint of the killer rather than of the victim – in effect a dislocated and terribly “wrong” viewpoint from which, as in nightmare, the viewer cannot extricate himself or herself. 5

Wenceslao Fernández Flórez  49 There is a mood of fable, folktale, perhaps even myth pervading the story: that there should be precisely three daughters, of whom one stands out, strikes a chord with traditional tales such as “One-Eye, Two-Eyes, and Three Eyes”, or “Beauty and the Beast”, not to mention other notable trios of females, such as the vampiresses in Dracula’s castle, or the ones from mythology like the Fates, the Furies, or the Gorgons. Add to that their similar names all starting with the same letter, the seemingly malevolent forest, the perfectly circular clearing, and the elements coalesce to produce something of greater stature than the sum of its parts. Laced with the references to vampires and demonic pacts, and the adult themes of sexual desire, perversion, and nightmare or hallucination and we seem to be about as far from realism or the writings of a humorist as it is possible to get. The author was no stranger to both his home folklore from Galicia and the transnational classic tales such as those of Perrault. Indeed, he published a novel called El secreto de Barba Azul [Bluebeard’s Secret] in 1923.6 Other short fiction by Fernández Flórez, according to Fermín Ezpeleta Aguilar, attests to “la querencia del escritor por aventar el mundo de ultratumba y de lo fantasmal, tan enraizado en el folclore gallego, siempre, eso sí, bajo capa paródica” [the writer’s wish to air the world beyond the grave and of ghosts, so rooted in Galician folklore, albeit under a parodic cloak], although there is no discernible sense of parody in “El claro del bosque”.7 Freud’s essay on the uncanny, published just three years before this story, echoes throughout.8 Freud’s first example of the uncanny is when there is doubt between something being animate and inanimate, for which he gives the example of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s doll in “The Sandman”. At once we think of the three daughters in “El claro del bosque”, who act like automata, and of the explanation later provided by Senén, that these are mere bodies, whose souls are elsewhere.9 Freud proceeds to devalue the importance of this relative to other features of Hoffmann’s story to which he attributes the greater portion of its uncanny effect and these turn upon features which he reads as standing for castration anxieties. In Hoffmann, the imagery is about losing one’s eyes, but Freud later groups other ideas with this including dismembered limbs and Senén immediately springs to mind for the reader of Fernández Flórez.10 Mauricio’s experiences in the deserted town then evoke Freud’s references to “involuntary repetition” as a source of the uncanny: Mauricio is shocked and unnerved to be confronted by Senén again as well as to re-encounter the vampire of his dreams.11 Freud’s final point is the one upon which the whole story of “El claro del bosque” hinges: “an uncanny effect is often and easily produced by effacing the distinction between imagination and reality, such as when something that we have hitherto regarded as imaginary appears before us in reality”.12 This matches exactly what happens in the story, for a woman Mauricio believed to exist only in his dreams materializes before him when he thinks he is awake.

50  Text-By-Text Analysis Despite supporting the Nationalists during the Civil War, Fernández Flórez did not follow falangist ideology across the board. He was critical of the sexual hypocrisy and double standard which found men’s philandering to be natural but anything other than monogamous sex within marriage unacceptable for a woman and he favoured the legalization of contraception and abortion.13 Reading “El claro del bosque” with that authorial stance in mind invites one to interpret it as a critique of prevailing sexual mores: those that give fathers like Ricardo Mans the duty to protect the family honour by virtually imprisoning their daughters until marriage, such that their only escape route is via the supernatural path of leaving their bodies at home under surveillance while their souls can follow their dreams and desires; mores that also torture men like Mauricio with guilt and lead to self-inflicted misery if their attempts to follow the doctrine of continence outside marriage are thwarted in their dream-lives. The questions left open as we finish reading “El claro del bosque” are as follows: in the ordinary world away from demonic pacts and vampires, where there is no hope of escape from the stranglehold of cultural constructions of feminine virtue and the living dead existence it imposes on girls and women, can their fantasy lives offer any meaningful compensation? And can there be any justification for the guilt and suffering that Roman Catholic doctrine on sexuality inflicts upon its believers, male or female?

Notes 1 These are the dates given on the flyleaf of the volume where the story is published and they coincide with the Spanish Royal Academy’s website (www.rae. es/academicos/wenceslao-fernandez-florez) and many other sources, but 1879 is the date of birth given by­biografia/f/fernandez_ florez.htm. García Santa Cecilia attributes the lack of clarity over the author’s date of birth to the probability that he was illegitimate (“Tribuna”, El País, 11 February 1985, html). An obituary by Manuel Halcón attests to Fernández Flórez’s evasiveness when asked his age, but does not venture to hypothesize over its reasons (Boletín, 13;­Necrologica_Fernandez_Florez.pdf (all accessed 13 July 2017). 2 The information in this paragraph is drawn from the sources cited in the previous note plus Nieva de la Paz, “Imágenes de mujer”; Haro Tecgleen, “Tribuna”, El País, 11 February 1985 ( 24403_850215.html); and Rafael Conte, “Tribuna”, El País, 11 February 1985 (, both accessed 13 July 2017). 3 In this regard, it is worth noting parenthetically that Pérez Gañán lists “el mundo onírico mezclado con la realidad” [the dream-world mixed with reality] as a recurrent theme in films featuring female vampires (Arquetipos femeninos, 29). 4 This accords with Aldana Reyes’s characterization of the vampire as “distinctly foreign” (Spanish Gothic, 139). However, as we shall see in Part II, what the story says about Octavia having made a pact with the Devil accords more with Spanish folklore concerning witches than vampire tradition, exemplifying the

Wenceslao Fernández Flórez  51 blending of the local with the transnational to which our corpus attests as a whole. 5 Morgan, Biology of Horror, 209–10. 6 For a full discussion of how this text utilizes Perrault’s tale and other related pre-existing stories, see Ezpeleta Aguilar, “‘Barba Azul’”. The folkloric element will be discussed further in Part II. 7 Espeleta Aguilar, “‘Barba Azul’”, 14. 8 The first translation of Freud’s essay into Spanish, by Luis López Ballesteros, appears in a collection of seventeen volumes published over the timespan 1 ­ 922–34 (, accessed 10 July 2018). According to Ragan, the essay on the uncanny, translated as “Lo siniestro”, came out in the first year of this publishing project, 1922 (“Carmen de Burgos’s ‘La mujer fría’”, 248, fn.6). With the date of the story being 1922 itself, it seems unlikely that Fernández Flórez would have had time to read the essay in Spanish before he wrote it. I have found no evidence that he could read in German. In its absence, we must read the story as engaging with the uncanny as Hoffmann’s does, intuitively. 9 As mentioned in the Introduction, Ronay explains (Dracula Myth, 10 and 33) that whilst vampires were believed to be bodies without souls in the Middle Ages, by the eighteenth century, they were understood to be souls without bodies, the implication here, since the girls’ bodies are mechanically behaving virtuously under their father’s watchful gaze, whilst the now cold, now misty vampiric appearance of Octavia in the city and in Mauricio’s dream-life suggests the incorporeal existence of the soul. 10 Freud, “Uncanny”, 14. (accessed 17 July 17). 11 Freud, “Uncanny”, 11. 12 Freud, “Uncanny”, 15. 13 Nieva de la Paz, “Imágenes de mujer”, 363.

6 Alfonso Sastre, “Las noches del Espíritu Santo” [The Holy Spirit Nights] (1964)

The Author Born in 1926 and still alive today, Alfonso Sastre is a famous and respected playwright. He was a signed-up Communist for many years and has been a lifelong strong supporter of Basque nationalism. His politics led to imprisonment during the Franco regime and several of his plays being banned. As well as reflecting his bold, Marxist political stance during the dictatorship, his drama is formally experimental, showing awareness both on the stage and in essays he has written, of a range of transnational trends and foreign theatre including that of Brecht, Pirandello, Sartre, and Beckett, amongst others.1 Although he has published poetry and prose fiction, the great majority of Sastre scholarship is devoted to the plays; the prose fiction above all is little known and rarely covered in any depth. Sastre’s interest in the Gothic can be gleaned from numerous sources, including play titles such as Los últimos días de Emmanuel Kant contados por Ernesto Teodoro Amadeo Hoffmann (1990) [The Last days of Immanuel Kant as Told by E.T.A. Hoffmann] or ¿Dónde estás, Ulalume, dónde estás? (1994) [Where Are You, Ulalume, Where Are You?], which imaginatively dramatizes Edgar Allan Poe’s last days. 2 One of his collections of poetry bears the title El evangelio de Drácula (1976), [Dracula’s Gospel]3 and bibliographies list two unrealized screenplays which obviously reference cinematic Gothic horror.4

Plot Summary Running to over 150 pages and divided into two parts with nine and five chapters, respectively, this narrative looks more like a novel than a short story, but it was written and first published as part of a larger volume called Las noches lúgubres [Gloomy Nights] and so has to be considered as a component of a larger work. I will return to this in the conclusion to the analysis that follows. Part I is set in a slum neighbourhood of Madrid and has a first-person narrator, Don Antonio, who is a struggling writer with a drink problem,

Alfonso Sastre  53 opening up the potential for unreliability from the outset. He has already drunk three glasses of brandy in a bar when the plot begins to develop with the arrival of an odd couple, who attract his attention, for the man is pink-complexioned and corpulent but seems unwell, being drenched in sweat despite the cool October weather and is using a broom as a makeshift crutch, whereas the woman is described as yellow and dry and appears to be wearing a black wig. The barman, it transpires, knows their story and proceeds to tell it to the narrator. Apparently, the woman, Amalia, has introduced the man, Zarco, hitherto scraping a hard but healthy living as a fruit and vegetables porter, to the seemingly far easier money of donating blood. Although he was against the idea in principle, successive job losses and the lack of welfare support for the unemployed have pressured him into resorting to this. This has led to a kind of addiction to blood donation, such that he suffers withdrawal symptoms if he does not return to the blood bank regularly. The barman adds to his story that the locals have begun to be afraid of the couple, who are the only Protestants in the neighbourhood; rumours and fears are compounded by the fact that of their two children, one was born blind and died in infancy and the other is sickly and presumed abnormal. The final oddity is that Amalia, who has no teeth of her own, has a set of dentures with extra-long canines, something she dismisses as a mere whim. Some days later, the narrator finds Zarco collapsed in the street and lets the man persuade him to help him get to the nearby blood bank at the hospital, a place he finds reminiscent of “un lejano castillo de los Cárpatos” (42) [a faraway castle in the Carpathians]. After he has donated blood and is feeling much better again, relieved of what Zarco regards as surplus blood and with 500 pesetas in his pocket, he tells the narrator his story. 5 As donations are limited to four-weekly intervals and he needs more, he has four donor cards for different blood banks and occasionally uses a private one run by a Hungarian; thus, Zarco gets by. Six weeks later, Amalia bursts into a bar begging for help as Zarco is, she says, dying. The narrator goes home with her and finds: Zarco in a pool of blood, bleeding from the neck; Amalia’s false teeth with blood on the canines; and the child, described as “hidrocéfalo y con estigmas semejantes a los que presentan algunos casos de criaturas víctimas de la talidomida” (54) [hydrocephalic and showing signs similar to those found on some cases of children who are thalidomide victims], with blood around his mouth. Don Antonio learns from a local man who had an affair with Amalia in their youth and who turns out to be extremely knowledgeable about vampire lore, that he believes her to be a fully-fledged revenant vampire. According to him, she was one of many infected with vampirism by an Eastern European aristocrat and her marital relationship is vampiric; it accounts for the child’s abnormalities, and the child may be an undead vampire too by now. The narrator is sceptical, all the more so when, not long afterwards,

54  Text-By-Text Analysis Amalia herself tells him that the locals accuse the family of vampirism out of ignorant prejudice towards Protestantism and circumstantial evidence: she merely relieves Zarco of excess blood when his withdrawal symptoms are severe and it is too soon to donate and the child has been recommended blood by a folk-healer to fortify and help him grow. Next, the couple are found dead, Amalia murdered with a vegetable porter’s tool and Zarco with his veins slit. Returning home late at night, extremely drunk and in heavy rain on the day of their funeral, Don Antonio finds that there is a power-cut in his block of flats and that the child has been left at his door by a vagrant relative of the murdered couple with whom he had had a drunken brawl earlier that evening. By the flickering light of candles reflected in the many convex and concave mirrors he has collected and hung in his flat, Don Antonio nervously goes back out onto the landing and brings the box containing the child indoors. His disquiet grows to terror when it transpires as he tries to feed him that he is only willing to consume blood. Having dozed off, Don Antonio awakes to find the candles almost burnt out, the power-cut continuing, and the child, despite his atrophied limbs, out of his box and crawling towards the bedroom. The plot of Part I ends with Don Antonio trampling the child to death in a panic when the latter grabs him by the ankle from under the bed. Part II is narrated by the sensationalist journalist whose account of the discovery of the dead couple had been cited by Don Antonio in Part  I. While on the spot for that case, this journalist found the visiting card of the ­Hungarian we know Zarco used for blood donation and, puzzled by how someone of such humble origins could be in contact with a foreign aristocrat, he investigates. The foreigner, spotted getting into a black, ­chauffeur-driven Mercedes, is called Arpad Vászary and described thus: “un hombre alto, delgado y palidísimo, de aspecto aristocrático, labios finos y cabellos blancos, cubierto con una negra capa que le llegaba casi hasta los pies” (134) [a tall, slim, and extremely pale man of aristocratic appearance, with thin lips and white hair, swathed in a black cape reaching almost to his feet]. The building where he resides is divided into a boarding-house and a clinic. The journalist is told by the pharmacist whose premises are just opposite that Vászary was vampirized back home in Budapest and now has escaped here with his mother (who it later transpires is nothing of the sort) but none of the family’s wealth; she set up the clinic to supply the blood he needs, donating the surplus to charity. Having formerly survived by displaying him in a freak show, they are now making a living from the clinic and the boarding-house, at first a refuge for émigrés escaping from regimes where they were unwelcome, and now being used for prostitution or other illicit sexual encounters. The pharmacist puts a sympathetic gloss on the pair, referring to vampirism as “atroz enfermedad” (146) [a dreadful illness] and using a respectful and benign tone in his narration of their story. After describing how he followed him through his nightly exploits and watched him perform apparently vampiric feats such as scaling walls to

Alfonso Sastre  55 enter upper-floor bedrooms at sundry addresses, the journalist then reports that the vampire was found staked and beheaded. There follows the classic Gothic feature of the nested narrative, in which Nuria, the woman responsible for the staking, recounts her life-story and motive: the vampire had turned her from an obsessively devout Catholic saint-in-the-making to a whore who suffers what she compares with a drug-addict’s withdrawal symptoms when she loses contact with the vampire. It is unclear whether he has been drinking her blood or just having sex with her, but the latter is confirmed, for she falls pregnant and he arranges an abortion for her at the clinic he runs. Subsequently discovering his infidelity to her, her jealousy leads her to destroy him. The woman is in prison at the time of narration, undergoing psychiatric tests. The explained supernatural tradition is followed in the denouement of the story, when Vászary is exposed as a charlatan involved in numerous nefarious but not supernatural activities and his “mother” as his confederate. This means that the staking was the misguided murder of a normal human being and not the destruction of a vampire after all. A brief section resembling a coda, however, reports the unexplained death of someone in Madrid who may or may not be the same character as the one who had an affair with Amalia in their youth and told Don Antonio she was a vampire. He has a bite mark on his neck and has died of blood loss.

Analysis Sastre cleverly interweaves a number of familiar vampire-fiction motifs with unexpected elements and it is the originality of their combination and interplay which produces a text that avoids seeming like a tired rehearsal of the classics. For example, the well-worn attributes of Vászary – his physical appearance, putative aristocratic status, and Eastern European origins – are balanced by Amalia and Zarco’s atypical features of being ­working-class, Protestant, and Spanish. The issue of contagion is reconfigured startlingly: how has the child become vampiric? Has he caught or inherited his mother’s vampirism? The answer to the question is undecidable, with the knock-on effect of making the reader vacillate between recoiling in horror from Amalia – if she is read as a particularly grotesque version of the devouring mother who has preyed vampirically on her own child – and regarding her as a pathetic figure who is doing all she can in straitened circumstances to care for and fortify a handicapped child, circumstances made even worse by the superstitious rumour mill denying her support or solidarity from the local community.6 This latter reading, together with similar possibilities for other seemingly supernatural phenomena in the story, demonstrate that a rational interpretation is retained as viable by Sastre, despite initial appearances to the contrary in the second part of the story, but the final brief coda of the unexplained death underlines that this is not quite a twentieth-century

56  Text-By-Text Analysis Radcliffean denouement which will conclusively explain all away, but rather an excursion into the fantastic à la Todorov. This transnationally recognizable treatment of the subject-matter, however, relates interestingly with features that are predicated upon the Spanish cultural setting and Sastre’s own politics and creative originality. The Spanishness of “Las noches del Espíritu Santo” rests not only upon its Spanish setting, but more specifically upon the outsider status of Zarco and Amalia in that setting due to their Protestant faith. This is what makes them seem alien to the local community, arousing suspicion and avoidance. Instead of Roman Catholicism being endowed with the status of the religion that is inextricably bound up with vampires – whether as the only force with any traction against the evil power of the undead, or as the religion with which they are associated themselves – here in mainstream Catholic Spain, the sinister “other” faith label maps onto Protestantism. This is a phenomenon seen elsewhere in Spanish vampire fiction both preand post-dating this text, such as Emilia Pardo Bazán’s “Vampiro” and Mercedes Abad’s Sangre, discussed above and below, respectively, and, to that extent, cannot be identified as an original or unique feature of “Las noches”, but is, rather, a logical corollary of the deictic nature of the semantics of self and other, us and them. This will be considered further in Part II of the present volume. Where Sastre has utilized the conventions in a more novel fashion is in his reversal of the dependency relationship between blood-taker and blood-giver. Admittedly, blood banks need donors and if Amalia is read as a vampire, then she may be expected to need the supply of blood she used to get from her lovers and now can take from her husband. Arpad Vászary in the second part of the story clearly needs to make money and presumably enjoys the sexual access to multiple women his vampire persona accords him, but these points are left implicit in the presentation of the narrative. The emphasis is squarely placed on the dependency of first, Zarco, on giving blood, and then Nuria on Vászary. This reversal of the traditional dynamic transforms the vampire role into that of service provider rather than predator; giving rather than taking is the dangerous addiction here.7 This motif combines with the profit motive, financial need and exploitation, to produce the overall message of the story. In Spanish, as we have seen, the longest-standing metaphorical meaning of vampiro is a profiteer rather than a sexual predator, and this undercurrent is by no means obliterated by subsequent erotic connotations, as the present story shows. After all, what triggers Zarco’s addiction to giving blood is financial need, when injury incapacitates him and stops him doing heavy manual labour to support his wife and child. Aldana Reyes’s reading reflects this, for he asserts that the story (referring only to the first part) is “a study of the hardships suffered by the working classes bled dry for the benefit of the wider community”.8 The description of the waiting-room at the blood-bank (we note

Alfonso Sastre  57 the terminology here) is filled with people who look as needy as Zarco, rather than appearing to be altruistic donors: ¡Aquella antesala era un depósito de cadáveres! … No hay otra forma de de expresar el horror de aquellos cuerpos alineados en el banco, afectados por una inexpresividad que parecía seguro indicio de un anticipado “rigor mortis”. … Este depósito … presentaba los restos de un horrendo naufragio: cadáveres desfigurados de obreros caídos en la abyección, campesinos devorados por los tristes horrores del suburbio, modestos y vergonzantes empleados que ocultaban su rostro con un escorzo aparentemente descuidado o tras unas fúnebres gafas negras. [That ante-room was a morgue! There is no other way to express the horror of those bodies lined up on the bench, their expressionless faces seeming a sure sign of rigor mortis in advance. This morgue displayed the remains of a horrendous shipwreck: disfigured cadavers of workers who had descended into abjection, country-folk devoured by the miserable horrors of life in slum city suburbs, modest office staff hiding their ashamed faces behind a feigned don’t-care front or grim dark glasses.] Zarco breaks the rules by giving his blood far more frequently than is allowed, seeing himself as the clever profiteer, when we can see that in fact his dependency on doing precisely that has made him both a victim of exploitation and perpetuator of the larger system: one which does not support the incapacitated like him, nor handicapped children like his son, does not have a good enough educational system to dispel ignorant suspicion or give people the skills to have non-manual earning capacity, and does not offer mothers opportunities to make a decent living if and when they choose or are constrained to do so by family circumstances. In Capital, Marx presents the issue of the length of the worker’s day as a struggle between the exploiting capitalist who wishes to increase it and the labour-force who wish to limit it, but Sastre exposes here the complexities of this when it plays out in specific circumstances: would Zarco experience the same symptoms if he were paid 5,000 pesetas for giving blood instead of 500?9 The answer is not provided, leaving room for reading this both as a straightforward presentation of Marxist theory or as one which complicates it by recognizing as inescapably human always to want more income and so to self-exploit. Just as giving his blood too frequently is harmful both to him and those who receive it, the story invites a reading whereby those who think they are cleverly beating the system are in fact trapped in a dependency relationship with it that is exploitative and damaging to themselves and others.10 The second part of the story plays a similar tune, albeit in a different key. What seems to have first triggered Vászary’s activities to masquerade as a vampire in a freak show is the fact that he and his accomplice are looking

58  Text-By-Text Analysis for a new confidence trick to make some relatively easy money. Their income subsequently comes from running two establishments that cater to the needs of the marginalized: the hotel is being used for prostitution and other socially condemned and/or illegal activities, whilst the clinic is performing abortions, illegal in Spain during the Franco regime. The closest equivalent character to Zarco here is Nuria, the woman who falls under Vászary’s spell, becoming addicted to giving him – perhaps – her blood, as well as conventional sexual favours that lead to her pregnancy. Addicted like Zarco to this dependency, she too comes to believe that she has got the upper hand when we can see that that is very far from the case. She regards the staking and decapitation of Vászary as a redemptive act that returns her to the fold of the Catholic Church. We can see that she is in prison accused of murder and awaiting psychiatric tests, so that her belief in her heroic Christian victory is tragically and ironically mocked. Moreover, her pre-Vászary obsessive piety, which involved self-harm (coded as mortification of the flesh), followed by her relationship with him which merely substitutes one self-­destructive addiction with another, gestures towards the classic Marxist characterization of religion as opiate of the masses, but also implicitly cautions against transferring the ills of religious worship to human idolatry. We are given no access to Vászary’s own view of his activities; all we have are others’ perspectives on him. The pharmacist – and hence, someone we assume to be educated and rational – proves to have been totally taken in, believing in his membership of the aristocracy in Eastern Europe and regarding him as the unfortunate victim of illness. His gullibility typifies the foolish awe that aristocracy generates. Nuria’s addiction to him articulates a different kind of critique as the distinction between worshipping God within the Catholic frame of reference and Vászary in a vampiric one is presented as wafer-thin, not least because in both cases, as Marianne ­Hester has argued in a different context, “the system of male domination over women … relies on the eroticization of inequality between men and women” and “women learn to desire men as (dominant) subjects, which only further entrenches their subordinate position as objects. Within the context of male supremacy, therefore, women are constructed to be masochists”.11 Taking the collection in which it appears as a whole, Las noches lúgubres explores what Farris Anderson has characterized as “man’s individual agonies as the reflection of his life in an evil society”, “Las noches del Espíritu Santo” as much as the others.12 Considered collectively, they tackle a wide range of issues and anxieties including, for example, living under surveillance in a police state, a resurgence of Nazism, madness, and incarceration, more or less directly. Sastre was writing it in 1963, the same year as the Franco regime violently repressed a miners’ strike in Asturias following which he was one of several playwrights banned from national theatres because of his public protest at the atrocities perpetrated by the forces of

Alfonso Sastre  59 the state.13 In this context, the depressing mood of the whole volume and of “Las noches del Espíritu Santo” in particular is not surprising. In this story, though, the vampire paradigm enables him to use what another Spanish writer, Juan Goytisolo, writing around the same time, characterized as akin to sign language: subject-matter which is ostensibly harmless, from a censor’s tick-box perspective, but which readers can interpret as carrying an anti-regime message.14 What on the surface is mere fantasy fiction powerfully depicts the working class as trapped or duped or both into complicity with capitalism whilst the more educated members of society – people like Don Antonio, the pharmacist, or the journalist – are either, respectively, self-anaesthetizing with alcohol, awed into gullible deference to the upper classes, or lone voices, ignored by others or treated as providers of mere entertainment, perhaps like Sastre himself.

Notes 1 For more on the convergences and divergences between Sastre and Brecht, see Anderson, “Sastre on Brecht”. 2 Written in 1984–85, premiered in Madrid, dir. Josefina Molina, 1990; premiered in Alicante, dir. Konrad Zschiedrich, respectively. bib/bib_autor/alfonsosastre/pcuartoniveld8bc.html?conten=bibliografia_autor (accessed 1 November 2016). 3 Camp de l´Arpa, 33, June 1976. 4 En el cuarto oscuro (1986) [In the dark room], described as seven stories for “cine de terror fantástico” [fantasy terror cinema] and Las aventuras españolas del Doctor Frankestein [sic] (1986) [The Spanish Adventures of Dr Frankestein [sic]].­ pcuartoniveld8bc.html?conten=bibliografia_autor (accessed 1 November 2016). 5 According to the calculating algorithm on­calculators/ spaincompare/relativevalue.php (accessed 23 November 2016), 500 pesetas in 1964 is equivalent to 158 euros in 2016, which, compared with the unskilled labour rate, enables us to infer that this payment could be considered comparable to a day’s wage. 6 Aldana Reyes also draws attention to the co-existence of the sympathetic and antipathetic readings available, although he grounds these somewhat differently. Unfortunately, he does not discuss the second half of the story (Spanish Gothic, 151). 7 In real life, there is evidence that people who willingly allow others to drink their blood find it addictive too. One such, called Aaron and aged 38, is quoted by Thorne, saying, “‘It’s just addictive, it’s about giving up one’s energy to someone else’” (Children of the Night, 213). 8 Spanish Gothic, 153. 9 Marx, “The Working Day”, in Capital, Vol. I, Book I, Part III, Chapter X, 239–307. 10 If blood is given too frequently, it can leave the donor anaemic, which in turn means that the blood donated is sub-standard. 11 Hester, Lewd Women, 2 and 74–75, respectively. 12 Anderson, Alfonso Sastre, 141. The use of the generic masculine in this quotation jars today, but was typical of academic English at the time of publication.

60  Text-By-Text Analysis 13 Anderson, Sastre, 10. 14 In his autobiographical text, En los reinos de Taifa, Juan Goytisolo says this about his work, Campos de Níjar (1960): Escrito con cuidado extremo, a fin de sortear los escollos de la censura, es un libro cuya técnica, estructura y enfoque se explican ante todo en función de aquélla: empleo de elipsis, asociaciones de ideas, deducciones implícitas que si resultan oscuras a un público habituado a manifestarse libremente no lo son para quienes, sometidos largo tiempo a los grillos de una censura férrea, adquieren, como observara agudamente Blanco White “la viveza de los mudos para entenderse por señas”. Alumno aventajado en el arte de dirigirme a los sin voz, conseguí la proeza de redactar una obra llena de guiños y mensajes cifrados a los lectores despiertos sin que los probos funcionarios del Ministerio de Información y Turismo … pudieran agarrarse a nada concreto ni me quitaran un párrafo. (25) [Written extremely carefully, so as to dodge the pitfalls of censorship, it’s a book whose technique, structure, and focus are explained by that above all else: use of ellipsis, association of ideas, implicit deductions, which are obscure to readers used to free expression but not to those who after long years shackled by censorship acquire, as Blanco White astutely observed, “the quick-­wittedness of the deaf and dumb to make themselves understood by sign language”. As a student well versed in the art of addressing the voiceless, I achieved the feat of drafting a work full of winks and coded messages for sharp readers without giving the upright civil servants at the Ministry of Information and Tourism anything solid to get hold of or grounds to cut a single paragraph.]

7 Juan G. Atienza, “Sangre fresca para el muerto” [Fresh Blood for the Dead Man] (1974)

The Author Juan García Atienza (1930–2011) began his career in cinema and television, rather than prose fiction. He contributed to or was sole writer of several film screenplays in the 1960s and directed a number of television documentaries in the 1970s.1 Latterly, he researched and became quite an expert on the occult in Spain, publishing more than fifty works with titles such as Guía de la España mágica (1983) [Guide to Magical Spain] and Guía de las brujas en España (1986) [Guide to Witches in Spain]. Interviewed on Spanish National Radio, he posits that reason, important as it is, is only one stage in our evolution and makes a case for keeping an open mind to seemingly paranormal or otherwise rationally inexplicable phenomena. 2

Plot Summary Using a somewhat flippant, humorous diction, this story is set on Mallorca in the present (1974) or thereabouts, which means that the island is being greedily bought up and developed by foreigners for the tourist trade. Locals, such as the focalizing Sans family, can make money from this in two main ways: by selling prime-location plots of land on the coast to the foreign developers or by employment in one of the service sectors for tourists, the latter only if they speak German and English, which the members of this family do not and for which they cannot afford tuition. At the start of the story, narrated by the eldest daughter, Emilia, they are in debt to a certain Mr Durán (a non-Mallorquín surname, so presumably someone from an earlier, mainland vintage of profiteers from the island and its inhabitants), and they are struggling to find a way out of their financial difficulties. They are planning to cut back on all their outgoings and are hesitating over selling some land they own to Germans, who are offering less than what they believe it is worth now and much less than what they think it will be worth soon, if they hold out. At this point, one of the two maiden aunts the family is supporting announces that a distant cousin has written to say he is coming to visit them from Transylvania and may stay permanently. He is called

62  Text-By-Text Analysis Adolfo, an ordinary name in Spanish for someone of this character’s age, but possibly chosen by the author with tongue-in-cheek, given the takeover of Mallorca by Germans. This branch of the family, we subsequently learn, emigrated around the time of the First World War and is thought to be extremely wealthy, so the Sanses now pin their hopes on this visit solving their financial problems. The narrative voice alternates throughout the story between this inside view of the family from Emilia’s perspective and the diary of a nurse called ­Carmina who works in a private clinic situated in the same square as the Sanses’ home. Carmina has a crush on the eldest Sans son, Germán. This is also a normal Spanish name, which does not resonate obviously with the German profiteers unless one knows English, since Spanish for “German” is alemán, but it may still be an ironic wink at the reader on the author’s part. Emilia, in her turn, is attracted to one of the doctors at the clinic, called Ángel. Once Cousin Adolfo arrives, it becomes slowly apparent to the internal characters that he is a vampire, as is his pet dog, which he has brought with him. The family are nevertheless determined to ingratiate themselves with him, their financial need masquerading as family feeling and hospitality on the part of the parents, whilst yearning for romance drives the aunts to compete for his affection. At first, at least, the Sanses shrug off his oddities as merely foreign and on a par with those of the tourists, trying to accommodate his strange habits, procuring blood for him from the butcher as well as blood stocks from the clinic, and accepting his nocturnal lifestyle and the earth-filled boxes he has arrived with and insists on sleeping in. Meanwhile, tourists are being attacked in the night and admitted to the clinic with mysterious forms of anaemia. When matters come to a head and Adolfo tells his story, he says that he and his dog became the victims of a male vampire in Frankenstein’s castle, not having paid heed to peasants’ warnings. What Frankenstein has to do with this is unclear and never mentioned again: maybe it is a humorous reference to films that combine Dracula and Frankenstein. 3 As the police are beginning to close in, Adolfo is persuaded to decamp to the family’s property out of town (the one that German developers are trying to buy from them). The adoring aunts lure Carmina there for him to feed off, but she manages to hide from him until the Sans children arrive, ready to stake him, though in the event this proves unnecessary since in the chase he accidentally impales himself on an olive branch. The denouement is the classic one for comedy, which “Sangre fresca” undoubtedly is: double wedding plans for Germán and Carmina and for Emilia and Ángel; Adolfo’s wealth inherited by the family, and a closing twist, which is Carmina admitting: “Me habría gustado sentir sus dientes puntiagudos pinchándome en la yugular. ¡Debe sentirse algo tan… tan… tan… no sé cómo…!…” (126, ellipses in the original) [I’d have liked to feel his sharp teeth piercing my jugular. It must feel so… so… so… I don’t know what…!…]

Juan G. Atienza  63

Analysis The comic treatment of the vampire paradigm – here as elsewhere – relies on parody and caricature, culled at least as much from the cinema as from prose fiction. Thus, Adolfo is described as “alto, casi un gigante; terriblemente pálido y vestido como un maniquí. Habla con voz profunda y con un acento que … habrá adquirido … en Transilvania” (82) [tall, almost a giant, terribly pale and dressed like a tailor’s dummy. He has a deep voice and speaks with an accent he must have picked up in Transylvania].4 Atienza also deploys many of the staples of vampire lore: avoidance of sunlight, garlic, and crosses, having no mirror image, and sleeping in a coffin containing earth from Transylvania. The maiden aunts are transnational comic stock characters: frivolous, flirtatious overgrown schoolgirls who fritter away the scarce family resources on face-creams and such like. However, the respective functions of these instantly recognizable figures are determined by the specificities of the setting and storyline. Anglophone vampire fiction has traditionally played with notions of self and other, the alien being entering “our” terrain and attacking “us”, whatever that means in a specific textual setting. Judith Halberstam, for example, cautions against considering nineteenth-century monsters – a category which includes vampires in her treatment of it – a mere continuation of their eighteenth-century forebears and goes on to argue that “within the traits that make a body monstrous … we may read the difference between an other [sic] and a self, … a foreigner and a native”. For her corpus of texts, it is possible to conceptualize “the Gothic monster as the antithesis of ‘Englishness’” so, for example, she reads Dracula as “a composite of otherness that manifests as the horror essential to dark, foreign, and perverse bodies”. 5 Evidently, the Spanish treatment of this has to choose between transposing the idea wholly to the Hispanic world and so making the monster/vampire the antithesis of Spanishness; remaining wholly in the Anglo-Saxon one, as if the text were a translation from English, as we shall see in the case of Entre nosotros, for example; or inventing some combination of the two. In this area, Atienza has opted for a similar strategy to Emilia Pardo Bazán’s in “Vampiro”, discussed above, by casting as a vampire a local man who has been contaminated by foreigners while abroad. Furthermore, and also like her, Atienza gives Adolfo the classic profile, familiar to Spanish readers since the seventeenth century at least, of the returning émigré who has become fabulously rich in the exotic place migrated to, but who is imagined by those back home to have paid dangerously dear in some non-monetary sense in return. Adolfo’s branch of the family is believed by the Mallorquín Sanses to have made its fortune trading olives in Transylvania, which has no dubious connotations in itself; what stands out about how he came to grief is that he failed to heed the locals’ warnings, emphasizing that even the most seemingly straightforward type of business activity becomes fraught with danger when one is away from home and

64  Text-By-Text Analysis therefore unable to gauge risk. In that characterization of the vampire as alien yet part of the family, one of “us”, Atienza makes Adolfo a representative of Freud’s unheimlich, for what makes him unsettling for the rest of the Sanses is precisely the fact that he is not a clear-cut foreigner like the others with whom they have grown used to sharing the island, but someone who is both alien and yet part of their family. Albeit with a light touch, “Sangre fresca para el muerto” problematizes the notion that there is a clear distinction, not only between “us” and “them” but also between predators and prey, implicitly asking who is bleeding whom dry here, who is preying on whom: Adolfo and his dog attacking tourists for their blood (gesturing towards the conceptualization of tourists as milk-cows for the economy of where they holiday?); the mainland investors on the island like Durán and their lucrative money-lending to the struggling locals; the foreign developers buying up land from ­Mallorquines who are too impoverished to drive a hard bargain; the doctors making money from the sick; or the intrafamily leeches, whether these are the dependent maiden aunts or the nuclear family, determined to get their teeth into Adolfo’s fortune? Unlike the pattern found, for example, in de Hoyos y Vinent’s “Una hora de amor” or Sastre’s “Las noches del Espíritu Santo”, discussed above, however, Atienza does not present us with a reversal so that we can see that the predator is in some sense prey and vice versa, but rather that the world (both capitalist and communist, incidentally, since Adolfo’s problems began in communist Romania6) is a predatory web with complex multi-directional flows, so that a character like him can be the predator in one relationship, vis-à-vis the tourists he feeds off, and simultaneously prey in another, vis-à-vis the rest of his family. And analogous twoway predation cases could be made for most of the other characters in the story. The centrality of these serious if implicit questions arguably reflects that strong and longest-standing figurative association of the vampire with financial predation in Spanish to which we keep needing to allude. Relative to this undercurrent, the erotic connotations of the figure are secondary and played wholly for laughs, rendering the socio-political critique digestible but certainly not cancelling it out.

Notes 1 Torres, Diccionario Espasa Cine, 78. 2 3 There had been quite a rash of such films in the previous decade: Dracula vs Frankenstein (dir. Tulio Demicheli, 1969 and written by one of Spanish ­horror-film’s biggest names, Paul Naschy), Dracula vs Frankenstein (dir. Al ­Adamson and Samuel M. Sherman, 1971) and the French/Spanish co-­production but Spanish-language Drácula contra Frankenstein (dir. Jesús Franco, 1972), the English title of which was Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein. For more on these films, see, www. and, respectively (all accessed 6 July 2017).

Juan G. Atienza  65 4 Whilst this description, plus the others provided in the story, could evoke many actors who have played Dracula, they certainly resonate with Christopher Lee’s casting in the title role of the Spanish El Conde Drácula (dir. Jesús Franco, 1970). 5 Halberstam, Skin Shows, 3, 8, 14, and 90, respectively. 6 Space does not permit a detailed discussion of this aspect of the story, but it plays a role in its logic, since the Mallorquín Sanses’ sense of urgency to appropriate Adolfo’s wealth partly derives from the communist government’s laws limiting the rights of individuals to bequeath their assets to their family, thus adding an additional predatory relationship whereby the state preys on the citizen.

8 Alfons Cervera, “Una historia de amor” [A Love Story] (1984)

The Author Alfons Cervera (born 1947 in the Valencia area) has a prolific bibliography to his name, publishes in Catalan as well as Spanish, and has considerable mainstream standing, especially in the literary niche of cultural memory texts. The volume from which the story discussed here is taken won a local literary prize and was his very first book, originally bearing the title of Homenaje a Bram Stoker [Homage to Bram Stoker].1

Plot Summary Running to just two pages, this story recounts the midnight visit of a vampire attired in evening suit and black velvet cape to a woman who is asleep in her bed. He proceeds to bite her on the neck, which is presented as a wholly pleasurable and erotic experience for her. It is repeated nightly until the servants find out, whereupon she moves, but continues to enjoy the vampire’s midnight visits eternally, since she has gained immortality from the encounters.

Analysis Read in isolation from the rest of the book, this could be judged a homage (of dubious quality) to Valle-Inclán and Hollywood/Hammer combined, but published here, other questions are raised. Even though the eventual title of the volume in which the story appears means ‘On Vampires and Other Amorous Matters’, only this one actually has a vampire in it, the majority of the rest being about sex or death or both, with a somewhat lyrical narrative voice which might – depending on one’s individual stance on the matter – justify a label of erotica rather than pornography and might or might not exonerate it from a charge of exceedingly poor taste. “Una historia de amor” closes the collection with a gentler and more benign text than many of the others, giving a wholly positive – if perhaps parodic – spin to the classic vampire scene probably more closely associated with

Alfons Cervera  67 cinema than fiction; indeed, a reference to a projector and a screen in the second sentence of the story seems to draw the reader’s attention to cinematic iconography. Be that as it may, we instantly recognize the pallor of the luxuriously caped and dinner-jacketed vampire, the crocheted edging on the bed-linen which he draws back and the lace collar of the nightdress which hides the two red spots on the woman’s marmoreal neck. Having been bitten nightly, she remains beautiful, apparently gains immortality, without any mention of the unpleasantness of having to die first, and the story ends by telling us that they “seguían amándose con locura cuando la medianoche llamaba suavemente en las ventanas del jardín” (121) [continued madly loving one another when midnight gently knocked on the garden windows]. The only counterpoint to this saccharin treatment of a vampire attack are references to gossip, that especially Spanish preoccupation with the quedirán (literally meaning “what will they say?”), which according to the narrative voice, is what drove the woman to feeling obliged to move and then mis-represented events, claiming that her looks, health, and happiness suffered. 2 By ending the story with the positively weighted truth of the matter quoted above, however, Cervera appears to devalue the importance of public reputation as far as the narrative voice is concerned. It remains noticeable, though, that the woman’s need to move is not called into question, implicitly acknowledging the continuing power of the quedirán and its links back to limpieza de sangre, even in the post-Franco Spain of 1984, for the author clearly must think it can pass as plausible that a person would feel obliged to move to another whole area due to unwelcome rumours circulating, irrespective of their accuracy or otherwise. For all its Hollywood veneer and lack of Spanish names or other national identifiers, it is this that gives “Una historia de amor” its Spanishness and so justifies its inclusion here, as a particularly clear-cut example of the interplay of cultural norms with the transnational vampire paradigm.

Notes 1 For a detailed autobiographical article, from which the information in this section is drawn, see (accessed 20 July 2017). 2 For a discussion of the contrasting cultural attitudes to others’ opinions vis-àvis truth in the English- and Spanish-speaking worlds, see Lee Six, “The Monk (1796): A Hispanist’s Reading”, 30–33.

9 Adelaida García Morales, La lógica del vampiro [The Logic of the Vampire] (1990)

The Author Adelaida García Morales (1945–2014), originally from Badajoz, became well known in the 1980s, when the celebrated film director, Víctor Érice (her husband at the time), based his very well received film, El Sur [The South], on a novella by her of the same name, as yet unpublished. This story set the tone of all of her fiction: haunting, Gothic, undoubtedly, but throughout her oeuvre, those effects are achieved in an understated way. Her diction is sparse and unembellished, her characters suffer mental and emotional torment rather than extravagant vicissitudes, and meaning resides in gaps and silences where fear lurks unchecked, as much for them as for us.

Plot Summary This is a full-length novel set in Seville and narrated by Elvira, a single woman in her forties, working as a geography teacher in Madrid. She has come back to her home town, having received a telegram from her brother Diego’s friend, Pablo, saying that Diego is dead. However, when she arrives in Seville, she meets others from his social circle, including the putative vampire of the story, Alfonso; and Diego’s former girlfriend, Mara, who alleges Pablo’s unreliability and melodramatic character. Both seem unconcerned for Diego’s safety; they tell Elvira that he just needed a rest and is staying in Alfonso’s country house for that purpose. The plotting carefully renders plausible the protagonist’s inability to confirm either version of events for the bulk of the novel, by adopting a slow pace and detailing all the circumstances – the house is off the beaten track, impossible for a taxi driver to find, for example, making Elvira dependant on Alfonso to give her a lift there only when he is available – that thwart and delay her attempts to track her brother down. It adds to these a characterization of Diego and of his relationship with Elvira that allows the reader to accept both that he might go away for some time without contacting anyone and that his sister would not necessarily know if he had been going through problems serious

Adelaida García Morales  69 enough to make him suicidal. Eventually, Elvira’s worst fears are confirmed for Diego is found dead at Alfonso’s house, having indeed seemingly committed suicide. Mara and Alfonso are with her at this point and behave completely credibly, seeming shocked and horrified themselves and trying to offer moral support to Elvira. At the end of the novel, she is about to board a train back to Madrid. The allegation that Alfonso is a vampire, if only a psi-vamp, comes from Pablo, and Elvira herself experiences what he can do, along with all the women around him and possibly some or all of the men too, including Pablo and Diego, the implication being that the latter may have taken his own life as a result. However, the novel’s haunting effect relies heavily on what that master of the ghost story, M.R. James, called reticence in the narration: we are never given confirmation one way or the other of what, if anything, Alfonso is doing to those around him, leaving a wide spectrum of readings of events and characters textually defensible, with a wholly rational interpretation being viable at one extreme and a decidedly supernatural one at the other equally so, with many arguable positions between the two.1

Analysis2 García Morales chooses to set her vampire story wholly in Spain and populate it with Spaniards: no Transylvanians or other sinister foreigners are depicted contaminating the population of Seville. The supposed vampire, Alfonso, refuses to be drawn on his own personal history but in the present time of the novel seems to be living an ostensibly normal life, with a job as an archivist for a local aristocrat, married to Teresa, a name without foreign connotations, living in an ordinary flat without coffins lying around or mirrors and crucifixes suspiciously absent. If he is a vampire in some sense of the word, then, he seems to be a home-grown one and to fit the concept of what has been called the domesticated kind. 3 However, this development towards domestication has been attributed chiefly to the provision of access to the vampire’s point of view, which is not to be found in this novel. Instead, Alfonso’s ostensible ordinariness comes from his appearance and everyday lifestyle. Nevertheless, given his evasiveness when asked about his past, it is not possible to exclude anything, even that he may be a full-blown vampire revenant in cunning disguise. This authorial choice to circumscribe the story and its characters within Spain serves to exclude a metaphorical reading that presents aliens of any kind as preying on “us”. The threat personified by Alfonso then is one that comes from within, although what that means for his different victims varies. Elvira meets him when she returns to her home-town, resonant with her childhood and she feels she has escaped at the end of the novel by returning to Madrid, having resisted his insistence that she should move back to Seville permanently and then doubtless succumb to the magnetic

70  Text-By-Text Analysis effect he has on her. Her brother, Diego, had also escaped his hometown, presumably associated with his own boyhood, to go to sea in his case; what Elvira describes of his character and temperament as an adult reveals that he was in his element at sea and “nada más poner el pie en tierra se sentía un intruso, ajeno y extraño a la ciudad en la que nació y a la que ya no pertenecía” (10) [no sooner did he set foot on dry land than he felt like an intruder, alien and foreign to the city of his birth, to which he no longer belonged]. It is noteworthy that his career as a seaman received its lethal blow, leading to his demotion and the crew’s refusal to work with him any more, just when Alfonso had accompanied him on a voyage (to the Canary Islands, hence an internal voyage in the national sense, but also perhaps in a figurative one too). Alfonso encouraged him when he decided to take a more perilous route to save time – bad judgement and friendly solidarity or sabotage? – and there was then a dangerous storm, striking chords for the reader, if not for the internal characters, of Count Dracula’s voyage to England. According to Pablo, Alfonso had also used his best endeavours to draw Diego back to Seville and away from the sea, perhaps representing adulthood and agency for Diego: “Cuando regresaba de un viaje [Alfonso] le recibía como si acabara de salir de la cárcel. Y cuando se despedía, ya puedes imaginar qué ánimos le daba” (70) [When he would return from a voyage, Alfonso would receive him as if he had just got out of prison. And when he was saying goodbye, you can image what kind of encouragement he gave him]. Alfonso’s job as an archivist – someone, in other words, who preserves the past – fits with a reading of his metaphorical weight as a personification of the past preying on the present, one of the oldest meanings of vampirism, according to David Punter: in the surface meaning of this novel, people’s own past which he refuses to let his victims leave behind and which exhausts and drags them down.4 As we have just seen, for Elvira and Diego this involves trying to anchor them in Seville; for another character, Félix, it consists of persuading him to return to doctoral research he had abandoned and which is now bogging him down and demoralizing him (84–85). Would it be too far-fetched, though, to read this in a national context too? Could García Morales be suggesting that Spain should be free to walk or sail away from its own past and leave it to rest in peace instead of obsessively resuscitating it, with the enervating effects this may be having on national life? Be that as it may, the implosive dragging of his victims back to their past, the former self lurking inside them from which they have sought to distance themselves, seems to be just one of Alfonso’s strategies, the one he deploys when that is a person’s weak point. He targets different but still inner self-destructive forces with others. It appears, for example, that he has attracted Mara to him by undermining and so triggering the break-up of her relationship with Diego through planting or fuelling the idea that she wants to start having children; a certain Sonia, another of his acolytes, is being weakened because he has convinced her that she has a future as

Adelaida García Morales  71 a pianist, when Elvira, at least, can detect little aptitude when she hears her play. As she struggles to realize this probably hopeless inner aspiration fed by Alfonso, she has also relinquished financial independence to him, for he has given her board and lodging under his roof: is this kindhearted ­confidence-building and generous hospitality or something more like the excuse of the property transaction used by Count Dracula to bring ­Jonathan Harker to Transylvania and welcome him into his castle? Whether we read all of these examples as just the well-meant – if in fact counter-productive – advice of a man whose worst sin is to be a busy­ body, passing opinions on the lives of his friends and acquaintances, or as something more ominous, the effect is the same. Alfonso is hale and hearty, whilst all those around him are wasting away: his regular visitors “eran jóvenes de rostros desvaídos sin miradas, como si estuvieran aquejados de algún pesado sufrimiento” (60) [were youngsters with drained faces and blank looks, as if they were burdened by some serious complaint]. Of Teresa, his wife, we read, “su aspecto sugería sobre todo sus carencias: una vitalidad perdida … así como una belleza antigua de la que aún le quedaba una huella perceptible” (61) [her appearance suggested what she lacked more than anything else: lost vitality along with a former beauty the traces of which were still perceptible]. The only alternative seems to be to flee: from Seville in Elvira’s case or, in Diego’s, with his seaman’s career destroyed, to see no other escape route but to end his life. Despite being middle-aged and unprepossessing physically, Alfonso is also portrayed as irresistibly magnetic sexually to those around him, albeit with the classic combination of simultaneous revulsion: in his presence, for example, Elvira feels “imbuida por una fuerte atracción hacia él y a la vez por una inexorable repulsión” (80) [imbued with a strong attraction to him and, at the same time, an inexorable repulsion]. His predation, then, is not entirely intangible, abstract. And, as with his other ways of getting involved with the lives of the people who encounter him, the debilitating and destructive effect is clear, whether this is attributable to a supernatural power he has or just a talent for attracting emotionally needy individuals, who then become dependent on his ability to make them feel special, a dependence from which he draws strength: Elvira, a solitary single woman who has grown used to her peaceful but lonely, unloved life in Madrid, for example, at the first meeting with Alfonso, says, “me percibí a mí misma, a través de sus ojos inmóviles y fijos en los míos, como un ser maravilloso, como nunca había sospechado que yo pudiera aparecer ante alguien” (33) [I suddenly perceived myself via his eyes staring fixedly into mine, as a miraculous being, in a way I had never suspected I could look to anyone]. Throughout the novel, she wrestles with two possibilities: is she undergoing a supernatural experience or is that idea a product of her own and others’ imaginations? “Pues a aquello, que sin lugar a dudas él me hacía deliberadamente, sólo podía llamarlo ‘ataque’. … Y, al mismo tiempo, me

72  Text-By-Text Analysis alarmé al advertirme abismada en semejantes conjeturas. ¿Pero qué era aquello? Necesitaba saber, no intuir” (167–68) [So that thing, which he was doing to me deliberately, no doubt about it, I could only call an “attack”. And at the same time, I was alarmed to catch myself dwelling on such conjectures. But what was that thing? I needed knowledge, not intuition]. As there is no omniscient narrator to clarify matters for the reader, it would seem that García Morales is inviting us to ask ourselves whether it matters, in the final analysis, if we can obtain empirical verification for an experience that is inexplicable rationally. In other words, the novel is questioning the importance – perhaps even the existence – of the dividing-line between internal and external reality, subjectivity, and objectivity, and in that respect at least is in the company of Gothic classics such as Henry James’s The Turn of Screw. What T.J. Lustig says with regard to James’s treatment of the question would be just as applicable here: The governess [read Elvira] spends much of the narrative attempting to create stable and impermeable boundaries between the inside and the outside. … Yet it seems that enforcing a border between the inside and the outside is either to legitimate transgression into existence or become aware of the border only by its crossing. Attempts to control the frontier between the inside and the outside produce effects opposite to those intended. 5 In conclusion, we can combine the different aspects of Alfonso’s characterization and that of his victims with the Seville setting to posit a reading of La lógica del vampiro which resists aligning the vampiric threat with otherness and which presents the deadness that threatens life identified by Punter as the core of what the vampire represents, as located in a space which refuses to be circumscribed as either inside or outside, spatial or temporal, imaginary or objectively verifiable, a haunting prospect indeed.

Notes 1 “Reticence may be an elderly doctrine to preach, yet from the artistic point of view I am sure it is a sound one. Reticence conduces to effect, blatancy ruins it” (James, “Some Remarks”, 171). 2 For a more detailed analysis of this text, see Lee Six, Gothic Fiction of ­Adelaida García Morales, 41–54. 3 For discussion of the domestication of the vampire, see Gordon and Hollinger, “Introduction”, 2. 4 Punter, Gothic Pathologies, 136. 5 Lustig, Henry James, 130–31. Similarly, William R. Goetz asserts also with respect to The Turn of the Screw, “the key ambiguity of the entire text [is] that of the undecidability of inside and outside, subjective and objective, for the narrator” (Henry James, 137).

10 Mercedes Abad, Sangre [Blood] (2000)

The Author Born in Barcelona in 1961, Mercedes Abad is well known in both Spanish and Catalan cultural spheres, most of all for her many successful short stories, which have appeared in anthologies as well as sole-authored c­ ollections. She first came to critical attention for writing a prizewinning collection of erotic short stories for a series called La Sonrisa Vertical, which broke new ground in publishing erotica authored by women. Sangre is her first full-length novel and was regarded by reviewers as quite a departure from what had come to be considered her usual subject matter.1 Abad also writes screenplays, radio drama and theatre, essays, and journalism.

Plot Summary Sangre is set in present-day Barcelona and narrated in the first person by its protagonist, a woman in her thirties named Marina. She comes from a ­family whose members – excepting her father – are Espondalarios del Supremo Hacedor [Spondalarians – an invented word – of the Supreme Maker], converts to a fictional religion which resembles Jehovah’s Witnesses somewhat. We learn of the challenges Marina faced coping with being the odd one out at school, forbidden to eat certain foods served at friends’ houses, not having celebrations others took for granted such as birthdays, and much else besides. She gave up the religion in her teens and is now working as an actor and having to deal with her mother’s profound and outspoken disapproval of her whole lifestyle. The vampiric thread of the plot arises when her mother is run over by a bus and seriously injured. She needs a blood transfusion, which is forbidden by her religion, even when it is her own spilt blood that has been carefully collected and prepared to be given back to her. 2 Marina tries everything to make her consent to the procedure as her life hangs in the balance but her mother keeps saying no. Eventually, her impulsive last-ditch attempt is to threaten the mother that if she refuses and then dies, Marina herself will drink the contents of the pouch of her mother’s blood next to the hospital bed, a wholly taboo and

74  Text-By-Text Analysis damning act in her mother’s belief system. Still she holds out and now does die, whereupon Marina carries out her threat, beside herself with grief and anger at her mother’s suicidal stubbornness, as she sees it. At this point, the story switches to a seemingly supernatural or hallucinatory mode, for Marina appears to faint and when she recovers ­consciousness – or believes she has – she discovers that swallowing her mother’s blood has somehow transfused her mother’s consciousness into her own and she is now forced to cohabit with her in her mind, so that her mother can hear – and comment judgementally upon – her every thought. Mother and daughter, trapped in this psychological equivalent of being conjoined twins, are now transported back to the mother’s childhood during the Spanish Civil War and co-exist inside the body of the seven-yearold mother in 1936. To Marina’s amazement, she finds that the person her mother was then, long before her religious conversion and the submissive demeanour she adopted, presumably to conform with the religion’s precepts, was someone Marina could identify with and admire, for back then she had a very strong and mischievous character much more like Marina’s own. Marina and her adult mother decide to try to alter the course of history together by attempting to make the mother’s child self use a chance encounter with Franco during the Civil War to get him killed. They appear to have achieved their aim, but there has been a hint some pages earlier that all of this section of the novel has been a hallucination or dream of Marina’s as she lay unconscious in hospital following the blood drinking. The novel ends in an absurd impasse, as Marina acknowledges that if she and her mother had succeeded, events would have unfolded differently in her mother’s life and she would never have met the father, so that Marina herself would never have come into existence.

Analysis The plot summary above may give the impression that the grounds for including this text in a monograph on Spanish vampire fiction are flimsy: just one blood-drinking episode. However, there is more to it than this, which is worth briefly surveying. The novel opens in a cemetery, as ­Marina visits her maternal grandfather’s grave, located outside the main Catholic burial area, alongside Civil War anarchists and other marginalized individuals. She strikes up a conversation there with a stranger as they both contemplate the grandfather’s odd epitaph and talk about religious sects and their ideas being analogous to contagious diseases: “ejercen de vehículo conductor, de forma análoga a como la saliva y la sangre transportan los virus”, says the strange man (26) [they act as vehicles, conduits analogous to the way saliva and blood carry viruses]. That night, Marina has a dream or nightmare, which she says is recurrent and in which she lives through the episode we will later discover is the exact one from her mother’s childhood in which the latter encountered the young Franco at

Mercedes Abad  75 the beginning of the Civil War, but of which Marina knows nothing at this stage of the action. Thus, by the end of the very first chapter of the novel, we have had: a graveyard setting and the issue of burial in hallowed versus unhallowed soil raised and associated with a binarism that sets up a tension between a mainstream, “normal” – which is to say, culturally accepted – belief system, Catholicism here, and another one coded “other” and marginalized; meditations upon contagion as metaphor; and a seemingly prophetic dream. Imagery throughout the novel rings bells for readers familiar with classic Gothic and vampire fiction too. For example, the house as a metaphor for the self is deployed – albeit humorously – by the mother when she is an undead presence in Marina’s consciousness and is objecting to the latter’s interference with her own memories: “No toques nada: estás de visita en casa ajena y no tienes por qué cambiar la decoración. ¿Que no te gusta el canapé o la mesilla de noche Luis XV? ¡Pues te aguantas! ¿Me has entendido?” (170) [Don’t touch anything: you’re a visitor in someone else’s house and have no reason to alter the décor. You don’t like the sofa or the Louis XV bedside table? Tough! Understood?]. If that were not enough, the whole novel revolves around boundaries of the self: even before the central fusion of mother and daughter, Marina has idly fantasized about the man she met at the cemetery, invented a whole back-story for him for her own entertainment, at least part of which turns out to be true, the part that imagined him to be a forensic pathologist. If this is read as pure coincidence, it is quite implausible; however, as an exploration of the permeability of subjectivity in a fantastic mode, it is coherent and in keeping with vampire tradition. Classics such as “Carmilla” or Dracula deploy similar incursions into others’ consciousness predicated upon dreams, hypnosis, and blood-drinking too, after all. Finally and most conclusively, Marina self-defines as a vampire, believing she has died following the blood-drinking episode and then she interprets her strange new form of existence accordingly. Her thoughts are worth quoting at length: Me había convertido en una vampira. Al beberme la sangre de mi madre en un momento de intensas turbulencias emocionales y justo cuando su corazón acababa de pararse … habían sucedido varias cosas. … Mi intervención había provocado que su conciencia siguiera viva, pero indisociablemente unida a la mía, pues la sangre se las había ingeniado – no me pregunten cómo – para derribar las barreras existentes entre ellas. … Me había convertido en una singular modalidad de vampira. La única sustancia capaz de aplacar mi espantosa sed era la conciencia de mi madre, sus recuerdos, material de desecho incluido, sus más secretas aspiraciones, los sueños que por algún motivo se había prohibido soñar, ahí es donde tenía que hincar mis vampíricos colmillos. (152–53)

76  Text-By-Text Analysis [I had turned into a vampire. By drinking my mother’s blood at a moment of intense emotional turbulence and precisely when her heart had just stopped, several things had happened. My action had led to her consciousness staying alive, but inseparably joined to mine, for the blood had managed – don’t ask me how – to break down the boundaries between the two. I had turned into a strange variety of vampire. The only substance which could slake my dreadful thirst was my mother’s consciousness, her recollections, rejected material included, her most secret aspirations, the dreams that she had forbidden herself to dream for some reason, that was where I had to sink my vampiric fangs.] The tone of Sangre, created by Marina’s diction, is wry and flippant, however, a far cry from the mood one might expect in a horror mode such as vampire fiction. The effect is perhaps all the more spine-chilling, though. We grow fond of this amusing and insightful young woman who has been courageous enough to break away from her family’s values in order to establish her independence and we admire her for the way in which she struggles not to fall out with them completely, combining some partially successful camouflaging of her lifestyle and willingness to visit them with attempts to defend herself in the face of her mother’s verbal onslaughts, caricaturing her humorously in her thoughts rather than hating her. We see the depth of her love for her family by the distress she paints – still with a light touch – following the road accident and come to understand her conflicted feelings as she wants both to reject her mother’s values and yet have her approval. As she admits to herself, while addressing her mother mentally: “pensé en lo difícil que me resultaría hacerme mayor sin haber conseguido nunca tu aprobación” (195) [I thought about how difficult it would be for me to grow up without having ever won your approval]. Furthermore, since the accident occurs halfway through the novel, by the time it does, we know Marina well and can imagine the claustrophobic nightmare of having this particular mother inside this particular daughter’s thoughts even though it is depicted somewhat humorously. In other words, it is the reader who adds the horror component rather than the text imposing it and this makes it all the more powerful. Abad has used the vampiric premise of Sangre to target several inter-­ related clusters of ambivalence that strike a chord so loudly that they drown out and make us forget or disregard the absurdities of the plot. These revolve around contradictory feelings of both love and exasperation towards our family, our parents, and our mothers in particular; to that extent the novel adds to the evidence for characterizing the Spanish vampire genre as more about family relations, blood relations in that sense, than about transgressive sexual desire. Through Marina, Abad taps into the psychological pressures associated with negotiating parental values that we do not share;

Mercedes Abad  77 the desire to break away and freely choose our own ethical framework and then live according to that but also to make our parents (and in this novel, especially our mother) proud of us. Marina reflects upon this repeatedly, but it reaches its climax towards the end when she both wants her own life back but remains emotionally attached to the experience of living her mother’s childhood: Revivir parte de la biografía de mi madre desde el palco de honor de su propio pellejo era sin lugar a dudas lo más emocionante que me había ocurrido en la vida. Pero … mi propia vida … me aguardaba en alguna parte y eso era algo a lo que no estaba dispuesta a renunciar por nada ni nadie. Por más que aquella disparatada aventura sin parangón posible ejerciera sobre mí una irresistible atracción. (189) [To relive part of my mother’s biography sitting in the royal box of her own skin was undoubtedly the most exciting thing that had happened to me in my life. But my own life was waiting for me somewhere and that was something I wasn’t willing to give up for anything or anyone, no matter how much that crazy and totally unparalleled adventure exercised an irresistible attraction over me.] Alongside this is the equally paradoxical respect we may feel for the ways in which our family is willing to be different from the cultural norm, undercut by the yearning simply to fit in. For Marina, being a rebel in her teens and beyond is about wanting to be like the majority rather than fighting to be different. For example, she describes her discomfiture at meeting the religious duty to explain its laws to others: Lo peor … no era no poder comer morcilla … . Lo peor era tener que dar continuamente explicaciones por esto o lo otro. … Cuando miro mi infancia, la veo asfixiada por las constantes justificaciones que cualquier gesto requería. (49) [The worst thing wasn’t not to be able to eat black pudding. The worst thing was having to keep continually explaining this or that. When I look back at my childhood, I see it as having been suffocated by the constant justifications that every move required.] And, for female readers especially, but not exclusively, Sangre explores the tensions in mother-daughter relations, including daughters’ contradictory wishes to be both like and unlike their mothers; their wish to understand who their mother is as a person and how she came to be so rather than seeing her just in terms of her maternal function, combined with a sense

78  Text-By-Text Analysis of the impossibility to get beyond her identity as mother. Marina realizes that these questions are as troubling from a mother’s perspective as from a daughter’s: Si en el mundo hubiera existido un ápice de justicia poética y de coherencia, ésa [the mother’s] habría sido mi infancia. Y así como Victoriña [the mother’s name in the diminutive form by which she was known as a child] se me aparecía como mi proyección infantil, así era yo (me refiero a mi vida adulta) el destino lógico de una criatura como ella. … Aquella niña díscola [no] tenía la más remota semejanza con la adulta callada o vocingleramente entregada al sacrificio que yo conocía. … De cualquier forma, sospecho que su yo infantil no la habría perturbado ni la mitad de no haber estado yo allí, incómodo testigo de aquel desajuste entre yoes. (168) [If there had been an ounce of poetic justice and coherence in the world, that [my mother’s] would have been my childhood. And just as Victoriña [the mother’s name in the diminutive form by which she was known as a child] seemed like a childhood projection of me, so I (meaning my adult life) was the logical destiny of a child like her. That unruly little girl bore not the slightest resemblance to the silent or vociferously self-sacrificing adult woman I knew. In any event, I suspect that her childhood self wouldn’t have upset her half as much if I hadn’t been present, an uncomfortable witness to that mismatch between selves.] Most powerful of all in this novel, is the inescapability of the mother’s omnipresence inside her offspring, with particular emphasis in the Gothic unsurprisingly being on the dark side of that: not the comfort that that can bring when we feel lost or frightened, but the uncanny experience of mother resembling an invasive and judgemental inner voice or haunting doppelgänger. 3 To that extent, it fits with the understanding of Gothic novels, including vampire ones, as explorations of anxieties too diffuse, too distressing or too difficult for other reasons to conceptualize in a realist mode. In conclusion, Sangre utilizes the underlying motif of vampire fiction by developing the implications ad absurdam of the Biblical statement that blood is life (Leviticus 17: 10–14) if it is understood literally rather than symbolically. It combines this with an application of religious otherness to the Spanish context, so that Roman Catholicism is the unglamorous, banal religion of “normal” people and the Spondalarians become the ones with the “other” belief system whose members are marginalized but who are the only ones who understand the threat of becoming a vampire. As with Roman Catholicism in classic Anglophone vampire fiction, scorning the beliefs of the religious outsiders here turns out to be rationalist arrogance

Mercedes Abad  79 for which a very high price will be paid, as Marina bitterly realizes too late (144–45). Unlike Anglophone classics, however, the anxieties explored via vampirism exclude those related to sexual transgression or promiscuity: Marina makes no secret of hers and it is notably not this which gets her into trouble. Instead, Sangre deploys the vampire paradigm to return to the apparently undead topic in Spain of blood standing for family relations and here especially, love-hate feelings between daughters and ­mothers. ­A lthough this is of course a universal issue, in its Spanish treatment here, the antique obsession with public reputation expressed via limpieza de s­ angre gives it a unique spin, as we shall see in Part II.

Notes 1 See, for example, Pérez’s review of the novel. Unfortunately, this gives a misleading plot summary, stating incorrectly that Marina overrules her mother and the latter is given a blood transfusion. No mention of Marina’s blood-drinking or the vampiric content arising from this is acknowledged. 2 This technique has not been invented by the novelist. For a factual description of the technique involved, see, for example, Kiran Chand, Bala Subramanya, and Venkateswara Rao, “Management of patients”, especially the sub-section entitled “Intra and post-operative cell salvage: (Cell saver)” (www.ncbi.nlm., accessed 29 October 2017). 3 Abad evidences her interest in mother-daughter relations elsewhere too. See, for example, her review of Fleurs de sang (dir. Alain Tanner y ­Myriam Mézières, 2002), especially the opening of the piece, before she discusses the film itself, where she writes about literary depictions of mothers. (“Madres e hijas”, El País, 21 July 2003.­catalunya/1058749646_850215.html, accessed 29 October 2017).

11 Javier García Sánchez, Ella, Drácula: Erzsébet Báthory [Her, Dracula: Erzsébet Báthory] (2005)

The Author Javier García Sánchez (born in Barcelona in 1955) is a well-known and respected novelist in Spain. He has more than twenty novels to his name, some prizewinning, and of which at least two others can be classified as historical fiction, including Robespierre (2012), another exploration of a person responsible for a great deal of bloodshed. Los otros (1998) [The Others] was adapted for the cinema, becoming Nos miran (2002, dir. ­Norberto López) [They’re Watching Us]. As well as listing literary giants like Proust amongst his favourite writers, he also professes to be a fan of Stephen King.1

Plot Summary This is a full-length historical novel framed and focalized by an ageing Franciscan friar called János Pirgist who grew up in one of Báthory’s castles because his mother was a servant there. This character seems to be a fictional creation, although the mother appears by name in at least one other version of Báthory’s life. 2 Grammatically, the novel is in the third person, but the perspective is that of János. As well as recording his own childhood memories, he has also researched the life of the title character (1560–1614) and so is able to tell a story in much of which he does not feature and of which he was not a first-hand witness. This takes us from the protagonist’s girlhood and early marriage to Ferenc Nádasdy, who died young, leaving her a wealthy and autonomous widow in 1604, through her crescendo of violent torture and murder of, first, peasant-girls and, finally, the minor nobility, leading to her eventual trial and sentence to be immured in one of her castles, where she lasted an astonishing four years before dying herself. As well as deriving sadistic sexual pleasure from her crimes, the novel presents Báthory’s blood-lust as a quest for eternal youth based on the belief that the blood of others on her skin rejuvenates it, and it includes in the narrative her legendary bathing in the blood of her victims as well as drinking it.

Javier García Sánchez  81 In the course of her story, we meet several important secondary characters: her aunt Klara, who started her on her terrifying spiral into the depths of evil; the witch Darvulia, who taught her which plants were poisonous and hallucinatory; and her faithful servants and confederates, the hunchbacked man Ficzkó, and the females Jó Ilona, and Dorkó. The end of the novel is followed by a statement that the novel is based upon characters and events that are “absolutamente reales” (385) [absolutely real], and there is then quite an extensive bibliography (39 items) of academic source material on Báthory.

Analysis3 However ghastly the plot, the diction of Ella is lyrical, imagistic, and meditative, containing many passages of aesthetically pleasing description between the vivid horrors of the events at its core.4 Pirgist has a habit of going for long walks, a strategy that helps him manage his traumatic memories and what he has found out about Báthory. When he is out walking, he can appreciate, for example: ese tallo que se yergue entre pedruscos y hielo, desafiante, como homenaje a lo vivo que resiste. El súbito vuelo de un pájaro, que se eleva desde el oscuro follaje de la floresta … . La propia majestuosidad de las blancas, inacabables colinas, como un mar de espuma solidificada, que cuando aparece el sol llega a deslumbrarnos. (223) [that plant-stem standing tall and defiant between boulders and ice, as if in homage to all that is living, holding out. The sudden flight of a bird, rising out of the dark foliage of a leafy glade. The majesty of the endless, white hills themselves, like a sea of solidified foam which dazzles us when the sun comes out.] The language used to describe Báthory’s torture sessions contrasts sharply, being noticeably unembellished and stark. For example: Erzsébet mandaba, como era habitual, tenerlas maniatadas y sujetas a fuertes correajes. Golpes de fusta, de nuevo el atizador de la chimenea. Entonces les cortaban la piel entre los dedos de las manos o de los pies, cercenaban orejas y labios. (274–75) [Erzsébet ordered, as usual, the women to be kept tied up with thick straps, their hands bound. Lashes with the whip, the poker from the fire again. Then they would cut the skin between their fingers or toes, slice off ears and lips.]

82  Text-By-Text Analysis The resulting reading experience resembles a journey through a beautiful landscape but one where each turn in the road may reveal a different and suddenly ghastly view, which we contemplate in horror before moving past it to the next tract of pleasant scenery. By taking as his subject matter a story located at great temporal and spatial distance, García Sánchez is clearly not seeking a horror effect based on a threat of vampires roaming “our” streets or travelling “here” to attack us. However, the combination of two different authorial choices does produce an extremely chilling effect of another kind. First, there is the knowledge that Báthory is not a fictional character but really existed; the text works hard to give the impression that its contents are wholly proven, unexaggerated historical fact, and to that extent it may be read as a warning of the depths to which a real flesh-and-blood human being – one of us in that sense, as opposed to a fictional creation – can sink, implying that if it could happen then and there, it could happen here and now. In that regard, its lack of reliance on any supernatural element intensifies the horror: this, it is saying, is not fantasy, but alas reality, even if from long ago and far away. So, it stands as a reminder that Gothic subject matter, however fanciful on one level, is not unrelated to real-life horror, as Morgan has observed: Some … elements of macabre imagination … constituted a generic horror tradition long before the novels of gothic romance – an imagination informed by catastrophic pestilences, martyrdom, religious terror, sadistic criminality, public torture, and execution – never mind witchcraft, werewolf legend, and so on. 5 Indeed, one of the multiple factors fuelling folkloric belief in vampires has doubtless been the search for someone or something to blame for real-life horrors such as epidemics, unexplained deaths, and disappearances. Second, by focalizing the story through Pirgist, it may be read as a psychological study of a victim of untreated post-traumatic stress disorder, the pathos and horror magnified further by the fact that the trauma occurred when he was a mere child and, depending on a given reader’s personal circumstances and identity, one may also identify with his mother, trying in vain to protect her little boy from knowledge of the events happening around the two of them and, most of all, from coming to harm himself. Finally, the idea that it is important to record the fate of those without the political power or influence to find their way into official historical records is central to Pirgist’s justification for telling his story and trumps his own therapeutic needs: Por ellas, sólo por esas vírgenes cuyas vidas fueron destrozadas en secreto y que nunca podrán ser calificadas oficialmente de santas,

Javier García Sánchez  83 ni siquiera de mártires, pues la mayoría carecieron de todo para la posteridad, incluso de nombre, y casi todas de rostro, ha de contar su secreto. (319) [For the sake of those virgins, those whose lives were destroyed in secret and who cannot ever be classified officially as saints or even martyrs, since the majority lacked everything posterity needs, including a name and, in almost all cases, a face, for their sake he must tell his secret.] This must have read almost like an allegory in 2005, for the question was very much the order of the day at the time, when novels about the Spanish Civil War were coming out in large numbers and the importance of getting stories that had been suppressed now told at last was being proclaimed loudly in all quarters. For Spanish readers then, not only would Pirgist’s rationale for publication have struck a chord, but also the publication of Ella could have seemed paradoxically like a welcome escape from the many accounts of horror at home, in living memory, rolling off the printing presses. Furthermore, as I have argued elsewhere, the principal poetic licence that García Sánchez has given himself versus the historical records of Báthory’s life and crimes, add up to sharpen her outline as a truly evil Gothic villain, with clear-cut recognizable credentials and few if any mitigating factors.6 Again, this may be identified as offering relief from the messy complexities of the Civil War, contradictory versions of events and competing accounts of human suffering.7 To that extent, the novel may be read as performing the time-honoured function of the Gothic of enabling readers to confront what may be too painful and distressing to dwell upon directly, by removing it ostensibly to what feels like a safe distance.

Notes 1 See comment 11 in the digital interview, “Entrevista con Javier García Sánchez”, El País, 27 November 2006 actualidad/1164625200_1164627661.html (accessed 5 August 2017). 2 Penrose, Bloody Countess, 92. János is presented as a “sacerdote de la orden de los franciscanos” (33), literally a “priest of the Franciscan order”, but I am calling him a friar since this is the term used by the religious order. For more on the Franciscan Order, see their website: (accessed 24 July 2017). The website has a Spanish as well as an English language version; what are referred to as friars in English are called “hermanos” (brothers) in Spanish there. 3 For further analysis of this text, see Lee Six, Gothic Terrors, 135–46. 4 My analysis here diverges sharply from the opinion of Goñi, who reviewed the novel negatively in El País when it first came out. He criticizes what he judges an excessively cold treatment of the central subject matter; he finds the

84  Text-By-Text Analysis lyrical passages clichéd and is put off by the use of obscure vocabulary, also claiming that the author has researched his topic too thoroughly, whatever that may mean (“Alas de mariposa”, El País, 12 March 2009, https://elpais. com/­diario/2005/03/12/babelia/1110588618_850215.html (accessed 5 A ­ ugust 2017)). 5 Morgan, Biology of Horror, 41 (my italics). 6 Lee Six, Gothic Terrors, 145–46. 7 The bibliography on texts concerning the recuperation of historical memory of the Civil War is enormous and beyond the scope of the present monograph. By way of just one example, however, of the types of contested issues around human suffering and how it is presented, see Labanyi, “Historias de víctimas”.

12 Clara Tahoces, Gothika (2008)

The Author Clara Tahoces, a Madrilenian who does not disclose her date of birth, is a graphologist and a television presenter as well as the author of twelve books, of which only some are supernatural fiction, the rest dealing with legends and folklore, the interpretation of dreams, and a range of occult or occult-related topics.

Plot Summary The protagonist of this full-length novel is a vampire called Analisa (Ana for short) and the plot tracks her from her initial transformation by evil aunt Emersinda in eighteenth-century Andalusia until her destruction in Madrid in the present day. The structure alternates between narrating her existence chronologically and events in the present day. As with many fictional biographies more generally, the reader is intrigued by the gulf between Analisa’s portrayal then and now, for she is cruel and ruthless in the present but more sympathetic in the past, so one reads on in hopes of discovering how, when, and why she changed in this way. This structure also enables Tahoces to offer the period feel that some vampire fiction fans presumably seek as well as the frisson arising from the recognizable lives of the characters in the present day encountering a vampire. In the period sections of the novel, we have the olden-days atmosphere of the isolated house with the wealthy but duplicitous old lady and her servant, the clues that Emersinda is a vampire, which the reader understands but Analisa does not until too late; candles blowing out at the worst moment, thunderstorms, and so on. In the present, we have Darío, a Goth and social misfit, who will eventually destroy Analisa; Violeta, her acolyte and slave until she realizes the error of her idolatry too late to escape but for Darío’s eleventh-hour rescue; Alejo, a would-be novelist scraping a living in a call centre, who gets mixed up in events because he has persuaded Darío to let him tag along to Goth night-clubs so he can research a novel he plans to set in that world; and Silvia, Alejo’s girlfriend and Darío’s sister, who falls victim to Analisa.

86  Text-By-Text Analysis The key departure from tradition, which drives the plot – more or less plausibly, depending on one’s point of view – is that Analisa is able to have sex with non-vampires, fall pregnant and give birth, as a result of which she has two children in the course of the novel. The first, a girl, is born a vampire through and through in the nineteenth century, and it is ­A nalisa’s grief and anger at the destruction of this child which definitively turns her into the cruel and vengeful vampire she has become. The second baby, a  boy, fathered by Alejo, is born human right at the end of the novel, providing a  somewhat saccharin denouement as Alejo is able to raise him, giving meaning to his life at last, whilst Analisa has been destroyed. In a somewhat predictable final twist, it emerges that Emersinda has not been destroyed as we were led to believe, and was covertly driving events in a Machiavellian manner all along, leaving scope for a sequel perhaps, or at least a last frisson for the reader.

Analysis Of all the texts discussed in the present volume, this is the one that deploys most overtly and emphatically a drug-addiction metaphor for vampirism, a perhaps unsurprising finding given that Spain was unusual at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in that intravenous drug abuse was spreading it more than sex.1 Whilst some of our other texts, such as Sastre’s, discussed above, do not preclude metaphors of addiction, it is only here that the idea is developed consistently, for it is used to explicate Violeta’s dependence on Analisa: Darle [Analisa a Violeta] a probar su sangre inmortal le había generado una constante sensación de avidez …; se pasaba el día ansiando que Ana le proporcionara otro soplo de eternidad. … De vez en cuando la no-muerta le suministraba un poco más de su sangre, sólo un par de gotas, pero tan concentradas que continuaban obrando el efecto deseado de dependencia entre esclava y ama. Violeta era un ser dependiente, una adicta a Ana. … La vampira acababa de darle a beber un par de gotas de su sangre. Violeta estaba sentada en la alfombra, … sintiendo aquel éxtasis ponzoñoso, inigualable a nada que hubiera conocido con anterioridad. (116–17) [Analisa’s giving of her immortal blood to Violeta to taste had generated a constant feeling of greed for it; she spent the day yearning for Ana to accord her another snatch of eternity. From time to time, the undead Ana would dole out a little more of her blood, just a couple of drops, but so concentrated that they continued to have the desired effect of dependency between slave and mistress. Violeta was a dependent being, an Ana addict.

Clara Tahoces  87 The vampire had just given her a couple of drops of her blood to drink. Violeta was sitting on the carpet feeling that poisonous ecstasy, unrivalled by anything she had known before.] Analisa can manipulate Violeta by denying her blood, now that she is an addict. “No podía existir peor castigo que aquél” [there could exist no greater punishment than that], we are told; a week of denial leaves Violeta “víctima de los síntomas típicos de un síndrome de abstinencia” [a victim of typical withdrawal symptoms], which include “temblores, sudores fríos y dolores musculares. Era incapaz de pensar en nada que no fuera su sangre inmortal” (all 197–98) [tremors, cold sweats, and aching muscles. She was incapable of thinking about anything except her immortal blood]. Despite this extended exploitation of drug dependency anxiety and numerous concomitant fears, Tahoces does not develop her metaphor in the direction of contagion horror, for Violeta is not destined to become a vampire herself. In this novel, we are told that vampires can freely choose whether to convert their human victims into vampires or simply kill them; Emersinda chose conversion for her own nefarious ends when she preyed on Analisa, but Analisa only creates one vampire in the course of the novel and that is her first child, a vampire by heredity and not a choice exercised by her mother: indeed, she tries and fails to terminate her pregnancy and has no control over whether the offspring will inherit her mother’s vampire nature or her father’s human one. 2 The plot motif of a revenant vampire who can reproduce naturally like a human being – problematic in itself for a traditionalist reader – obliges the author to take some other liberties with the conventions of what vampires can and cannot do, are and are not. Notably, the born vampire-baby is characterized as a purer type than a former human being as she has no vestiges or memories of human scruples to overcome, seemingly creating twin tracks for vampires: the revenants and the inborn ones. But are the latter undead? And will they also be fertile if they reach adulthood? It would seem so, as puberty is mentioned in regard to Analisa’s daughter. And will their offspring be a third type as they are born of a born vampire? As these questions indicate, the vampire baby is not frozen at the age of becoming a vampire (newborn in her case), but grows up at a human rate, the only difference being that she needs to be fed on blood and, when she is old enough, taught to hunt. What are the implications of this for the stated immortality of vampires? Had she not been destroyed in her teens, would this character have stopped ageing at some point? Or is the novel positing that vampires do age, but just do not die? If so, how come Analisa apparently remains beautiful and seductive two centuries after she was turned into a vampire by Emersinda? Whilst it is possible to read some or all of these unanswered questions as flaws, it must be acknowledged that in the Spanish context, the result enables several circles to be squared: Tahoces pays homage to the transnational

88  Text-By-Text Analysis vampire genre, not only through intertextual references, but also by respecting several features of it: she includes the permeability of the dreamlife of future victims by the vampires that will later attack them; she makes Analisa a revenant vampire who becomes one through being attacked by another vampire; sunlight is somewhat harmful to her, if not lethal, and a stake through the heart destroys her in the end (though other anti-­vampire measures are ineffective, crucifixes, for example; or are not mentioned, such as garlic). At the same time, the motif of its being possible to be born a vampire gestures at Spanish witch beliefs and her emphasis on the power of the eyes of the vampires also fits here. Finally, the novel crosses its own generic boundaries to explore anxieties and draw on themes we recognize from other types of horror fiction, widening its potential appeal beyond the vampire fiction fan base. For example, the depiction of Analisa’s pregnancy and her first child echoes Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby (1967); the positive relationship of reciprocal acceptance that she maintains with a mentally handicapped young man evokes Frankenstein’s monster’s with the blind old Mr De Lacey. Finally, there is the mystery of the title of the novel: Gothika is not a Spanish word (Spanish for ‘gothic’ is gótico; gótica in its feminine form) and the word is not used in the text of the novel at all; moreover, since the action is wholly set in Spain, Tahoces does not appear to be trying to appeal to Spanish readers who want vampire fiction to be exotic and foreign, so what is it meant to denote? Is it a reference to the 2003 film of the same title (dir. Matthieu Kassovitz)? The film features ghosts and possession and Analisa indeed conceptualizes her own vampiric state as being inhabited or possessed by a beast who demands to be pacified by blood, offering a certain degree of overlap. That notion of an inner beast not only strikes a chord with narratives of possession such as that of the film; it also echoes no less a Gothic classic than Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. In similar fashion to both the film Gothika and Stevenson’s story, this device entitles the reader to feel pity for the Jekyll aspect of Analisa, in thrall to and unable to control the Hyde aspect. Gothika, then, has its flaws, but remains an interesting example of ­Spanish vampire fiction for several reasons, as we shall explore further in Part II: the hereditary dimension and family focus, its equivocations around transmission by non-hereditary means, the overlap with folklore, and the treatment of Catholicism as an irrelevance.

Notes 1 Piot and Caraël, Epidemia del sida, 11. 2 This will be discussed further in Part II.

13 Santiago Exímeno, “Al caer la noche” [At Nightfall] (2008)1

The Author Santiago Exímeno (born in 1973 in Madrid) is a well-established and respected writer within the field of horror fantasy. Although he has published novels and poetry as well as interactive and graphic fiction, he is best known for his short stories and flash fiction (microrrelatos in Spanish).

Plot Summary This short story is set in an unnamed mountainous village in what we assume to be Spain at an unspecified point in time with no markers of modernity such as telephones or computers nor any that fix it in a bygone age, such as candlelight. The characters are a working-class family of mother, Lidia, father, Luis, and their little girl, Laura. The plot is set in motion by the arrival after dark of a dishevelled stranger called Fernando who has come, he says, to “hacer la talla” (99) [to do the carving or to carve the wooden sculpture]. The reader at this point does not know what this means, but the parents clearly do and are hospitable towards him though clearly not overjoyed. The plot develops slowly and subtly as the reader pieces together what it is all about. Eventually, it becomes apparent that a second child of the family, a little boy named Lorenzo, is a revenant vampire and Fernando has come to destroy him, which in the poetic logic of this story involves making an image of him in sacred wood while reciting incantations in an obscure language and then, when he visits the house and asks to be invited to enter, Fernando lets him in and following a struggle, confronts him with the carving and drives a stake through him, which reduces both the vampire and the carving to ashes. Fernando then slips away, leaving the family to its private grief mixed with relief. We also learn in the course of the story that there are many vampires needing to be destroyed and that those, like Fernando, who can do this are a special caste of people who are in short supply. There is, moreover, an ­ever-diminishing stock of sacred wood, such that Fernando is convinced that he and others like him are fighting a losing battle and that the vampires are soon going to overrun and defeat humans.

90  Text-By-Text Analysis

Analysis “Al caer la noche” focuses on one family’s tragedy, but this is placed within a bigger picture whereby the whole of society is threatened by vampires. It offers an interesting combination of following tradition in some respects – the vampire only roams after dark, has to be invited to enter and is a revenant with long fangs, for example – but Christian iconography is conspicuous by its absence: crucifixes are not mentioned, and there is no reference to Lorenzo or vampires in general being damned souls, nor closure and consolation offered by any suggestion that he can go to heaven after he has been staked. All of this is replaced by the idea of the carving in sacred wood, which turns out to mean pine from the trunk of a tree whose bark has been burned but whose inner core of wood survived. Where types of wood are specified in vampire stories, pine is not one of the ones accorded special powers such as rowan, ash, or hawthorn; magical properties including warding off evil – if not vampires specifically – are, however, attributed to the pine, and so this seems to be one example of several in this story of the creative intertwining of witchcraft lore with Spanish vampire fiction. 2 Another is the original twist that Exímeno gives to the idea of the lack of mirror image or shadow of a vampire: here it is the sight of his own image, carved in wood, which repulses the vampire and simultaneously evokes (loosely) the use of dolls, poppets, or effigies in voodoo and witchcraft. The incantations in an obscure language may or may not be Christian prayers in Latin. All in all and taken together with the existence of a special caste of people who have the arcane knowledge enabling them to destroy vampires, the story seems to approach notions around witchcraft and black versus white magic and to that extent inhabits terrain similar to de la Rosa’s in Vampiro, discussed below, or Valle-Inclán’s recourse to the saludadora and her incantations in “Beatriz” at the beginning of the twentieth century, discussed above. 3 Given the context in which Exímeno was writing, around the time of the 2008 crash, we should not be surprised perhaps by the pessimistic premise of the story that the human world’s days are numbered. We note that the central family is struggling to make ends meet and that Fernando is ragged and dishevelled, but recalls bygone days when men like him were highly paid.4 Lorenzo is described as formerly a child and formerly Lidia and Luis’s son (108 and 109, respectively). His breath stinks, he has long dirty nails, enormous fangs, and is covered in mud and blood (108–09). All of this adds up to minimizing any pathos he might evince and completely eliminates the possibility of vampires appearing alluring or attractive. How did Lorenzo become one? We are not told. Did he do something very bad, as his sister surmises in her attempts to square her parents’ telling her that he is dead with her own encounters with him returning after

Santiago Exímeno  91 dark? If so, was that something inviting another vampire into the house? At any event, that seems to be the danger that the parents and Fernando fear with Laura: that she will let her brother in. As the father explains to Fernando when he first arrives: “Necesitamos la talla lo más pronto que pueda. Ha estado por aquí hace unos días. Y nos preocupa Laura” (100) [We need the carving as soon as you can. He was round here a few days ago. And we’re worried about Laura.] The implication of this would seem to be that children are a family’s and society’s weak-point: “Los niños pequeños siempre causan problemas, le decía [a Fernando] su maestro. Y en gran medida tenía razón, pues muchas de sus tallas tenían forma de niño” (106). [Small children always cause problems, Fernando’s teacher used to say [to him]. And for the most part he was right, for many of his carvings were of children.] Given the very young age of both Laura and Lorenzo – she is not yet at school, apparently, and he is described as looking barely six years old – and that they are the characters personifying the risk of the family’s downfall, Exímeno may be suggesting that danger comes from naïveté and misplaced trust, an idea with a long pedigree in Gothic fiction, including vampire stories. The key idea of this story, however, is that the vampire is presented as a member of the family and a family problem, not a dangerous foreigner, not of a different race or religion, even though in his vampiric state Lorenzo is locked out and disowned by the use of the pluperfect tense: now he “había sido el hijo de Lidia y Luis” (109) [had been Lidia and Luis’s son]. ­Fernando’s thought, as he walks away at the very end of the story, is “Todo está en la sangre” (109) [It’s all in the blood], leaving the reader to ponder upon the meaning of “all” in this context – honour and dishonour; good and evil; life and death? – and upon the connotations of “blood” here – not only the liquid the vampire drinks but family and nation too, adding to the evidence of the preponderance of this usage of the vampire paradigm in the Spanish corpus.

Notes 1 First published in Santiago Exímeno, Bebés jugando con cuchillos (Granada: Ajec, 2008), republished in La sangre es vida. Page references will refer to La sangre es vida. 2 html and­plantas (both accessed 20 September 2017). 3 The use of motifs from folklore and the implications of the presence or absence of Christian or other religious or pseudo-religious content in Spanish vampire fiction will be analysed comparatively in Part II. 4 Bebés jugando con cuchillos was published on 9 December 2008. Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy on 8 September, the Wall Street stock market crashed on the 29th, followed by global stock markets collapsing on 6 ­October, but there had been several alarming developments earlier in the year, dating

92  Text-By-Text Analysis from January (Amadeo, “2008 Financial Crisis Timeline”, The Balance, 14 June 2018, accessed 1 August 2018.) In Spain, the Zapatero Government took office on 8  April 2008 and one week later was already introducing measures to try to boost the economy. There were notable bankruptcies in Spain already in July ­(Elguea, “Noticias de 2008”, 20 Minutos, 31 December 2008 www.­­ noticia/437212/0/noticias/espana/2008/, accessed 1 August 2018).

14 David Jasso, “Víctimas inocentes” [Innocent Victims] (2009)1

The Author David Jasso (born in 1961 in Zaragoza) is one of the founding members of the Spanish horror fiction collective Nocte, created to raise the profile and enhance the standing of Spanish writers working in this genre. 2 He has written numerous short stories published in magazines and anthologies as well as five sole-authored novels and one co-authored one. He has been awarded several literary prizes within the field of horror and what are considered related areas by the Spanish literary and publishing establishment. “Víctimas inocentes” was awarded one such, the 2010 Ignotus Prize for a Spanish story in the field of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. 3 He has also worked in the world of television and cinema, which he explains led him to the idea of making filmed trailers for books; examples can be seen on YouTube and attest to an interesting convergence of narrative media.4

Plot Summary This short story is set in an unnamed small community, which one assumes to be in Spain. The narrator is a young husband, married to a woman called Luz, meaning “light” as well as being a Spanish forename, and with a two-month old baby boy called Dani. The world in which they live is at war with vampires, which they call the “oscuros” [dark ones], so that humans are only surviving by deploying the classic vampire repellents, such as wearing crucifixes, painting crosses on their doors, and not venturing out after dark, though we are told the vampires have destroyed all the garlic plantations, eliminating that way of warding them off. The plot recounts the arrival of a man called Eloy, who persuades the couple to let him in and offer him overnight sanctuary; he claims to be travelling the country to build up a resistance force against the vampires. It transpires, however, that he is a traitor, working for the enemy and, having used sleight of hand to remove the baby’s crucifix, he proceeds to invite the vampire hordes across the threshold that night, whereupon they

94  Text-By-Text Analysis vampirize little Dani but do not touch Luz or the narrator, except to injure the latter seriously as he tries to defend his family. The story recounts the parents’ dilemma: the baby is crying for blood – no longer milk – and they know they should exterminate him, but cannot bring themselves to do so. The denouement reveals that they have preferred to become vampires themselves than to destroy Dani and the narrator professes to be happy with that decision.

Analysis As even this brief summary shows, “Víctimas inocentes” is as interesting for what the vampires do not represent as for what they do: transgressive sexuality is conspicuous by its absence despite ample opportunity to introduce it. Eloy is uninterested in sexual contact with Luz or the narrator just as much as they are with him; when the oscuros stream in and rampage around the house they make no attempt to attack either of the young adults even as a bonus that might not have been their primary objective and even though they could have overwhelmed either or both of them easily due to strength of numbers and the husband’s incapacitating injury. Their targeting of the baby is given no sexual connotations, being presented purely as a strategic move in their plan to take over the world. Also noticeably absent is any description of how the oscuros look, precluding making them frighteningly repulsive just as much as frighteningly beautiful or any of the usual combinations of the two. The only clue in this regard is half a sentence of description of the vampirized baby, who now has blackened skin and protruding veins, we learn. So, if the story is not about desire or sexuality and the dangers they may entail, which anxieties does it exploit and explore? The answer arguably hinges on how male characters respond to the demands of culturally constructed ideals of masculinity beyond considerations of sexual prowess. To that extent, it follows in transnational Gothic tradition, as Cyndy ­Hendershot has convincingly argued: “The Gothic continually reveals the gulf between the actual male subject and the myth of masculinity.”5 If this can turn upon many different measures of manhood, here Jasso focuses upon the narrating husband and father’s reluctance to shoulder the responsibility for making the right moral choice and carrying it through despite the emotional torture entailed. At first, he appears to be playing the classic masculine part of heroically putting doing the right thing above his own feelings, whilst Luz performs the classic feminine role of letting mother-love trump morality. Thus, when she admits that she is so distressed by the vampiric baby’s hungry crying that she has considered feeding him the blood he wants, the narrator takes the moral high ground, saying, “No, no podemos hacerlo” [No, we can’t do that]; and, when she begs, he keeps shaking his head, adding “Tenemos que matarlo” (both 94) [We have to kill him]. However, this masculine resolve expressed in the first-person plural

David Jasso  95 turns out to mean that this is what he wants her to do, rather than have to do it himself: “–Solo tienes que abrir la cortina a dejar que entre el sol –digo con tono cansado. No quiero hacerlo, por Dios, no quiero hacerlo. Además estoy gravemente herido. Tendría que hacerlo ella” (94) [“You only have to open the curtain and let the sun in”, I say in a tired voice. I won’t do it, for God’s sake, I won’t do it. Besides, I’m seriously injured. She’s the one who ought to do it]. At this point, the narrator’s claim to masculinity of a traditional kind is crumbling fast: the reader can see that the injury is not the real reason for telling Luz to commit infanticide, since she can easily carry the baby downstairs to him and indeed, will very soon do just that, bringing matters to a head for the narrator. It is his inability to bring himself to stake the baby when she does, following hers to let the sun kill him upstairs – light (luz) refusing to perform its function of defeating darkness? – as he has told her to do, which precipitates the denouement: the father prefers to let his baby son bite him than to do the right – read manly – thing and override his personal feelings for the sake of the greater good. This is the reverse of the paradigmatic moment when Arthur stakes his beloved Lucy in Stoker’s Dracula. Is Jasso suggesting that a softening of human masculinity in the century between his story and Stoker’s is going to bring about the downfall of what we construe as “our” world and values, overrun by some kind of morally bankrupt darkness? Coming from the culture whose language has given English the loan-word machismo, perhaps we should not be surprised that anxieties around masculinity, though a transnational feature of the Gothic, as Hendershot’s work shows, should be one of the areas addressed repeatedly by Spanish producers of vampire fiction.6 It is noticeable that even though lip-service is paid to the tradition of vampires proceeding by consent via the motif of the need to be invited to enter, the oscuros side-step this through Eloy’s treachery. Dani is a helpless baby who cannot exercise agency or even subconsciously be compliant. The story, then, is about the innocent being tricked and betrayed by one of their own and then emotionally blackmailed into consenting to join a dark force that is taking over the world. In that sense, “Víctimas inocentes” rehearses the problematization of consent by contextualizing it to show that Luz and her husband’s agency is fatally compromised by love. The trickery and treachery are not, however, limited to Eloy’s vis-à-vis Luz and the narrator, for it is only when we reach the end of the story that we realize that the storyteller has been narrating from the position and identity of a vampire who is happy to be one. That means that he has tricked and betrayed the reader by presenting the oscuros as radically other and unequivocally an evil enemy versus the good, innocent, human, “us” characters, whereas now that it has become apparent that he and Luz are oscuros themselves, that seemingly clear dividing-line dissolves into meaninglessness. This seems to chime with the author’s claim that he does not know what the ending of a text will be when he starts writing and also that he likes to have unexpected twists in a storyline.7

96  Text-By-Text Analysis The key question posed by this story is for what or whom are the dark ones a metaphor as they successfully take over the human world by recruiting traitors – another symptom of masculinity in crisis? – and then converting rather than destroying the other side? However it came to be the way it is, the text as it stands resists facile metaphorical correspondences: these oscuros cannot simply be a cypher for, say, Islamists because these dark ones have to stand for a type of evil which utilizes love for its own strategic ends and recruits ordinary people conceptualized as “us” by means of it, people who are not the stuff of saints and martyrs, such that the enemy ranks are presumably full of others like this family or Eloy: the latter has been coerced into helping the oscuros as a means of physical survival and the former for the sake of emotional survival. Moreover, given that the narrator professes to be happy with his new identity, the illness metaphor is also eliminated: these oscuros cannot stand for HIV or syphilis carriers, in other words. To what dark moral hazard are “we” all in danger of capitulating in order not to lose those we love so much that we will have no doubts over the choice we made, albeit under duress and even though an outsider can easily see how dangerous this is for society generally? Perhaps the essence and power of “Víctimas inocentes” lies precisely in the way in which it invites us to reflect upon this question without offering obvious or easy answers.

Notes 1 First published in Revista Sable, 7: Especial Nocte (2009), 11–17 and republished in La sangre es vida. Page references will refer to La sangre es vida. 2 See his comments on this in the interview by Márquez, 52. 3 Information in this paragraph is culled from, www.­, and (accessed 10 July 2017). 4 See, for example, or com/watch?v=g7jMK2rNa0w (accessed 10 July 2017). 5 Hendershot, Animal Within, 4. 6 It is central to Botey’s “Viviendo con el tío Roy”, Puente Molins’s “Caries”, and Tamparillas’s “Sangre de mi sangre”, all discussed below, but also present less obviously in several other texts included in the present volume. 7 See interview by Castro, broadcast on 8 January 2009, which is to say around the time of writing “Víctimas inocentes”, although the interview is devoted to a new novel by Jasso. (accessed 10 July 2017).

15 Alfredo Álamo, “El hombre de la pala” [The Man with the Spade] (2010)

The Author Born in 1975 in Valencia, Alfredo Álamo is well known and respected in the niche world of fantasy and horror. He is one of the founding members of the Nocte collective, the association of Spanish writers of horror stories, but he has also published poetry, flash fiction, and produced screenplays for a prizewinning webcomic. He has two novels to his name so far plus one work of teen fiction.1

Plot Summary The protagonist of this story is an unsavoury character called Ismael, who works as a gardener in a cemetery and makes extra money by opening graves and stealing any valuables the deceased have been buried with. One day, he witnesses the funeral of a ten-year-old child called Anabel, blond and beautiful according to the mourners, who died of a mysterious wasting disease that doctors were powerless to treat. That night, he goes to open her freshly dug grave only to find it disturbed, the coffin broken open and completely empty. The following day, he finds a cemetery niche broken into and a body fearfully mutilated. He deduces that a grave-robber is responsible for both crimes; he is angry to have been beaten to it with Anabel and disgusted, considering body theft a far uglier crime than his own petty larceny. He is also worried that if the matter comes to light, his activities will have to be scaled back and he might even be wrongly accused, so he covers up for the criminal as best he can and decides to try to catch him/her after dark. Hidden in the cemetery in the middle of the night, he hears a noise and on following where it is coming from, he just makes out a figure scrabbling at a niche; he throws his spade at it and then discovers that it was none other than Anabel (she is wearing an identity bracelet), described in ghastly vampiric guise, now lying at his feet apparently re-killed. As he tries to run away in terror, however, he is accosted by his boss and while the man is questioning him, Anabel reappears and attacks this man ferociously, killing him. The denouement is that Ismael has been convicted of body-stealing,

98  Text-By-Text Analysis desecration of graves, and the murder of his boss and is about to be publicly hanged, his last wish being that he be buried extra deep, which makes him feel actually pleased to die since “estaría seguro bajo tierra, bien hondo, donde la niña no podría alcanzarle nunca” (23) [he would be safe underground, good and deep, where the little girl would never be able to get to him]. However, just as the trapdoor opens to execute him, he spots Anabel in the crowd brandishing his spade.

Analysis This story’s effect depends upon two elements that work well: at the level of plot, there is the twist that the unpalatable character turns out to be the victim and the evil vampire a beautiful little girl. At the level of mood, the cemetery setting and descriptive detail create a suitably macabre atmosphere reminiscent of classic Gothic texts: Anabel’s body, for example, is “todo manchado de sangre: el pelo, el camisón blanco, el rostro pálido y macilento” (20) [all blood-stained: her hair, her white nightdress, her pale, wan face]. There are a few problems, however: why is Ismael’s boss patrolling the cemetery in the middle of the night? Why is a vampire interested in attacking a corpse? If we resolve this by arguing that in the poetic logic of this particular story, vampires attack the dead as well as the living, then Ismael has seen this with his own eyes and so it is unclear why he feels relieved to be about to die. Does he really have faith that the authorities will carry out his last wish, to be buried extra deep and, even if he does, does he believe that this will be enough to protect him, at least until he sees that Anabel has his spade? Would we even label Anabel a vampire if this story did not appear in a collection of vampire stories? If Anabel is a revenant vampire because she has been attacked by a vampire herself beforehand, as the mysterious wasting illness that killed her implies, why is there no mention of Ismael’s boss becoming a vampire too? The chronological setting of the story seems to be in the early nineteenth century at the latest, since the method of Ismael’s execution, hanging, was replaced by the garrotte in Spain in 1832. Its geographical setting is left vague: all we know is that it is a small city. Direct speech between Ismael and the other two characters who work at the cemetery, his boss and the gravedigger, transcribes phonetically some features of Andalusian pronunciation, but these are also commonly heard from sloppy or uneducated speakers of Spanish and besides, Andalusians have migrated all over Spain (and the world) so this does not identify the location. The names of the characters are worth reflecting upon. Ismael (the ­Spanish version of Ishmael in English) is not a very common name, but remains a possible one for a normal Roman Catholic Spaniard, as there is a saint of that name. Records showing its popularity do not date back far enough to know its standing in the early nineteenth century, however. The character called Ismael in this story is presented implicitly as an ordinary

Alfredo Álamo  99 Catholic, as his reflex response when he panics as Anabel attacks, bearing her fangs, is to cross himself, denounce her as Satan and start reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Nevertheless, given the uncommonness of the name, it does inevitably recall the narrator of Melville’s Moby Dick, possibly suggesting an ironic contrast in that that Ishmael is the only man who escapes death by drowning in the novel and our Ismael thinks he is going to be the only one to escape Anabel by being buried too deeply for her to reach him, but that spade suggests otherwise in the closing words. Anabel is a more uncommon name than Ismael in Spanish. Those Catholics who are called this regard it as a fusion of Ana and Isabel and choose between the two for their patron saint. 2 Its rarity makes it a far from random or neutral choice for the name of a young girl in the early nineteenth century (at the most recent), buried in a Catholic cemetery, and so surely has to be a deliberate intertextual reference, most probably to Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee. This may just be a general evocation of Poe, to enhance the macabre atmosphere or, more specifically, serve to echo some of ­A nnabel Lee’s characteristics, such as premature death and her haunting of the surviving poetic voice, although if this is the case, again there is a bitter irony, since Poe’s Annabel is pathos-laden and her memory haunts as a beautiful, unforgettable nostalgia for lost love, whereas Álamo’s Anabel is rapidly revealed as evil, ferocious, and vindictive. Overall, whilst this story has its problems, it still serves as a useful ­example of contemporary Spanish vampire fiction, providing one more example of several features which will be assessed and discussed in Part II, namely: the absence of erotic content; the choice to portray a vampire, even in 2010, as wholly unsympathetic; the apparent perception on the part of many Spanish authors of this kind of fiction that their literary predecessors are Anglophones or at least, their belief that that is what their readers want and expect to find. Indeed, it is possible to use the author’s choice of names and of hanging as capital punishment to argue that we are expected to imagine its setting as the United States, in which case it need not date from the early nineteenth century, as hanging is still used in certain states. Then the dialect form of the dialogue would be imagined as a translator’s approximation to uneducated speech forms in American English. If that reading is preferred, then it joins the group of texts that present themselves as if they were translations from English, presumably because authors think that is what readers of this type of fiction prefer and consider part of the atmosphere.

Notes 1 (accessed 11 July 2018). 2 For information on the popularity of the name, see­nombreanabel-en-espana. See–7-anabel.htm for information on the saint’s day (both accessed 31 August 2017).

16 Elia Barceló, “La belle dame sans merci” (2010)

The Author Elia Barceló (born in 1957 in the Alicante area) is a recognized and successful writer, who has published across a wide spectrum, including journalism and novels for young adults, although she is best known for her work in genres that go beyond realism, such as science fiction, fantasy, and stories that utilize or suggest the supernatural one way or another. She is a proficient linguist and has pursued an academic career teaching Hispanic literature in Austria.

Plot Summary This short but thought-provoking narrative is full of tantalizing gaps and undecidables. The characters are never named and there are no other clues pointing to where or when it is set. It is narrated in cynical and, given the title of the story, suitably heartless-sounding diction by the eponymous character, a female, presumably revenant vampire who has seduced a forty-­year-old man – the latest in a long series, we gather – and ruined his marriage. The wife is the addressee of the text. The story recounts the vampire’s initial seduction of the man in a bar, the wife’s realization that he has changed, seems sick, and her assumption that he must be having an affair, along with related speculations: has he caught AIDS or are these cancer symptoms, for example? The wife has persuaded the husband to pass a message to the vampire arranging a confrontational meeting between the two women and is approaching the place of rendezvous at the time of narration. The vampire speculates over whether the woman will have the courage to try to destroy her by staking or decapitation, warns her off doing so as it would lead to her being judged insane and instead, tempts her to let herself be seduced too, for which it seems the vampire is offering to kill the husband and to team up with the now vampirized wife for all eternity.

Analysis Barceló selects and deploys to potent effect several staples of classic vampire fiction, creating a parodic caricature of the seductive female vamp(ire). The mention of staking and decapitation, for example, keeps afloat the

Elia Barceló  101 characterization of the protagonist as a supernatural vampire as well as – rather than merely as an image for – a femme fatale. Chief among these traditional inclusions, though, is that the vampire is able to invade the minds of her victims in a manner reminiscent of predecessors as iconic as Le Fanu’s Carmilla or Gautier’s Clarimonde and their incursions into their victims’ dreams. Thus, for example, this Belle Dame is aware that when she first encountered the husband in the bar, he dressed her up in his fantasy “con mono de cuero rojo, mitad dómina, mitad mujer fatal” (159) [in a red leather jumpsuit, half dominatrix, half femme fatale]. Later, she is able to follow the wife’s thoughts and feelings too and to communicate with her telepathically even though they have not yet met face to face. This not only means that the usual limitations of first-person narration do not apply because we have access to the inner lives of the other two characters and not just the narrator’s, but also that we recognize as a cornerstone of the story’s supernatural premise that the vampire both is and is not a creation of her victims’ imaginations and this goes some way towards accounting for the clichéd depiction: she is a personification of their stereotyped fantasies (for the husband) and their fears (the wife) as well as being – perhaps? – an independent character with agency. By her choice of title for the story, Barceló invites her readers to compare her characters to those appearing in Keats’s 1819 poem of the same name.1 The poetic voice there of course is the male victim’s (framed by the questioning of a concerned interlocutor who has apparently happened upon him) and so, like de Hoyos y Vinent’s Señorita Vampiro, we have no access to Keats’s Belle Dame’s motives, thoughts, or feelings but are confronted instead by her apparently irresistible seductive power, coming to understand that the present victim’s story is only one in a long line of similar others, when we read the tenth stanza: I saw pale kings and princes too, Pale warriors, death-pale were they all; They cried- “La Belle Dame sans Merci Hath thee in thrall!”– This much is also true of Señorita Vampiro, with her sequence of interchangeable cadaverous men. Closer to Barceló’s character than to de ­Hoyos’s, however, is that Keats’s Belle Dame exists more explicitly in a kind of undecidable limbo that is partly or wholly created by her victims’ imagination, as signalled by the ending of the poem which finds the poetic voice awaking alone “on the cold hill’s side”, leaving us to wonder whether his encounter with the Belle Dame was all a dream, but equally realizing that it matters little, for either way, he has been traumatized by the experience. Barceló, like de Burgos before her in her own take on the type, moves the paradigmatic encounter between a man and the personification of frightening seductiveness on to consider the collateral damage beyond the manvamp(ire) dyad. In La mujer fría, de Burgos gave us the suffering of Edma, the man’s abandoned girlfriend and Barceló does something very similar

102  Text-By-Text Analysis with her portrayal of the wife. In this twenty-first century iteration of the story, however, it is possible to imagine a new type of denouement, in which the two women walk away from the man together, joining forces instead of accepting their time-­honoured role as the rival poles of a good-woman/badwoman binary created by the male imagination. As Barceló’s Belle Dame puts her offer to the wife: “Si mañana encuentran tu cadáver, … será una muerte doble. Puedo arreglarlo. … Y entonces tú y yo. Tú y yo: bellas, jóvenes, eternas” (161–62) [If they find your dead body tomorrow, it will be a double death. I can arrange that. And then, you and me. You and me: beautiful, young, eternal]. Whereas de Burgos bestowed considerable pathos on her vampiric femme fatale, Blanca, in La mujer fría, by revealing her inner life and de Hoyos y Vinent provided no such insights, leaving his Señorita Vampiro to appear heartless but keeping open the possibility that this might be deceptive, Barceló gives access to the vampire’s psyche but utilizes it to confirm her pitilessness and cruelty, true to the type-casting of the figure. She also elides the classic feature of the vamp(ire) that is her seductive behaviour towards men with the lesbian heritage of Carmilla, when she moves her Belle Dame seamlessly and almost casually on from targeting the husband in the story to the wife. If she is demonstrably dangerous to them both individually and to their relationship, is the implication that this is a cautionary tale dramatizing the destructive potential of our inner lives, our fantasies just as much as our anxieties? Maybe, but it is equally possible to read the story as offering a pleasurable if transgressive escape, based on the abandonment of human ethics: the temptation dangled before the two human characters by the Belle Dame is to betray their moral code by joining the ranks of the likes of her, the same betrayal offered to and accepted by the parents in Jasso’s “Víctimas inocentes”, but even more transgressively here for there is no mitigation for it in “La belle dame”: pleasure for pleasure’s sake alone is what is on offer. The husband is “feliz, feliz de una manera que nadie imagina, porque me tiene a mí” (160) [profoundly happy, happy in a way nobody imagines, because he’s got me], says the Belle Dame, and the wife is being offered eternal life, youth, and beauty, as well as sisterly solidarity, for the Belle Dame addresses her as “mi hermana” (162) [my sister]. Unlike Jasso’s story, however, Barceló’s ends before we find out whether the wife will succumb and then profess to be happy like the narrator of “Víctimas inocentes” or take a more moral line, like the parents in Exímeno’s “Al caer la noche”, however painful that is personally. It is the torture of the temptation to choose pleasure over virtue and the questionable extent to which such dilemmas are self-generated, which form the powerful closing and lasting impression of the story.

Note 1 The poem is freely available online on many websites, but see, for example, (accessed 1 November 2017).

17 Nuria C. Botey, “Viviendo con el tío Roy” [Living with Uncle Roy] (2010)1

The Author Nuria C. Botey (born in 1977 in Madrid) is a successful, but not canonical Spanish author who has published popular gay fiction under a pseudonym (Pablo Castro) as well as many non-vampire horror stories and some flash fiction under her own name. She works as an academic in the field of social psychology alongside her creative writing career. She has her own website, with much more information about her writing and her opinions (www.­; particularly striking there is the overwhelming predominance of non-Spanish writers that she mentions as having inspired or influenced her.

Plot Summary Set in 2043, “Viviendo con el tío Roy” imagines a world in which cloning has all but replaced what are called “natural breeders” (in English) in the story, with babies regarded as an anti-social encumbrance; space has been colonized and people commute between European cities and space stations by “teletransport”. Lincoln, one of the protagonists, is an interstellar docker whose girlfriend, Amy, has fallen pregnant due to a freak failure of the sterilization she has undergone, in common with 90% of females of child-bearing age. This faces the couple with imminent homelessness, since they cannot afford to buy and no prospective landlords or flatmates will accept them with a baby. With Amy’s due date now only five weeks away, Lincoln’s mother suggests a solution: to go and live in Istanbul with Uncle Roy, who has a large house and will gladly accommodate them until the baby is big enough not to be considered a nuisance. Roy, however, is not a real uncle, but a vampire who was saved from persecution by Lincoln’s father many years earlier and who sealed a blood pact with him in gratitude. Lincoln himself regards his mother’s idea as unacceptably dangerous, not rating the pact sufficiently inviolable in Roy’s eyes and hence considering it too risky to leave Amy and the baby unprotected while he is at work. His mother and Amy scorn this attitude towards vampires, classified as an ethnic group in 2043 and recognized by the UN as a minority with rights to equality and protection under international law. Eventually, he capitulates

104  Text-By-Text Analysis under pressure from the two women and for lack of any alternative, but is extremely uneasy, despite Roy’s courteous welcome, the luxurious facilities, and Amy’s trust, gratitude, and respect for the vampire. It transpires that Roy lives with two younger members of the same species whom he is educating and this is what leads to the gruesome ending, for one of them attacks and kills Amy and the baby while she is breast-feeding one evening, just before Lincoln gets home. Roy is angry, but hardly devastated; on the contrary, he plans a consolatory hunting expedition, beginning with attacking Lincoln himself when he walks through the door.

Analysis As even this brief plot summary has shown, “Viviendo” belongs in the category of Spanish vampire stories that seem to wish to give the impression that they have been translated from English into Spanish. The characters have names that sound American and British combined – Lincoln’s surname is Thatcher, his father’s name was Roosevelt, and they name the baby Elric – they are living in London before they move to Istanbul, and there are terms that are given in English in the Spanish text; in addition to “natural breeder” as mentioned above, the group that defends the new reproductive technology is also named in English as the “Anti-Baby League” (163). Furthermore, we are given to understand that the characters speak English to one another, as Amy is amused by Roy’s “arcaico acento de noble británico” (174) [old-fashioned upper-class British accent] when they first meet. The fact that Amy can hear the difference between an old-fashioned upper-class accent and a more modern one or indeed one associated with a different social class suggests that her command of English is native or native-level, rather than being the kind of everyday, practical competence in the language that a Spanish speaker might acquire by living in London, as she has been doing. It is possible to read all of this in several ways: as a genuine attempt on the author’s part to appeal to a Spanish readership that likes and expects this genre to seem Anglo; as an ironic mocking of the idea that horror stories and vampire ones in particular have to be translations; as foretelling a general Anglicization/Americanization of the world by 2043 and since this is clearly a dystopian vision, expressing the view that this would be nightmarish. In the latter case, the characters would be Spanish, but it is just that “nowadays”, Spanish has given way to English. This would chime with other developments: Christianity appears to have become extinct by 2043, replaced by Buddhism among the human characters in western Europe, for in their casual exclamations, they have replaced “God” or “the Lord” with “Buddha” or “Siddharta”: for God’s sake becoming “¡Por amor de Buda!” (164), for Buddha’s sake, and praise the Lord becoming “¡Mil loas al príncipe Siddharta!” (170), praise Prince Siddharta. Islam still survives in Istanbul; Lincoln remembers visiting Roy as a child and hearing the call to prayer there (167).

Nuria C. Botey  105 The Anglo veneer is thin, however, for although Spain is conspicuous by its absence in the story through proper nouns or other concrete details, some of the topical issues it addresses do seem particularly applicable to Spain and therefore likely to chime with Spanish readers. “Viviendo” exemplifies Holmes’s above-quoted assertion that “one of the purposes of vampires [… is] the displacement of real social relations onto the fantastic in order to foreground the fault line in what is taken as natural in any particular social sphere”. 2 Whilst this much is transnational, some of the ways in which the displacement is articulated in “Viviendo” are especially relevant to Spain’s fault-lines. For example, there is a preoccupation with the low birth rate there and linked in part with this, is the financial predicament of young adults, including those with good qualifications. 3 A Spanish newspaper report on a phenomenon known as “mileurismo” discusses the plight of people earning up to 1,000 (mil in Spanish) euros per month, which barely covers basic costs and leaves them unable to envisage ever owning their own home or being able to afford children; and the interviewees’ rhetoric in the article closely resembles Amy and Lincoln’s as they seek a solution to their problem before resorting to Roy.4 Dystopian fiction, like the utopian mode it derives from, serves to critique real life, for “the utopia … is essentially the writer’s own society with its unconscious ritual habits transposed …. The contrast in value between the two societies implies a satire on the writer’s own society”. 5 One strategy deployed to this effect inverts in the alien world of the story what is taken for granted as natural or normal in real life, revealing to readers that they have internalized this so that they now can see that it is arbitrary and/or culturally constructed.6 Samuel Butler’s Erewhon (1872), for example, is set in a place where illness is considered criminal and punished accordingly and what we call criminality is treated as illness, attracting curative treatment and sympathy. The central dystopian inversion of “Viviendo” is that babies and “natural breeders” are stigmatized. By this means, Botey highlights our own societies’ arbitrary cultural construction of motherhood as positive and desirable, with voluntary childlessness conceptualized as selfish. As one estate agent says: “Oiga, a mí no me hagan responsable de su insconsciencia, ¿eh? ¿Qué culpa tiene el mercado inmobiliario de que siga habiendo natural breeders por el mundo?” (169; Botey’s italics) [Listen here: don’t blame me for your irresponsibility, OK? It’s not the property market’s fault that there are still natural breeders in the world]. Amy is made to feel ashamed to be pregnant and so tells this nasty estate agent that her situation is due to circumstances beyond her control. Thus, the awkwardness of feeling constrained to disclose information about something as private as one’s reproductive organs and capabilities to strangers is presented vividly to the reader and is obviously transposable to the opposite phenomenon in real life, where women unable to have children find themselves explaining about their infertility to exonerate themselves from being tacitly condemned for having chosen childlessness.7

106  Text-By-Text Analysis The classic vampire fiction convention that future victims have to enter a vampire’s lair of their own volition is maintained in “Viviendo” on first arrival of the family at Roy’s door; having opened it, he “se hizo suavemente a un lado y esbozó una ligera reverencia” [stepped smoothly aside, bowing a little], whereupon Amy “franqueó el umbral” (both 174) [crossed the threshold]. As is often the case where this motif is to be found, it evokes a tension here between consensual and non-consensual sex, for as Punter has asserted, castles and houses in Gothic fiction generally represent “the dream-house, which is also the house of the body”; thus, willingly to penetrate a vampire’s home can be read as consent to physical relations with the creature.8 However, Botey utilizes this staple to problematize the concept of consent if it is considered in isolation from its context: when Lincoln questioned Amy beforehand as to whether she was frightened of coming to harm under Roy’s roof, she replied: “Es una posibilidad, mi amor. Una posibilidad. Podría suceder o no suceder. Pero si dentro de cinco semanas no tenemos un lugar donde vivir, ya no estaremos hablando de posibilidades, Lincoln. Y eso sí que me aterra” (170) [It’s a possibility, my love. A possibility. It might or might not happen. But if we have nowhere to live in five weeks’ time, we won’t be talking about possibilities at all, Lincoln. And that’s what really does terrify me]. Thus, the story critiques a simplistic consideration of consent, highlighting economic vulnerability as a key factor in decision making in this area. The same decision – to cross the threshold of Roy’s house despite the risks involved – further shows how, beyond the home-body equation, the meaning of the home in a female Gothic text has evolved since Kilgour rightly characterized it in the 1990s as a prison for women; in a further dystopian inversion, the post-credit-crunch world of Botey’s story presents a home as an aspirational ideal, with the corollary that escaping from it as if from incarceration is no longer the desirable goal, for which heroines take risks.9 On the contrary, Amy pushes the pram round Istanbul in sweltering heat because she has promised Lincoln to stay out while he is at work, but she soon succumbs to the temptation to go back early, presumably because, like her above-quoted first reasoning, she would rather risk the possibility of a vampire attack than the certainty of heatstroke. Amy’s dilemmas, forcing her to weigh risk against escaping imminent certainty of misery, echo the fate of multiple Gothic heroines from the eighteenth century to the present, women trapped into placing their trust in Gothic villains because they have nowhere else to turn. Such, for example, is the plight of Antonia in Matthew Lewis’s The Monk (1796), who has few if any other options but to trust the eponymous villain, leading to her being a rape and murder victim much like Amy. Vampires have a long history of linkage with wealth, so much so that Marx could use them as a readily comprehensible metaphor for capitalism. From a historical perspective, it has been observed that the bloodthirsty sexual murders committed by Erszébet Báthory (1560–1614), who has been elided with vampires in the popular imagination, as Javier García Sánchez’s

Nuria C. Botey  107 novel, discussed above, illustrates, would have been harder if not impossible to commit had she not had the wealth and social standing first, to live in secluded properties offering privacy unavailable to the poor; second, money to buy silence from her victims’ families; and third, influence that could keep the forces of law and order at bay for longer than commoners would.10 The recent wave of prosecutions of celebrities on historical sex-­ related charges may be seen as a modern-day equivalent of the same type of untouchability. Be that as it may, almost wherever we look in fiction, when vampires are characterized as alluring, wealth and luxury are associated with their image, something echoed in Goth fashion with its predilection for rich fabrics like lace and velvet. Part of what makes vampires sexually desirable, then, seems to be the look and lifestyle money buys and this is consistent with the eroticization of wealth generally. The connection is even reflected lexically: worth noting in passing is the shared etymological derivation of lust and luxury, more apparent in the Spanish words for these, “lujuria” and “lujo”, respectively. Botey utilizes this paradigm, for Roy provides not merely an escape from homelessness but real luxury: “esto es muchísimo más de lo que jamás habíamos soñado” (178) [this is so much more than we ever ever dreamed of], Amy gushes to Lincoln. He reacts ungraciously, contributing to his antipathetic characterization at this point, but one is hardly surprised by his resentment at Amy’s enthusiasm, for it reflects his awareness (albeit probably at an unconscious level) that Roy trumps by a considerable margin what he has to offer her, underlining that this vision of 2043, where a young man working full time is unable to earn enough to house his family without help from the older generation, resembles today’s mileuristas’ predicament rather more than we might wish. Botey’s dénouement is shocking: until the young vampire attacks and Roy under-reacts so noticeably, the reader is convinced that Lincoln is a bigot whilst his girlfriend and mother are modern, open-minded, and right to be willing to trust Roy, just as Lincoln’s father was to protect him from a murderous mob decades earlier. Now, however, the dynamic of characterization between him and Lincoln is suddenly reversed: just as Roy is unexpectedly revealed as a profoundly antipathetic figure, Lincoln becomes the sympathetic character in the struggle and not only that, he is proven right to have been mistrustful of Roy all along. I have argued elsewhere that the ethnic connotations of the vampires in this story suggest a distasteful message of prejudice and intolerance towards Muslims, Jews, and otherness relative to Spanishness more generally.11 In the context of the present study of Spanish vampire fiction since 1900 and the question of where it converges with and diverges from its Anglophone cousins, we should note that deploying vampires to explore cultural and religious diversity, with implicit xenophobia as a corollary, is not a Spanish innovation. Where the story is more distinctively Spanish, however, is in the absence of any textual evidence that the vampires are revenants (though they are

108  Text-By-Text Analysis immortal and remain eternally young thanks to their blood-drinking, we are told) or that Amy and the baby are now going to become vampires themselves. For Botey then, as for so many of her compatriots, the issue of damned souls rising from their graves and all the ghostly connexions that forges is not in her sights. If her vampires are enviable for having defeated death through their immortality, they may seem at first glance to surpass revenant vampires in their personification of this human yearning, by not even being required to go through the rite of passage of human death and burial first. However, no sooner is this possibility dangled before us, than it is snatched away by the lack of contagion to human victims, since there is apparently no hope for us to become them: they are simply a different ethnic group. That means that Hallab’s above-quoted argument whereby vampires fascinate us because they personify “the renewal of life” cannot be imported wholesale to this story nor to the many other Spanish ones in which the vampires are not revenants.12 Taking all of these points together, “Viviendo con el tío Roy” utilizes old and new conventions of vampire fiction to present several interlinked disturbing messages: what Gordon and Hollinger have called the domestication of the vampire is a dangerous illusion and the sympathetic vampire is nothing more than a disguise worn by evil killers to lure the gullible into their clutches; beware of otherness; heed those who champion tolerance at your peril; however enviable some of their differences from “us” may be, we cannot hope to join them.13

Notes 1 This section is based partly on Lee Six, “Nuria C. Botey’s Short Story”. 2 Holmes, “Coming Out of the Coffin”, 182. 3 Beltramo, “Spain’s Government”, (accessed 23 May 2014). CESR (Center for Economic and Social Rights) (2012) “Spain: Fact Sheet 12”, 4. FACT%20SHEET%20SPAIN.pdf (accessed 23 May 2014). 4 Jiménez Barca, “Generación de los mil euros” in El País, 23 October 2005 _850215.html ­(accessed 23 May 2014). 5 Frye, “Varieties of Literary Utopias”, 111. 6 For more on this literary device, called a contre-pied in French, see Cioranescu, L’Avenir du passé, 44. 7 For more on how this plays out in real life, see, for example, Harding, “Voluntary Childlessness”, and Glazer, “Talking with Family”, (both accessed 23 May 2014). 8 Punter, Gothic Pathologies, 216. 9 Kilgour, Rise of the Gothic Novel, 8. 10 For more on this, see Baring-Gould, Book of Werewolves (1865), 181–237 and Penrose, Bloody Countess, 32 and 133. 11 Lee Six, “Nuria C. Botey’s Short Story”, 184–96. 12 Hallab, Vampire God, 6. 13 Gordon and Hollinger, “Introduction”, 2.

18 Miguel Puente Molins, “Caries” [Tooth Decay] (2010)

The Author Born in Vigo in 1976, Miguel Puente Molins has so far published one novel and many short stories. The novel, called De dioses y hombres (2013) [Of Gods and Men] is described as a supernatural thriller, in which an evil Sumerian god is living incognito in Madrid. Puente Molins is a member of the Nocte collective of Spanish writers of horror fiction and, rather than showing a special interest in vampires, prefers subject matter that ranges quite widely across the horror category, sometimes crossing over into science fiction. He has published tales that explicitly follow from Anglophone Gothic classics, one being a sequel to Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Telltale Heart”, simply called “El corazón delator: segunda parte” [The Telltale Heart: Part 2] and another, a response to H.P. Lovecraft with a story called “La ventana en el altillo” [The Window on the Landing].

Plot Summary Light in tone, with amusing repartee between the characters and a flippant narrative voice that alternates between the two opposing characters’ perspectives, this story is about a vampire named Fernando who goes to the dentist, a middle-aged man called Pedro. He has made a speciality of treating vampires as he can charge them more in return for catering to their special needs; he has to wear a gas mask rather than a normal surgical one to protect himself from their fetid breath; he has installed ­ultra-violet lighting to avoid exposing them to daylight; and they trust him to maintain confidentiality. Fernando is portrayed sympathetically in the first instance, a figure resonating with youth culture in his demeanour and appearance, though we learn he is thousands of years old. Pedro is unequivocally antipathetic at the outset, being sadistic and money-­ grabbing as well as opinionated and judgemental on petty issues, such as ­Fernando’s choice to wear his trousers fashionably low. This weighting of the characters leads to the reader being glad each time Fernando

110  Text-By-Text Analysis laconically wins a verbal exchange with Pedro and identifying with the suffering he undergoes in the chair. This is both physical and emotional, for he has to have a canine extracted, which upsets him a great deal. ­Pedro, meanwhile, takes cruel pleasure in giving him this news and then proceeding without anaesthesia (apparently, it does not work on vampires). He plans to sell the tooth subsequently on the black market, where he knows it will fetch a high price for its supernatural qualities as a sedative and aphrodisiac (no further information is provided on this apparent paradox), knowledge that shows that he regularly profiteers from his vampire clients in this way. The denouement darkens in tone and problematizes the question of reader sympathy, for Fernando takes a gruesome revenge, attacking Pedro as he leaves his surgery defenceless, having forgotten to carry his holy water spray on him. He is on his way to his car, parked in the basement garage, when Fernando attacks, first lopping off an ear and a hand, then killing him by drinking his blood, at which point the story ends as follows: Pero por muy macabro que haya sido el crimen no limpiará el estropicio. Tampoco se deshará del cuerpo. Sabe que nadie se va a preocupar por un dentista muerto. (82) [But however macabre the crime was, he won’t clear up the mess. Nor will he get rid of the body. He knows that no-one’s going to worry about a dead dentist.]

Analysis Despite the absence of characters who are sexually desirable to each other, the brutality between the two characters is presented here in the unequivocally gendered framework of a machista power struggle in several rounds. In round one, consisting of verbal one-upmanship, Pedro is routed, but then the tables are turned in round two, once he is armed with his (­ phallic) drill, his client at his mercy in the chair, immobilized, frightened, and doing the vampiric equivalent of weeping with the pain (we are told vampires have no tear ducts and so their noses run when a human would cry (77)). At this point, Fernando is infantilized and emasculated, not only because of his enforced passivity and the penetrative dental instruments being used on him, but most significantly, because the extraction of the canine is explicitly likened to castration: “para un strigoi perder un canino es como perder un testículo” (77) [for a strigoi, losing a canine is like losing a testacle], explains the narrative voice, adding that the vampire’s vulnerability makes him feel “violado” (78) [violated or raped] when the dentist fits a clamp to hold his mouth open. In this context, the dentist’s retention of the extracted tooth, notwithstanding the ostensible monetary

Miguel Puente Molins  111 profit motive, reads more like a trophy analogous to a biblical battle in which the victors bring back the foreskins of the defeated.1 With the score now equalized, the bloody deciding round goes to Fernando, following the classic Spanish literary trope of the “burlador burlado”, meaning the mocker mocked. 2 It is noticeable that Fernando could have simply drunk Pedro’s blood and killed him that way: the retaliatory slicing off of the man’s hand and ear first, therefore, must serve some symbolic purpose. First, one notes that by doing Pedro two injuries, he does double the damage, relative to the one canine Pedro has taken from him. This is not, then, the eye-for-an-eye concept of proportionate retribution, but a reaction that marks Fernando out as the inhuman(e) being he is, bolstering the effect of the sudden distancing of him at this point in the story from his hitherto human-seeming persona, a distancing established by his invisibility when he attacks. Second, as well as the hand and the ear loss both being alternative castration symbols, they have in common with the canine he has just lost and the testacle to which it has been likened, that ears and hands are each one of a pair too. Throughout the attack, Fernando mockingly repeats the words of cold comfort which the dentist had said to him earlier, such as, “Siento no poder anestesiarle” [Sorry I can’t give you an anaesthetic] and “Procuraré ser rápido. Se lo prometo” (both 81) [I’ll try to be quick. I promise.] The phrase that is conspicuous by its absence, however, is the cruellest one of all. Fernando does not say to Pedro now, as Pedro said to him, “Mírelo por el lado bueno. Todavía le queda el otro” (78) [Look on the bright side. You’ve still got the other one], an observation the insensitivity of which only now dawns fully on us, as we wait in vain to hear it again, so making it ring out all the louder in the memory. When Fernando finally gorges on Pedro’s blood, this is not presented as homoerotic but more as a triumphal post-victory feast, the counterpart to the dentist’s retention of the trophy tooth but trumping it by a considerable margin. “Caries” utilizes selected conventions of vampire fiction to display two sadistic males clashing violently in competitive combat along several axes: youth versus age, marginalization versus social respectability, ignorance versus knowledge, us versus them. But it does so by challenging and defamiliarizing the terms of each binary: Fernando seems the youngster, but proves to be a 5,000-year-old Sumerian; the dentist’s membership of a socially respectable profession proves to be a cover for dishonest dealings on the black market and Fernando is the one who has a credit card and a credit record sufficient to cover a dentist’s bill for 4,000 euros as well as a vampiric corporate identity which includes an expense account generous enough for him to mention that he may be able to charge this to it. The dentist’s professional training and technical expertise are shown to not to preclude ignorance on topics which he is foolish enough to raise in a lame attempt at small-talk.

112  Text-By-Text Analysis Finally and most importantly, Puente Molins wrong-foots the reader in the us-them binary: at first, all readers (with the possible exception of any who happen to be dentists) identify strongly with Fernando de ­Barriga Puig, with his ordinary Spanish name, sitting bored but nervous as he flicks through a magazine in the tastelessly decorated waiting-room, then forced to engage in the vacuous conversation initiated by the dentist, and especially feeling helpless in the chair: at the mercy of someone hardened to inflicting pain who makes matters worse by being relentlessly cheerful throughout the ordeal and overcharging at the end of it. We think, then, that this is yet another example of what has been called “the domestication of the vampire” for Fernando seems one of us, in this situation at least, relative to the antipathetic and resented other of the dentist. 3 However, once the vampire is able to make himself invisible and then to butcher ­Pedro before drinking him dry of all his blood and walking away from the corpse untroubled, the reader’s position becomes more ambivalent: a sense of alienation from ­Fernando if he can commit such barbarity is complicated by the co-presence of a troublingly exultant feeling of satisfaction. Now, suddenly, the reader’s wholehearted identification with the vampire-patient has to be reconciled with simultaneous sympathy for the pain and panic experienced by Pedro, as we realize that even though the latter is disagreeable, even despicable, he is still a human being confronted by an inhuman, lethal threat with no hope of defending himself. Who is “us” and who “them” is the question we are left to dwell upon having reached the end of the story. Thus, “Caries” draws on and plays with the long-standing metaphorical connotation of the vampire as a financial profiteer in its reversal of roles, giving that part to Pedro, but beyond that, it explores the converse of the domesticated vampire figure in its presentation of masculinity. Fernando may at first seem domesticated, but by the end of the story we realize that any levelling of male vampire with his human counterpart is predicated upon exposing the savagery of the human rather than taming the undead. Finally, we reach the uncomfortable realization that the last scene in the basement prevents us from conceptualizing what we have been doing as watching something akin to a boxing-match with a knockout punch in the third round. In fact, this is a contest that more closely resembles a bullfight, for these are two males of different species in unequal combat. The symbolism is far more equivocal in “Caries” than any corrida, though: the bullfighter in his shimmering “traje de luces” [suit of lights] belongs to the same species as the audience members and defeats a horned black beast whose meat is then eaten by these and other humans. In Puente ­Molins’s story, however, the odds are stacked the other way: thanks to ­Fernando’s superhuman powers, it is a human being, Pedro, who, like the bull in the ring, has had no forewarning of the contest about to be staged nor any choice over whether to participate, and who is to be consumed post-­victory. One cannot help noting in passing the particular resonance of the ear in this context: the parallel is not exact, but if a matador does a

Miguel Puente Molins  113 good job of the killing, he may be awarded an ear of the bull, with two ears for an even better one, and the tail as well for the best kills of all; is this what these dismemberments gesture towards? Ultimately, wherever our sympathies lie in this dénouement, we are left wondering about our own moral compass if we enjoyed being there to see it, a conundrum this story has in common with many violent horror films, elucidated by Daniel Shaw: Our pleasure in horror films comes from our dual identification with both the threatening antagonists and the human protagonists … . Sharing in their superhuman acts, we are exhilarated and alarmed by our enjoyment of the forbidden. Our ambivalence is grounded in this tension between our guilty enjoyment of such power and the true terror we would feel if it were us that were being victimized.4 As we have seen, “Caries” deploys multiple motifs that are transnational staples even though they have a somewhat distinctive Spanish flavour here, the latter residing particularly in the presentation of masculinity and the trope of the burlador burlado. By placing a vampire in Spain and giving him a Spanish name and linguistic fluency without considering it necessary to justify this by some special circumstances in a back-story, Puente Molins goes some way towards integrating the country seamlessly into the vampire imaginary. Nevertheless, we note that he still presents Fernando as hailing from an “other” place and time – ancient Sumer – and that the word vampiro is replaced by strigoi in the story, approximating the figure more closely to the witches that we shall argue in Part II have nuanced the portrayal of Spanish vampires.

Notes 1 See I Samuel 18:27, in which David hands over 200 foreskins of the defeated Philistines to King Saul, in return for which he is given the King’s daughter, Michal, as a wife. This is the culmination of an equally machista power struggle between two men. 2 There is no precise equivalent of this in English language or literary terms. Getting a taste of one’s own medicine, being hoist with one’s own petard, turning the tables, and getting one’s comeuppance are close but lack the connotation of social humiliation inherent in the Spanish: the noun burla and its cognates, translated variously as mockery, a trick, and a [practical] joke, entail harming a person’s standing in others’ eyes by making them look foolish and this trope then describes a revenge where the same treatment is visited on the perpetrator. In Spanish literary history, there is a long tradition of using it as the driving-force of a plot, made famous with Tirso de Molina’s Don Juan play, El burlador de Sevilla (c. 1630), the title of which literally translates as “The Mocker/Trickster of Seville”. For more on this, see for example, Dolfi, “­Burlador burlado”, 41. 3 Gordon and Hollinger, “Introduction”, 2. 4 Shaw, “Mastery of Hannibal Lecter”, 11.

19 Juan Ignacio Carrasco, Entre nosotros [Amongst Us] (2010)

The Author Born in 1973 in the province of Castellón, this is the author’s first and only novel to date, though he is promising a sequel. He has been involved in cinema journalism and ran an international film festival in his home town in 2007. He was a contestant in a popular daytime Spanish television cultural quiz show “Saber y ganar” in 2013, winning more than 11,000 euros.

Plot Summary Entre nosotros, a full-length novel, is wholly set in the United States and appears to seek to give the impression that it is a translation of an ­A merican text. The protagonist, called Abel J. Young, the son of a widower who runs a small-town hardware shop, is also the first-person narrator and, at the start of the story, he is aged seventeen, at school in Tennessee, and his long-­standing girlfriend has just ended their relationship. Challenged by his ­English teacher, Mr Higgins, to write a horror story in the spirit of the famous evening at the Villa Diodati which spawned Mary S­ helley’s ­Frankenstein and Polidori’s vampire tale, Abel casts around online, copy-pasting and cobbling together a story of his own which he names “El juramento” [The Oath]. Higgins finds the story so good that he sends it to a publisher in New York and this leads to Abel being invited to a seminar supposedly run by them for promising young writers. Abel goes to the seminar, taking place near Ithaca, New York; there he makes friends with a Japanese girl called Arisa and the seminar leader, a formerly celebrated writer named Elijah Shine, and his son Gabriel. These characters are drawn into a conflict with real vampires, at least some of whom are also Nazis and gangsters or are working in collaboration with humans who are. Gabriel has been treated for mental illness, when in fact it transpires that he is quite sane but has had posthumous contact with his vampirized mother. The vampires want to destroy Abel because his story has inadvertently revealed too much about them and they think this places them in danger of exposure: the seminar is in fact a ploy by the well-meaning Elijah Shine to protect Abel and others

Juan Ignacio Carrasco  115 like him in the past, by persuading him to abandon his vampire-story writing and so make the real vampires stop considering him a danger to them. The premise of Entre nosotros is that the reason vampires are able to live among humans is that nobody believes in their existence (147) and so a text which points this out – as Abel’s does – is perceived by them as dangerous, along with the writer who produced it. By the end of the novel, which has many twists and turns, Elijah Shine has been killed in a scene more reminiscent of a gangster film, though a vampire does also drink his blood before he is shot dead (232) and Higgins has committed suicide, though not before giving his version of events to Abel at length in time-honoured detective fiction style. The denouement leaves open whether Abel will get back together with the original girlfriend and follow in his father’s footsteps, taking over the hardware shop, the life-course planned until these extraordinary events intervened, or whether he will end up with Arisa and Gabriel, having further swashbuckling adventures. Finally, by way of epilogue, the tale written by Abel and reworked by Higgins appears. It proves to be an imaginative back-story concerning the life of Lord Byron, events at the Villa Diodati, the publication of Polidori’s vampire story attributed to Byron and Byron’s own story, in which he sought, according to Abel, to expose a real vampire named August Devrall by recounting his deeds through the wafer-thin veil of adjusting some letters in his name. The ending presents Shelley’s subsequent drowning and Byron’s own death as really caused by having been bitten by Devrall.

Analysis This novel offers a particular combination of ingredients which seems to account for the enthusiasm of its fans on internet discussion forums and blogs.1 The premise to which the title alludes, that vampires live amongst us but we do not realize it, echoes the Harry Potter series, but substitutes vampires for the witches and wizards; Arisa, although the equivalent of a Muggle in the Harry Potter schema, has more than a little in common with J.K. Rowling’s Hermione: clever and studious, something of a know-all but with justification, and attractive nonetheless. The central trio of two boys and a girl also bears a structural resemblance to the Harry, Ron, and Hermione pattern, but J.K. Rowling’s magical parallel world is far more complex than Carrasco’s vampire one. Nonetheless, Carrasco’s novel has the same premise that we are unwittingly mingling with profoundly other beings in our everyday lives. The characterization of the narrator-protagonist as an uncultured and provincial but sharp-witted, wisecracking, and lovesick teenager has clearly captured the hearts of many readers; and the abundant use of intertextual references to and discussion of other vampire novels and films creates a relationship of knowing complicity with them. The title could also mean

116  Text-By-Text Analysis “between ourselves” and on first reading, this possibility remains viable for a long time (up to page 147), especially given the conversational tone of the narrative voice, suggesting a friendly complicity with the reader. The American setting and characters are accepted uncritically by all but one reader found to date, who wishes it had been set in Spain but does not profess to be exercised by the portrayal of Americans and America in the novel. For an Anglophone reader, however, there are noticeable implausibilities, which undermine the balance between the supernatural element of the vampires on the one hand and, on the other, the supposed realism and credibility of the world and the characters who encounter them. The defects are various. There are spelling mistakes such as Calbin Kline (303), Mobby Dick (376), Seatle (171), and the New Monthy Magazine (Epilogue, v), mistakes that even an ill-educated Anglophone like Abel would be unlikely to make: in Spanish but not English, “b” and “v” sound the same in most varieties of pronunciation, explaining the “Calbin” for “Calvin” and double letters do not alter the sound of the preceding vowel as they do in English, such that an ignorant Anglophone’s misspelling of “Moby” would not be “Mobby” but could be, say, “Mobie” or “Mobey”. This is why it is not possible to read these errors as consistent with Abel’s characterization as uncultured. Carrasco seems to want to show Abel’s spelling as poor elsewhere, as when he argues with Arisa and is in the wrong over the spelling of the Beatles (262), but if that is what these other errors are intended to convey, they fail (with the exception of Kline for Klein) for the afore-­ mentioned reasons. Then there is a discussion which is intended to refer to Citizen Kane, but calls it Citizen Snake (in fact the name of a rock-band, which has nothing to do with the context) and elaborates on the serpentine image (188); and there are cultural oddities like a Chinese restaurant that smells of curry (127), and the surely implausible characterization of the all-­A merican seventeen-year-old working-class kid from Tennessee, our protagonist, who finds it normal to drink a great deal of wine (185) and even mentions being invited for an aperitif on one occasion without either making a remark revealing that he does not understand the meaning of the word, or joking about its pretentiousness, either of which would have been more plausible than letting it pass in this way (214). Finally, one wonders what to make of the names of the characters: as the novel definitely has pretensions to comedy, these could be supposed to make us smile but the rest of the humour derives from Abel’s diction, opinions, and attitudes, whereas he has had nothing to do with the fact that the English teacher’s full name is Heathcliff Higgins (Wuthering Heights meets Pygmalion?), the girlfriend is called Mary Quant (and knows she shares her name with the 1960s icon), and the father and son Abel meets at the seminar are called Elijah and Gabriel Shine and just happen to be figures representing good. Whilst any one of the aforementioned might have added a quirky touch without fatally undermining the realism presumably desired for the normal world away from the vampires, this accumulation of far-fetched names, combined with

Juan Ignacio Carrasco  117 the other slips, distracts and detracts from Entre nosotros and makes its Americanness even more problematic than the Italianness of El vampiro de Silesia (see below). However, if these points may be dismissed as unimportant to the intended readership, more troubling is the presentation of gender roles and the implicit homophobia of Entre nosotros, something which has apparently passed unnoticed or unworthy of comment by both the fans and the more critical readers of the novel. Arisa is the clichéd “tough and smart cookie”, who nevertheless cooks for the boys and acts as their mother substitute as well as being the love interest, and who, for example, ends up in floods of tears in Gabriel’s arms when the two boys try to protect her by excluding her from a violent episode and she insists on going with them (311–17). Abel is sucked into his vampiric adventure by the skulduggery of Higgins, and we eventually learn that the latter had an affair with a young student, Helmut, whom we know as an evil Nazi vampire (194). Moreover, in the classic showdown scene when Higgins finally tells all, Abel accuses him of trying to groom him, Abel, to be Helmut’s successor, at which point Higgins breaks down in tears (389). Abel describes his own reaction to this as disgust, even though he follows this with a very grudging profession of tolerance and understanding: Puedo entenderlo [que Higgins siguiera enamorado de Helmut], no lo comparto porque yo soy de chicas rubias … pero puedo entender que un chico alto y rubio, y que encima es un experto en Goethe y toda esa gentuza, pueda ser lo máximo para alguien como Higgins. (390) [I can understand that Higgins was still in love with Helmut; I don’t share it because I go for blond girls but I can understand that a tall, blond boy, and one who’s an expert on Goethe and all of that bunch to boot, could be the ultimate for somebody like Higgins]. He proceeds to spout some crass armchair psychology, “explaining” why people fall in love with whom they do. When Higgins commits suicide, Abel’s verdict is that this final act proves “Higgins era un cobarde traidor” (405) [Higgins was a cowardly traitor]; he chooses not to go to his funeral and nuances this view of the man not one jot. Since the narration is by Abel, can we reduce all of this to part of his characterization as someone narrow-minded and immature, which the author may be inviting us to scorn along with some of his other opinions, such as his taste in vampire films (he thinks little of Murnau’s silent Nosferatu, for example (251–52))? This is possible for some of his remarks, perhaps, but not for the authorial decision to make the baddie who sets the whole plot in motion, Higgins, a homosexual. This is not the only text in our corpus that deploys the vampire genre as a vehicle for articulating attitudes that are viewed by many

118  Text-By-Text Analysis as morally objectionable or at best outdated, thinly veiled by the fantasy premise; ­Islamophobia and anti-Semitism were at issue in “Viviendo con el tío Roy”, as discussed above and anti-Semitism will be found lurking in de la Rosa’s Vampiro, too. Prejudice related to sexuality, as here, however, is part of the larger issue of vampire fiction as contagion horror, which will be discussed further in Part II.

Note 1 See, juan-ignacio-carrasco, and­entrenosotros, for example (all accessed 7 August 2017).

20 José de la Rosa, Vampiro [Vampire] (2010)

The Author José de la Rosa (born in 1970 in Seville) is chiefly a writer of romantic fiction, but he has other strings to his bow: not only this vampire novel, but also a collection of epistolary short stories set in the eighteenth century and La clave Agrippa (2006) [The Agrippa Key], a thriller also featuring Revel Colina, the rare-book finder at the centre of Vampiro, and another highstakes search for a book containing powerful magic.

Plot Summary This novel, set in the present day, rests upon the now relatively familiar motif of a human finding it desirable to become a vampire. However, rather than love for a vampire driving protagonist Sibila Mondragón’s desire, it is an inherited degenerative condition, from which she has watched her mother die a slow and painful death. At the start of the novel, she can already feel the first symptoms and these worsen as it progresses, intensifying the urgency of her quest to find out how to become a vampire. She has conducted extensive research and this has led her to believe in the existence of vampires and to be convinced that she can become one herself if she can obtain an ancient and obscure book of black magic which contains the incantations to work the transformation, presumably by summoning the vampire needed to attack her. To that end, she has left her job and sold up at home in Spain and the novel opens as she arrives in London to try to track down and secure the services of a renowned but reclusive rare-book finder called Revel Colina. Revel has two office staff, Mario and Heviu, and Sibila manages to overcome the scepticism of all three as to the existence of both vampires and this specific book so that they accept the commission. These four characters – their relationships with each other and their efforts to find the ancient book – form the novel’s backbone. The quest takes Sibila and Revel to Turkey and to Eastern Europe (whence the book originates); they meet characters who help them and one who appears to be trying to, but we eventually learn was a traitor; and as it turns out that the

120  Text-By-Text Analysis book is in the possession of the master vampire, called Él or la Bestia [Him or the Beast], by the end of the novel the hunt for the book has become one to find Him, presented as a very close parallel to, symbol or incarnation of the Devil. Here there is a conflict as Sibila wants him to transform her into a vampire, whilst those recruited in the search want to destroy him as they belong to an ancient sect with precisely that raison d’être. In the climactic closing scene, the human enemies of the Beast seem to have cornered Him and are empowered to destroy Him by pronouncing white-magic incantations that are the obverse of those that Sibila was looking to use in the black-magic spell book. She, however, bursts in at this point, snatching the precious pages from their hands, and is brutally attacked by the Beast. Slightly implausibly, given the build-up that has emphasized the Beast’s invincibility for thousands of years, he is now destroyed by Revel and his team, who have managed to get the pages back, and he turns to dust before their eyes. Sibila is dead following his attack, however. Two days after her funeral, Revel has a vision which may or may not be a dream, in which Sibila enters his bedroom in the form of a column of white, translucent fog that materializes into her and then returns to cloud-form. He rushes to the cemetery to find her grave disturbed and the novel ends there, leaving the reader to conclude that she has after all, achieved her goal of immortality, but in doubt as to the wisdom of her wish to do so.

Analysis According to Catherine Spooner, “The arcane, cursed or dangerous book has always been a recurring feature of Gothic fiction, but in the twenty-first century it has become an increasingly dominant motif”.1 The connection between black magic and vampires, however, is not especially common in the Anglophone repertoire, where witchcraft and vampires seem to run on parallel tracks inside the larger category of Gothic thematics and do not naturally meet. Spanish folklore does blend them, however, with blood-sucking witches featuring there, as will be discussed in more depth in Part II. Nevertheless, de la Rosa chooses not to set his story anywhere that could feel like “here” to a Spanish readership, nor does he opt for an attempt to create the illusion of an English or American text translated into Spanish, as for example, we have just seen Juan Ignacio Carrasco doing in Entre nosotros, for then the heroine would not be Spanish and getting off a flight from Barcelona as the novel opens. Thus, the premise follows in the footsteps of Dracula and all its descendants by taking an “us” character – Jonathan Harker there, ­Sibila here – and placing him or her in foreign territory where s/he can be charmed and destabilized by turns due to the unfamiliarity of the place and people. In analogous fashion to Harker’s comments

José de la Rosa  121 about the food in Transylvania in the opening pages of Dracula, Sibila is struck by London fog on arrival (9) and tea is duly drunk when she has her first meeting with Revel and his team (37). Both of these details are unconvincing to an English reader since the fog on arrival is described as extremely dense, which of course would have prevented the flight from landing and the teapot is miraculously emitting steam (50) long after it would have cooled (has it been confused with a kettle?). There are even more obvious slips elsewhere, such as referring to Liverpool Street Station as Liverpool Station (52), Chesterfield sofas as “Chester” (53), misspelling Bank as “Banck” and relocating Wilton Crescent to M ­ ayfair (both 155). Perhaps a Transylvanian reading the opening of Dracula would be equally amused at an implausible and inaccurate caricature of the place and its habits, but be that as it may, in both cases, what is established loud and clear is that “we”, as that is defined by implication, are in an unfamiliar place surrounded by people who live differently from “us”. De la Rosa, however, does not proceed to transfer the action to home territory: England for Stoker, which would have been Spain for Vampiro. In consequence, that particular type of frisson is absent from the Spanish novel, perhaps attributable to an authorial decision to give precedence to readers’ perceived wish to find themselves in Eastern ­Europe and England when reading a vampire novel. If vampire novels of earlier date tapped into fears surrounding the dangerous and incurable illnesses of the period, notably syphilis and tuberculosis, with more recent incarnations suggestive of HIV/AIDS, this one updates the type of illness further and reverses the metaphor’s direction of travel, but the fear of deadly illness remains constant. With advances in genetics, it is now possible to know one carries a particular variant of a gene that makes the development of an incurable illness likely or even inevitable, whether this is a particular cancer, Huntingdon’s disease, or several other degenerative conditions, with more or less that can be done to avoid or stave them off depending on the details. 2 Euthanasia remains illegal in Spain, despite opinion polls showing a majority of the population being in favour.3 Thus, the torture of watching a loved one suffer and die is nowadays exacerbated in such cases of genetic predispositions, for this is received as a foretaste of what is coming to oneself sooner or later possibly, probably, or definitely. Vampiro thus gives an original twist to the classic trope of vampirism symbolizing a wasting disease, instead presenting it as the escape from a human illness the symptoms of which closely resemble those we recognize as the classic signs of being a vampire’s prey. Indeed, once the degenerative condition has really begun to take hold of Sibila, she is described thus: Tenía los ojos hundidos en las cuencas, rojizos y vidriosos. Toda ojeras. Nada quedaba de aquella mirada viva … . También había perdido peso. Sus muñecas eran ahora dos engranajes envueltos en una funda

122  Text-By-Text Analysis finísima de piel. Y la piel saludable y morena tenía el aspecto macilento de algo viejo, ajado, como si hubiera viajado por un túnel del tiempo y vuelto muchos años después. (371) [Her eyes, reddish and glassy, were sunken into the sockets. Dark circles under them dominated her face. There was nothing left of that lively look she had. She had also lost weight. Her wrists were now two cogs sheathed in the thinnest layer of skin. And her healthy tanned skin had the wan appearance of something old, worn down, as if she had been through a time tunnel and returned many years later.] Thus, it is the human condition which is presented as Gothic horror, with the notion of vampiric contagion reconfigured as an invisible internal enemy within passed from mother to daughter without any culpable exercise of agency, rather than conceptualized as an evil caught by consent from some alien foreigner. Whether Sibila has found a way to escape this ugly human destiny or has jumped out of the human frying-pan into the Satanic fire, however, is a question that the novel leaves open. De la Rosa does give the Beast the type of beauty associated with the sexy vampire type: un hombre joven, muy alto, con la piel tan pálida que las venas se transparentaban como líneas oscuras y serpenteantes que lo envolvía como una tela de araña. Tenía el cabello negro y muy corto y sus rasgos eran de una belleza sensual, atrayente, incluso atormentada. … Sin embargo, sus ojos… [ellipsis in original text] Sus ojos … eran azules, de un azul tan tenue que casi podían ser blancos, surcados de capilares encendidos. Pero lo que de verdad aterraba, lo que paralizaba y helaba la sangre en las venas era lo que transmitían aquellos enormes ojos glaucos. Siglos de dolor, de sangre y de muerte, y una absoluta complacencia. (405) [a very tall young man, with skin so pale that the veins showed through like dark, snaky lines enveloping him like a cobweb. He had very short black hair and his features had an alluring, sensual, even tormented beauty. His eyes, however… [ellipsis in original text] His eyes were blue, such a faint blue as to be almost white, traced with fiery-red capillaries. But what was really terrifying, what paralysed [the onlookers] and froze the blood in their veins was what those enormous glaucous eyes conveyed. Centuries of pain, blood and death, and absolute complacency.]

José de la Rosa  123 However, whilst an earlier moment in the novel when Sibila senses the Beast’s presence does have erotic overtones, the culminating attack brutally dismantles these. If it has any sexual connotations, they are those of violent rape and murder, perhaps gesturing towards the occasional news stories of deaths which are found to have resulted from consensual sex-games that have gone too far or evoking the anxiety that we may make a terrible and irreversible mistake if we attempt to cheat our destiny. Sibila’s final posthumous appearance, to Revel, gives no clues either way as to whether she is happy to have achieved the undead status she sought or is doomed to being a tortured unquiet soul, nor as to whether the text is encouraging us to regard the ending as positive or a tragic sentence of now eternal misery as she is punished Prometheus-like for her wish to transcend the limitations of her species.

Notes 1 Spooner, “Twenty-first Century Gothic”, in Dale Townshend (ed.), Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination (London: British Library, 2014), 180–205 (186), cited in Davis, Contemporary Spanish Gothic, 57. 2 With thanks to my son, Henry Lee-Six, for his explanations and help with the drafting of this sentence. 3 See, for example, Pérez Oliva, “La hora de la eutanasia”, El País, 2 April 2017, http:// for comment and an exposition of the current state of public opinion.

21 Marc R. Soto, “Siempre en mi recuerdo” [Forever in my Memory] (2010)

The Author Born in 1976 in Santander, Marc Soto is a prolific horror-story writer, publishing in magazines, anthologies, and online, alongside being a computer programmer. He mentions Stephen King as well as Julio Cortázar amongst the writers who have influenced him and sees fear as embedded in human nature, necessary, a primitive part of us all which civilization has papered over but which a small scratch easily exposes.1

Plot Summary This story is set in a village in Asturias. It is half past eleven at night and a fifteen-year-old called Raúl is sitting on a bench in the central square waiting to meet his girlfriend, when he is approached by an old man walking with a stick who seems friendly. As they make small talk, it becomes apparent to the reader – but not to Raúl – that the old man is a vampire. We do not find out how he became one but it is clear that he is a revenant and that in the sixteenth century, he came home to find his vampire wife staked. Eventually, he kills Raúl using a poisoned barb hidden in his stick and proceeds to drink his blood, then dragging the body out of sight to spare the girlfriend the shock of finding his body when she arrives.

Analysis Like Emilia Pardo Bazán’s “Vampiro”, discussed above, this story’s premise depends upon the idea of the old preying upon the young, but in contrast to it, here it does not rejuvenate the vampire, only providing him, decrepit as he is, with necessary sustenance for continued existence. Also, like Pardo Bazán’s character, this vampire seems innocuous and benign at first, both to Raúl and the reader, but in both stories, that proves to be his devious hunting strategy in order to get close enough to strike without arousing suspicion. However, it is a marked difference from “Vampiro” which is perhaps this story’s most troubling feature: it is difficult to feel unalloyed antipathy

Marc R. Soto  125 towards this vampire, as Soto accompanies his murder of an innocent fifteen-year-old with certain endearing qualities. One is that it transpires that even though it would be easier for him to suck Raúl’s blood before killing him as his heart would then pump it out of the jugular vein where he is drinking, he prefers to make things harder for himself, so as to spare the boy the pain that being drunk dry while still alive would apparently cause. To this extent, he can be identified as a post-Rice creation and up to a point ­ illiamson has called “a new generation of morally belongs to what Milly W ambiguous, sympathetic vampires”. 2 Second, we learn that his motivation for keeping himself going by killing and drinking the blood of his victims is fear of death, which for him is not fear of the unknown, but on the contrary, “porque nosotros ya hemos estado allí y sabemos que no hay nada al otro lado, nada, nadie esperando, nadie con quien reunirse, solo… solo el tiempo por delante” (115, ellipsis in original text) [because we’ve already been there and we know there’s nothing on the other side, nothing, nobody waiting, nobody to be reunited with, only… only time stretching ahead of us]. One of the premises of the Anglo vampire form, which has been convincingly posited as a key source of its attractiveness in the present day is that the existence of the creature attests to death not being total annihilation: The vampire overcomes death and … posits, at least, the renewal of life. … The vampire has mythical significance as an in-between creature of this and the “other” world, hinting to us that such a world might exist, for the very reason that the vampire refuses to go there. 3 As we have seen – and there are more examples discussed below – this standard position does not hold in many Spanish vampire stories, ones where vampires are not revenants and merely kill their victims rather than turning them into vampires too. Here it is relevant, though, because it is problematized to thought-provoking effect by Soto’s vampire, with whose fear of death we can sympathize and whose vampiric condition, originally enough, has intensified it rather than cancelled it out. Third, our ambivalence reaches its maximum when we read that on the night he came home to find his wife with a stake through her heart, he was bringing a baby with him for their evening “meal”. While emotive vocabulary is deployed in the description of the sight of the wife, the baby is mentioned casually, just as if he had happened to mention that he was bringing home something humans would consider normal food. Here, we are forced to confront our feelings of sympathy, on the one hand, for anyone coming home in expectation of a pleasant evening with their spouse only to find the latter brutally killed, but on the other hand, the realization that a nice, normal evening for this couple involves consuming a baby, jolting us away from identifying with him or them.

126  Text-By-Text Analysis All in all, the interest of “Siempre in mi recuerdo” resides in this tension between a sympathetic, domesticated-seeming vampire and a ruthless evil one: it is all too easy to see him as a somewhat frail old man, who is frightened of dying and who lost his wife in traumatic circumstances but this clashes irreconcilably with his willingness to murder a baby in the sixteenth century, a fifteen year-old now, and the many others that the text and logic imply must have fed him between the two, with the result that we cannot fit him comfortably in the category Jules Zanger calls “the vampire next door”, but nor does he fit in the traditional plain evil mould.4 If vampires always have some kind of metaphorical weight, however inchoate, what might this one represent? Here is an old man who seems friendly and harmless but proves to be determined to cling to his con­ tinued existence selfishly, no matter what the cost to the young, shedding only crocodile tears for the harm he knows he is doing and salving his conscience with superficial gestures such as the posthumous blood drinking and the removal of the body from plain sight. When Pardo ­Bazán cast an old man as a vampire, there was no issue around an ageing demographic, but there was about age differences between young wives and much older husbands, explaining why the predatory relationship was within marriage. In 2010, with the cost of social care and pensions regularly in the news, a new reading of the elderly vampire suggests itself. Does the powerful image of the old man feeding off a teenager, however humanely and regretfully, gesture towards anxieties and ambivalent feelings arising from this?

Notes 1 Interview by Ahumada, El Diario Montañés, 27 December 2010 (www.­h istoriasacaba-20101227.html, accessed 12 July 2018). 2 Williamson, Lure of the Vampire, 29. 3 Hallab, Vampire God, 6–7. 4 Zanger, “Metaphor into Metonymy”, 17.

22 José María Tamparillas, “El sabor de la buena tierra” [The Taste of Good Earth] (2010); “Sangre de mi sangre, carne de mi carne” [Blood of my Blood, Flesh of my Flesh] (2012); and “La vieja, muy vieja Betty” [Old, Very Old Betty] (2012) The Author Born in 1970 in Zaragoza, José María Tamparillas has a well-established position among Spanish writers of horror fiction, but is not a big name outside that specialist area. He has numerous stories published online, in magazines and anthologies, and a sole-authored collection, Carne de mi carne, from which two of the stories discussed below are taken. In an interview given at the time of publication of the latter, he professes to be a fan of hard-boiled detective fiction, mentioning Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, but also lists Hemingway and Steinbeck in his top ten authors.1 The only Spaniard included there is Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, bolstering the evidence that contemporary Spanish writers of vampire fiction see themselves as heirs principally to a non-Spanish literary tradition. Interestingly for our purposes, he lists vampires as one of the clichés of horror fiction from which he seeks to distance himself, but later on states that he likes to surprise his readers by doing something original with a time-honoured topic or trope, so perhaps this is the explanation for what we might call his borderline vampires in the stories discussed below.

“El sabor de la buena tierra” Plot Summary A boy of undisclosed age, but presumably around eight or nine, is the focalizer of this story, which opens with his encounter at the end of the school day with a strange yet somehow familiar man who is eating handfuls of soil and who tells the boy that this calms his ravenous hunger when he cannot get what he really likes to eat. After this brief scene, we follow the boy as he goes home with the uncle who always picks him up and who is offering moral and practical support to the mother and son since the father left and the mother had some kind of breakdown. We are told nothing of what led to the father’s departure; this might even be a euphemism for death used

128  Text-By-Text Analysis to the child. What we can infer, however, is that there was more to the conversation between the boy and the strange soil-eating man than what was recorded at the start of the story, for the boy is convinced – seemingly based on it – that his father is going to come back tonight and then “las cosas cambiarán para siempre” (70) [things are going to change forever]. The boy is also convinced that his uncle is in on the secret and part of the plan, but we have no corroboration for this. The story ends with a gentle knock at the door.

“Sangre de mi sangre, carne de mi carne” Plot Summary This story is narrated by a seventeen-year-old boy who pays a visit he finds disturbing to his paternal grandfather, now in an old-age home and close to death, incontinent, and suffering from terminal cancer. Amongst other things, the old man tells his grandson that he (the grandson) has “agallas” [literally “gills”, but a metaphor analogous to having “guts” in English], implying that in that respect he is unlike the father. Following this, the teenager has a terrifying nightmare which anticipates what he will learn from his mother the following day when he investigates why his father has such a dysfunctional relationship with the grandfather: the latter was destructive and cruel to his wife; the couple had had three stillborn daughters before their son, the narrator’s father, was born. To have a son had been the grandfather’s sole reason for marrying, but this one was a disappointment to him, for he found him to be weak and un-macho. Against his father’s wishes, the narrator now decides to visit the grandfather again. On the bus going there, he has a vision or hallucination of the deceased grandmother warning him not to go, but he disregards it. The visit brings the story to an end with the transfer of the grandfather’s soul to the grandson’s young body, while the grandson finds himself trapped in the sick old man’s, against the backdrop of the Gothic staple of a violent thunderstorm. As the now young and strong grandfather leaves, the narrator remains trapped in the old, dying body in the wheelchair with only the ghosts of the stillborn baby girls for company.

“La vieja, muy vieja Betty” Plot Summary The eponymous protagonist of this story is a former horror-film star who is now old and decrepit. She has been invited to a film festival to receive a lifetime-contribution award and is determined to appear at it looking like a film-star still and not the impoverished hag who lives in a cheap and sordid boarding-house that in fact she has become. Goaded by her younger self, who either has come to life from a glamorous photo portrait or who Betty imagines is talking to her, she kills her landlady and landlord and daubs herself in their blood in the belief that this will transform her back into her youthful self. We later learn that earlier in her life

José María Tamparillas  129 she murdered her own daughter for the same purpose, a daughter whose grave she visits at the end of the story and whose ghost confronts Betty and brings about her death.

Analysis If “El sabor de la buena tierra” did not appear in an anthology devoted to vampire fiction, it might not even occur to the reader that the soil-eating man is a vampire; instead, one might regard it as a plain ghost-story, with the father’s return still feeling sinister and the idea of things being about to change forever sounding more than somewhat ominous, but not especially vampire-related. However, in its publishing context, one is looking for a vampire and so spots the subtle but nonetheless convincing clues that the soil-eating man is the child’s father who has somehow become (or always was?) a vampire and that his return tonight will lead to his feeding off the rest of the family. The evidence for regarding the man as a vampire relates to how he is described. Details include his “rostro blanco y enfemizo” (59) [white, sickly face], the power of his gaze, which “le cohibe y le atrae” (60) [inhibits and attracts] the child and, above all, his mouth: “El aliento le hiede. Tiene los dientes muy amarillos … . Sus caninos son afilados y estrechos” (60) [His breath stinks. His teeth are very yellow. His canines are sharp and narrow]. When the uncle sees him talking to his nephew, he is reminded of a blood-sucking tick and is overwhelmed by an indefinable awareness that despite ostensibly human features, the man does not belong to the human race (all 63); and he too is transfixed and subjugated by the man’s gaze: “Lucha pero es inútil, nada puede contra la intensidad que emanan aquellos puntos oscuros sin vida, no hay voluntad, nada más que obediencia” (64) [He struggles but it’s pointless; he can do nothing to combat the intensity emanating from those lifeless dark spots, no will, nothing but obedience]. The power of this story lies in what is left unsaid, unexplained, rather than what is present. How did the vampire become one? Is the fate awaiting child, mother, and uncle just after the story ends a ghastly bloodbath? Will this turn the three of them into vampires themselves? Will the uncle in fact be ready and able to annihilate the vampire? The story draws on transnational folkloric tradition more than literary predecessors to the extent that it is there that we find vampires’ primary victims being members of their own family. 2 However, as several of the texts discussed above and below also show, the Eastern European motif of the vampire as a family problem above all, is one that has frequently been retained in the Spanish corpus, something which will be explored comparatively in Part II. We have seen stories where the vampire character is a child, creating problems for the parents and siblings (“Al caer la noche”, to name but one example), one where a mother stands accused of vampirism (“Las noches del Espíritu Santo”), and one where it is an aunt (Gothika), but it is

130  Text-By-Text Analysis now that we meet the vampire father. Instead of being a dangerous outsider threatening the sanctity of marriage, Tamparillas’s character is coming home to his wife and son, albeit in horribly transfigured form. Is this a metaphor of the philandering husband bringing sexually transmitted disease home with him and contaminating his family? Or might it be a different kind of contamination that is being evoked here: one that threatens to consume the very earth, soil, land – and tierra means all three – of home? If it is, then it is notable that the consumer is native and it is therefore hard to avoid reading this as an oblique reference to Spain’s self-harming Civil War. All three of Tamparillas’s stories considered here follow in the tradition of Todorov’s fantastic. Eating soil is an eccentricity to be sure but not paranormal and all the other potentially supernatural details of “El sabor de la buena tierra” and “La vieja, muy vieja Betty” could be a product of the focalizing characters’ imagination, even though the grain of both texts encourages the reader to think otherwise. “Sangre de mi sangre” also permits both a supernatural and a realist reading and foregrounds the tension between the two more than the other stories, something the author acknowledges can co-exist in the interview cited above, where he says, El núcleo familiar es origen y depositario de dos fórmulas de terror, una pedestre, íntima, del día a día, basada en la rutina, el silencio y aquello que llevan aparejados; y otra más oscura y siniestra, ligada a lo sobrenatural. [The nuclear family is the origin and vessel for two terror formulae, the one pedestrian, private, everyday, based on routine, silence and what they bring with them; and the other darker and more sinister, connected with the supernatural]. Reading “Sangre de mi sangre” as having no supernatural element is just possible: it is not problematic to consider that the narrator-grandson is haunted by what his mother has told him about his paternal grandparents and by the present claustrophobic situation in which his grandfather exists: “un muerto con vida” (61) [a living dead man], confined to a wheelchair in a room next to a barred window and trapped in an infirm body. As he says, prophetically as it turns out, “He tenido pesadillas con ello, mi propia alma encerrada hasta la eternidad en un pequeño cuarto enrejado” (58) [I’ve had nightmares about it, my own soul imprisoned for all eternity in a small, barred room]. The unburying of the past as he finds out about his family history can be understood as disturbing him to such a degree that he hallucinates the warning vision of the grandmother on his way to visit the grandfather and the soul-swap can be read as an out-of-body experience, which will presumably wear off after he gets away from the man, or if not, will leave him deranged, but not the victim of a supernatural phenomenon. However, he has the nightmare about the stillborn baby girls before his

José María Tamparillas  131 mother tells him about them, which is difficult to explain rationally except by speculating without any supporting textual evidence that he must have heard or overheard the story previously and forgotten it consciously. The supernatural reading identifies the grandfather as an evil psi-vamp – indeed, he is described as a “vampiro espiritual” (73) [spiritual vampire] by the narrator when he has been told the back-story by his mother – who by his own confession derives pleasure from inflicting suffering on others and who ruthlessly preys upon his grandson so as to have a new life in his young body. Internal characters, including the narrator’s mother and his paternal grandmother, believe in the man’s supernatural powers, holding him responsible in some paranormal fashion for the stillbirths of the female babies because he wanted only a son; and, as with the vampire figure in “El sabor de la buena tierra”, the narrator finds his gaze penetrating and threatening seemingly beyond what may be considered the metaphorical commonplace of Gothic villains with gimlet eyes. The selfish appropriation of another’s youthfulness here and in “La vieja, muy vieja Betty” echoes earlier texts such as Emilia Pardo Bazán’s “Vampiro”, discussed above, which, as we have seen, is itself part of a bigger category, one that includes, for example, Henry James’s The Sacred Fount. In common with all of these, “Sangre de mi sangre” plays in particular on notions of consent that hinge on ideas of owned space: the need to enter a vampire’s space willingly or to invite one to enter the home and usually bedroom of the soon-to-be-victim are staples consecrated by Bram Stoker and there, as in more recent texts that deploy the idea, consent is implicitly problematized because of the undecidable question of how informed it is, consciously or unconsciously. In the present case, does Tamparillas’s young narrator effectively give his consent to his grandfather to prey on him by going to visit him of his own volition? As with earlier examples of this trope, there is here a suggestion of lack of agency on the narrator’s part, with a reference to a magnetic pull to go to the grandfather: ­“Vacilo  … pero sé que voy a entrar, hay algo dentro de ese edificio que me atrae, que me llama” (83) [I hesitate but I know I’m going to go inside; there’s something in that building which is drawing me, calling me]. In this supernatural reading of the story, the horror of the outcome also plays upon the Gothic tradition of the home and the self blurring threateningly, for this willing entering of the grandfather’s space becomes unwilling entrapment in his body.3 In both interpretations, though, “Sangre de mi sangre” has the power to haunt us for its exploration of a cluster of human anxieties that are not especially Spanish. There is the nature of evil and how to deal with it in others and ourselves. The grandfather is described as evil by his son, our narrator’s father (65–66) and the story rests upon the transference of that to the teenager who seems its natural heir, both according to the old man and the grain of the narrative. As well as that, there is an unvarnished portrayal of mortality and its antechamber of feeling trapped in a body that is

132  Text-By-Text Analysis malfunctioning and all the indignities that infirmity entails. Finally, both here and in “La vieja, muy vieja Betty”, in common with Pardo Bazán and Soto, discussed above, Tamparillas presents the idea of the old being a threat to the young, adding to the issues that they spotlighted, a whole panoply of new reasons, including, for “Sangre de mi sangre” specifically, being the repository of disturbing knowledge of the past, physical dependency, guilt infliction, and the sense that the ancestor figure not only emblematizes the past from which we cannot escape but also our equally inevitable future fate, with the potential, as here, to be the stuff of nightmares.4 However, the story also has one aspect which does seem to be related to Hispanic culture specifically and that is the relationship between notions of masculinity and blood. Although Tamparillas’s vampire does not prey on his grandson in a sexualized manner, what makes him such an antipathetic, indeed, evil character is a variety of masculinity that has made him tyrannical and cruel towards his wife (his abuse including sexual brutality), and how this extreme machismo has traumatized his son. In problematizing notions of traditional masculinity in this way, “Sangre de mi sangre” may be grouped with other Spanish contemporary vampire fiction that also focuses on violent, machista – but non-sexualized – relations between men, stories such as “Caries” by Miguel Puente Molins, discussed above. It adds to the evidence that vampirism as a metaphor for transgressive sex of one kind or another has less currency in Hispanic Studies than an Anglophone might expect and, in the case of this story at least, suggests that what blood connotes in the Spanish cultural context is inseparable from the centuries-old issue of “limpieza de sangre”. Although the racial element is not present here, it is clear that the blood in this story’s title alludes above all to the importance the grandfather attaches to the male line of descent: the grandfather’s desire for a son, presumably to validate his masculinity in others’ eyes, and public perceptions of him. This is supported by the son’s baptism celebration being described as “una especie de presentación en sociedad” (77) [a kind of society introduction]. The classic problem with according such importance to how one is viewed by others is that this is not wholly within the control of the patriarchal figure and a good reputation can be jeopardized by wives and daughters, including, as here, by producing or simply being female offspring. Betty too, albeit for different reasons, is also driven over the edge by her wish to control how she looks to others, combined with her inability to do so. The desire for a son in the Spanish context cannot be attributed to the need to keep capital assets in the immediate family since daughters have always been legally entitled to inherit. It is less about the loss of a surname than elsewhere too, since women keep their father’s surname as well as their husband’s when they marry, although it would typically fade out of use at the third generation. What it translates above all, seems to be a visceral perception of a man’s masculinity being proven by production of a surviving son, something that emerges most strongly and with

José María Tamparillas  133 maximum toxic effect when a man with such a mindset does not have one. 5 Even though it is possible to find analogues for anxieties of a similar kind in Anglophone cultures, the importance of such things relative to others is arguably of a quite different order and often slanted otherwise, as I have argued elsewhere.6 Betty’s obsession to look young and glamorous at all costs seems to be the equally damaging feminine counterpart to this, but as her Anglo stage-name implies, is presented as a more transnational phenomenon. Finally, the vampiric trope of contagion or contamination is deployed interestingly by Tamparillas in “Sangre de mi sangre”. We can take the plot at face-value and read as objectively verified in the poetic logic of the text that the grandfather has appropriated the youthful, healthy body of the grandson. In this way, he has contaminated it with his evil soul in time-honoured vampiric fashion, but refreshed the idea by parking the grandson’s soul in his own dying body. Alternatively, we may prefer a figurative interpretation, whereby what he is and represents infects the grandson traumatically. Either way, though, the youngster catches his grandfather’s evil like an incurable illness for which he has a genetic predisposition, with his entrapment in the old body – paranormal or psychotic – suggesting powerfully its crippling, indeed lethal, effect and giving a new turn of the screw to notions of vampire fiction as contagion horror. This will be discussed further in Part II. Is “Sangre de mi sangre” merely a generator of frisson, a playful experiment with selected tropes of vampire stories? Even if it were, it would be an accomplished and effective tale. However, the frisson effect arguably can only succeed if it rests upon anxieties that we shrink from confronting directly and in this case, these do seem to lurk in the sub-text: the inescapability of what we inherit from previous generations and the power that has to poison and trap us, a particularly sensitive topic in Spain visà-vis what are today’s youngsters’ grandparents, given the dates of the Civil War. In “La vieja, muy vieja Betty”, the idea of the old preying on their offspring in order to steal their youthful vitality occurs in the transnationally recognizable key of mother-daughter relations, the same relationship explored in Mercedes Abad’s novel, Sangre, via a vampiric trope, as we saw above. However, it is put to different use by Tamparillas, as is spelt out clearly by the daughter’s ghost, who says to her mother: “te untaste con esa sangre de niña, de arriba a abajo. Me atrapaste, te apropiaste de mi esencia para tu propio interés, me robaste la vida” (218) [you smeared yourself with that little girl’s blood, from top to bottom. You trapped me, you appropriated my essence in your own interests, you stole my life]. In this story, as in Abad’s Sangre, but in contrast to “Sangre de mi sangre”, the motif of blood is not limited to the figurative sense of a bloodline even though that is at issue. Moreover, by casting the vampiric villain as female, Tamparillas ventures into the terrain of the femme fatale, although he does

134  Text-By-Text Analysis so with the twist that Betty’s danger to others does not lie in her seductive powers, but quite the opposite, namely her refusal to accept that the ageing process has or will transform her into a physically repugnant figure, and perhaps tacitly acknowledging that for her as for so many others – such as ­ inent’s Señorita Vampiro and Blanca in de Burgos’s La mujer de Hoyos y V fría – seductive power is the only kind a woman in that society can hope to wield, so letting go of it constitutes acceptance of powerlessness. The setting of the story is Spain and Betty’s identity is clearly Spanish, although she has learnt witchcraft in Cuba. As elsewhere in the Spanish vampire corpus, then, we find the vampire figure blending with the witch – Betty here is repeatedly referred to as “bruja” [witch] – which, as will be discussed in Part II, resonates with Spanish folklore and distinguishes many members of the national subspecies of vampire from the literary Transylvanian type more familiar to Anglophone readers. Betty’s anglicized stage name, adopted one presumes to give a fake Hollywood patina to her cinema persona, but clung to stubbornly in old age, gestures at the artificiality which characterizes her and drives her to commit her grisly crimes. As we are told on the first page of the story: “Actuar, solo actuar, contemplar la mirada extasiada del público, dominarlo, ser admirada, pervivir para siempre con su esencia impregnada en las tiras inmortales del celuloide, de los afiches y cartelones, ese había sido su motor, su impulso y objetivo” (177) [To act, just act, to contemplate the audience’s ecstatic gaze, to have them in the palm of her hand, be admired, to live on forever, her essence impregnating those immortal reels of celluloid, those posters, and pictures; that had been her driving-force, given her momentum and an objective]. Is this merely a story that offers readers a catalogue of gore, spiced up with some Caribbean voodoo? Is it a replay of the old mother-blaming cliché, which indicts women for sacrificing their children on the altar of a glamorous career instead of the opposite, as cultural codes expect?7 How does the vampiric element inflect those well-worn motifs? It might be argued that by bringing them into contact with the idea that taking others’ blood can rejuvenate, but choosing to use it as a skin unguent rather than a liquid to drink, implies that the effects can only be skin-deep but that that is all Betty wants, having devoted her life to performance at the expense of all else, including her own daughter’s welfare. Tamparillas appears to condemn that via not only her antipathetic portrayal throughout but above all by her death at the end of the story. Unlike the grandfather psi-vamp in “Sangre de mi sangre” and Pardo Bazán’s Don Fortunato, Betty notably does not walk away from her crimes with a youthful spring in her step, but is found in foetal position, dead on her daughter’s grave with no one to mourn her but the taxi driver she had left at the cemetery gate waiting in vain for his fare. Evil in this story, does not then have the Gothic stature of tales in which it emerges victorious, nor of those in which a titanic battle sees it eventually defeated. In the postmodern world of scepticism towards

José María Tamparillas  135 grand narratives of this kind, perhaps we should not be surprised at the bitter irony of this futile loss of empty lives all round, for the sake of an aspiration as vacuous and trivial as looking glamorous at a provincial film festival.

Notes 1 Interview by Martínez Gimeno in January 2012. entrevista-a-jos--mar-a-tamparillas-por--carne-de-mi-carne- (accessed 13 June 2017). 2 As Frayling puts it, “The folkloric vampire … was an agricultural figure … who was just as likely to bite sheep and cows as his (usually his) close relatives” (“Foreword”, xi). 3 The blurring of the villain’s home and self as a Gothic technique is discussed further in Lee Six, Gothic Fiction of Adelaida García Morales, 72–77. 4 In the above-cited interview, the author finds his story to be Faustian, interpreting it a posteriori, but does not amplify the comment, which I at least find puzzling. 5 Examples include the title character of Camilo José Cela’s La familia de Pascual Duarte (1942) (discussed further in Lee Six, Gothic Terrors, 120–35). 6 Lee Six, “The Monk: A Hispanist’s Reading”, 30–33. 7 Another striking version of the same indictment is to be found in Tacones lejanos [High Heels] (dir. Pedro Almodóvar, 1991), but without the horror motif in the mother’s career as a celebrity.

23 Lorenzo Fernández Bueno, El vampiro de Silesia [The Silesia Vampire] (2013)

The Author This is a first novel by Lorenzo Fernández Bueno (born in Jaén in 1972), although he had previously published numerous horror stories in anthologies and one single-authored collection of these called Terrores nocturnos (“Night Terrors”) (2007). He has also worked in journalism and been involved in television programmes in the general area of horror/mystery as both screenplay writer and participant. Among his many non-fictional works, tracing legends and mysteries and such like, he has co-authored a study purporting to reveal the underlying keys to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

Plot Summary The story is set in present-day Italy, where the protagonist, Maurizio ­Roncalli, a distinguished archaeologist, is so dedicated to his research that his girlfriend, Donnatella, is threatening to leave him. He receives a message from Adriano Toscanelli, his former university professor, summoning him to Venice urgently and despite the fact that tonight he and Donnatella are meant to be celebrating their fifth anniversary together, he sets off. What he finds there is an archaeological excavation of multiple bodies of plague victims dating from the sixteenth century, which poses the scientific investigation two questions: why were the bodies not cremated, when this was the normal practice to stop the spread of the infection and why were they buried in hallowed ground, when the evidence shows that they were considered evil? One skeleton, in particular, believed to be a woman’s, shows signs that she was considered a vampire, since the jawbone is dislocated by a brick having been forced into the mouth, a practice believed to stop the evil soul from re-entering the body after death and so to keep it quiet in its grave.1 The timeline of the story now flashes back to 1978 and Maurizio’s childhood, when he witnessed his mother being subjected to the same ritual and he was rescued just in time by the police from a probably similar fate. As

Lorenzo Fernández Bueno  137 well as the horror generated by the idea that a child was forced to witness the brutal murder of his mother, comes the revelation that the forcing of the brick into the mouth is done when the victim is still alive and is part of an exorcism ritual, rather than being something believed necessary post-death to prepare the body for burial. Returning to the present timeframe of the plot, we now meet Hécate Casalli, an expert in the field and a green-eyed beauty with whom Maurizio had an affair when they were both students. She is also on the team to study the remains of the putative vampire, along with a sinister-seeming priest called Luvoslav, who is ostensibly involved because the location of the dig is in hallowed ground. Soon after and, having managed to persuade a street trader to deliver a mysterious envelope to Maurizio in return for fifty euros, Hécate is murdered in a clearly targeted attack, although the death is covered up as accident or suicide. The envelope contains her preliminary research on the excavated body, including the discovery that a mysterious series of letters scratched into the skull had been imperfectly covered up. The novel then proceeds along the lines of a mystery thriller, with clues pointing to Father Luvoslav being involved in Hécate’s murder, motivated, we assume, by his and the Vatican’s wish to prevent her discoveries coming to light. There are several twists and turns in the plot thereafter, including Maurizio being drugged and blood samples being taken while he is unconscious, and his being mugged for invaluable documents he is carrying. He travels to Prague to talk to an old man, Zeman, who has studied and written a book, rapidly suppressed, about the murky history of the Holy Office and a secret group of ten men operating in Venice at the same time as these plague burials, led by none other than the man who would later become Pope Sixtus V. Zeman is, we learn, having to live in hiding because – in time-honoured fashion – he knows too much 2 and this amounts to his discovery that the Pope in question had believed stories according to which epidemics killing people from acute anaemia were attributable to vampires hailing from Silesia and he had sought to investigate how to acquire the immortality carried in their blood whilst filtering out the evil that came with that. It was with that aim that he had overseen the slow and tortured death of the woman whose body had been found in Venice. An elaborate nested narrative, comprised of letters dating from the eighteenth century and attesting to vampiric beliefs and occurrences then follows. The possession of these letters has led to the persecution of Zeman and his family and, now that they have been handed over to Maurizio, he is pursued – in the city and in his dreams – by a mysterious man dressed in black, with dark circles under his bloodshot eyes and the smell of a corpse, who reminds him of a hologram rather than a flesh-andblood human. Finally, Maurizio discovers that the skull had been switched and the original was the evil Pope Sextus’s; that Toscanelli has been on the side of the villains all along; and that the cruel experimentation to isolate the key to

138  Text-By-Text Analysis immortality in vampiric blood has continued to the present day, leading to himself, for his mother was one such guinea-pig, eliminated via the ancient ritual of the brick in the mouth when she got out of control. Maurizio has the immortality ingredient in his own veins, inherited from her. In a botched attempt to eliminate him, he is left brain damaged and so unable to denounce the villainy, which has been fully explained to him by Toscanelli once he is considered no longer to pose a threat, just as in all the most stereotyped crime stories and as with Heathcliff Higgins in Entre nosotros (see above). However, Maurizio does have a last laugh of sorts even though he dies in the penultimate chapter, for sensing danger, we learn in the final chapter that he had carefully planned how to record the show-down scene between himself and Toscanelli secretly and to get it to Zeman in Prague. This has led to Toscanelli’s arrest and to some of the truth coming out in the press, but the final words of the novel describe Maurizio’s blood being analysed by the stock evil scientist, showing that this satanic research is continuing.

Analysis El vampiro de Silesia seems to be hoping to ride several bandwagons simultaneously. As well as tapping into the popularity of vampire stories and using a selection of motifs recognizable from there, as we shall see, it also appears to be aiming for the same kind of readership as those who made Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code (2003) a bestseller. 3 Accordingly, there is a complicated plot involving secrets that could bring the Vatican into disrepute, arcane knowledge and rituals, and most noticeably of all, a code to break, which is the mysterious series of letter scratched into the skull and then concealed. It also makes a point of including sex and references to attractive women’s bodies at regular intervals, more as if this were a would-be-bestseller box to be ticked than because it is necessary to the plot or character development. On the contrary, these moments have a distinctly artificial feel to them. For example, there is the depiction of Zeman’s niece, Martina, who looks after her uncle, having been orphaned in an attack by the enemies who want to keep him quiet and which he and she survived, but not her parents. Martina is extraordinarily beautiful, conveniently enough; the descriptions are excruciating, but more criticably, entirely implausible and gratuitous (but for the possible sexual titillation of a certain kind of reader). For example, when she comes to Maurizio’s hotel in Prague to warn him about the danger in which he will place himself if he pursues his research, she is wearing “botas rojas, pantalones negros ceñidos a sus largas piernas, y un grueso jersey … que le tapaba hasta su largo cuello de cisne” (241) [red boots, black trousers hugging her long legs, and a thick jumper which covered even her long swan’s neck]; she declines his invitation to address him in the familiar form, but at the end of the meeting as Maurizio follows her towards the hotel exit, “se ruborizó al descubrirse

Lorenzo Fernández Bueno  139 contemplando cada centímetro del cuerpo de aquella fascinante mujer. Y ella, que presentía su mirada, se volvió y, sin mediar palabra, se acercó a él y lo besó” (244) [he blushed as he caught himself gazing at every inch of that fascinating woman’s body. And sensing his eyes on her she turned round and without a word, came to him and kissed him], then saying goodbye still in the polite form. When she takes him back to her place after a car accident intended to kill him, but which left him virtually unscathed physically, if emotionally very shaken: le despojó de sus botas, después los pantalones, lo incorporó para desabotonarle la camisa y a continuación, sin rubor alguno, lo despojó de la ropa interior. … -Martina… [ellipsis in original] quédate conmigo. … Ella lo miró compasiva, y sin decir nada se desvistió lentamente. Primero el vestido negro de cuello alto, después la lencería del mismo color. Quedó desnuda, iluminada tan sólo por el vaivén de la llama que, sinuosa como una serpiente, acariciaba su blanca piel. Y así, respirando entrecortadamente, se introdujo entre las sábanas y lo abrazó. (289–90) [she took off his boots, then his trousers, sat him up to unbutton his shirt and next, without the slightest embarrassment, she took off his underwear. “Martina… stay with me.” She gave him a look filled with compassion and without saying any­ thing, slowly undressed. First her black, high-necked dress, then her underwear of the same colour. She stood there naked, lit only by the firelight, flickering sinuously like a snake, which caressed her white skin. And thus, breathing in short gasps, she slipped between the sheets and embraced him.] And although from their first meeting, it has been planted that Maurizio feels that in some uncanny sense he has met her before and this is reiterated when they say goodbye forever the following day, this thread is never tied at the end of the novel: we have no reason or explanation within the supernatural logic of the plot. Although we eventually learn that Maurizio carries the ancient vampire gene of immortality, no evidence suggests that she does too and nothing points to any relationship between him and her or her ancestors. One is forced to conclude, then, that this transient encounter is there purely to entertain, as are the sex scenes with Donnatella and Hécate. This is one of several Spanish vampire stories that remove themselves from the Spanish cultural context altogether: in this instance, Italy is the chosen “other” place; it was England for José de la Rosa’s Vampiro and the United States for Juan Ignacio Carrasco’s Entre nosotros. The displacement

140  Text-By-Text Analysis goes beyond the setting, however, for the text attempts to give the impression that it has been translated from Italian, perhaps gesturing towards the popularity of the giallo genre and adding to the already plentiful evidence that Spanish writers or publishers or both seem to believe that vampire narratives will meet reader demand better if they seem non-Spanish. For example, when Maurizio is in Prague and receives an unexpected telephone call, he first mistakes the receptionist for an Italian he knows, but realizes he is wrong when he notices that “pese a tener la misma cadencia aterciopelada al hablar marcaba ciertas palabras en exceso, confirmando que su italiano no era su idioma materno” [despite speaking with the same ­velvet-soft cadence, he emphasized certain words excessively, confirming that Italian was not his mother-tongue] and then, when he is put through to Zeman’s niece, the narrator comments that he is “sorprendido por el excelente dominio de su idioma” [surprised by her excellent command of his language] (both 239). On arrival at Prague Airport, Maurizio has specified that the taxi driver guesses he is Italian from his looks and speaks good English and Italian, from which we infer that despite all of the dialogue being in Spanish on the page, this conversation has begun in English and then switched to Italian once the taxi driver has guessed Maurizio’s nationality.4 In other words, the reader is given the overall impression that the narrative has started life in Italian. There is often a certain casual carelessness on the part of the authors – including this one – who make this foreignizing choice when they leave their linguistic and cultural comfort zone. One wonders what one is invited to assume, for example, when a comic-relief figure who is a toothless waiter in the Prague hotel, addressing Maurizio in poor Italian, attempts to warn him that the sofa where he is sitting has a broken leg. This is rendered as “-Tenja cuidado con la puta; está algo rrrrota” (241, italics as in original). Does the waiter’s howler of confusing pata for a furniture leg with puta, meaning “whore” imply that a clever Spanish translator from Italian has managed to keep the humour of the (non-existent) Italian source text by finding an equivalent joke (a literal one would not work)? And what of the mis-pronuncation of the hard ‘g’, changing the correct form of “tenga” into “tenja”: another compensatory but non-equivalent translation? Has Fernández Bueno lost sight of the plan to make the text seem like one translated from Italian at this point or does he assume that his readers will not be linguists and so questions of this kind will not occur to them? Other oversights are not in doubt: a Chanel handbag is spelt Channel (60), for example, whilst certain apparent slips seem unconnected with the setting or the illusion of the translated text: many descriptions of Maurizio call him an archaeologist and the story-line confirms that, but on page 23 he is suddenly an anthropologist. The characters conform to time-honoured transnational types. M ­ aurizio, the investigator with a drink problem and a dedication to his work which wreaks havoc on his love-life, echoes the hard-boiled detective figure;

Lorenzo Fernández Bueno  141 Luvoslav, “completamente vestido de negro, con la cabeza rasurada, la tez pálida y unos profundos ojos verdes que resultaban misteriosamente hipnóticos” [dressed all in black, his head shaven, his complexion pallid and mysteriously hypnotic deep-set green eyes] (134) seems to be a direct descendant of the evil priests of the early Gothics, men like Ann ­Radcliffe’s Schedoni in The Italian; and some elements of the Van Helsing type are to be found in Toscanelli: the elderly man of science wise enough not to dismiss arrogantly what we cannot explain rationally. Here, however, Fernández Bueno wrong-foots us, for if we do pigeonhole Toscanelli as playing a Van Helsing role, that places him beyond suspicion of the ­double-dealing evil eventually revealed, giving that twist in the plot enhanced shock value. For readers who like vampire fiction best when it is set in Eastern Europe and replete with period costume and customs, this novel has its nested narrative to offer, as well as the title’s reference to Silesia alluding to it. Here, that constituency can find letters and diary entries, evoking Stoker’s narrative form in Dracula, and the comforts of familiar motifs, including, for example, multiple unexplained deaths, bodies that do not decompose normally, a character whose brush with these phenomena makes him fear he is losing his reason (Harker’s brain-fever in Dracula springs to mind here) and moments of suspense sustained by breaking off at a cliff-hanger, such as the diary entry dated as “12 de mayo de 1731, madrugada” (248, italics in original) [12th May, 1731, small hours of the morning], which records the frightening sound of creaking wood as someone seems to be furtively climbing the stairs, the “respiración demoníaca” [demoniacal breathing] of this interloper even perceptible, until the entry ends “¡La puerta…!” (all 248, ellipsis in original) [The door…!], whereupon a new chapter returns us forcibly to Maurizio in the present. Formulaic it may be, but El vampiro de Silesia is nevertheless a useful case study, precisely because it demonstrates what the ingredients of a ­popular-fiction vampire novel in Spain today are: a plot with plenty of twists and turns; some sexual titillation (in this text clearly pitched at heterosexual male readers); some Dracula echoes; a mystery element where we are one step ahead of the investigating internal character(s) but no more than that; one or more exotically “other” settings with a Gothic pedigree (Venice and eastern Europe in this instance) and some period flavour. It contains some interesting ideas, nevertheless: for example, Fernández Bueno camouflages until the resolution of the plot the time-honoured link between sexual titillation and the vampire’s bite: until we find out that Maurizio has the immortality component in his blood, we have read his sexual adventures as those of an ordinary man but with that revelation we realize that his attractiveness to the various women in the novel may in fact have something to do with the extraordinary qualities of what is running through his veins after all. Above all, the dénouement is relatively nuanced, with Maurizio disabled yet alive and the skulduggery of Toscanelli et al. partly but not wholly exposed.

142  Text-By-Text Analysis

Notes 1 This much is fact-based. See a description and photograph in Collins, “Real vampire hunters”. 2 Without apparent irony, this tired cliché is actually used three times in the text, first when Zeman’s niece describes her uncle as “un viejo que quiso saber más de lo que debía” (243) [an old man who strove to know more than he should] and at the dénouement, when Toscanelli explains first that Hécate had to be killed because she “sabía demasiado” [knew too much] and that now Maurizio unfortunately does too and will have to be eliminated (both 308). 3 Davies notes that this Da Vinci Code formula has many followers in contemporary Spain, including Julia Navarro, Julián Sánchez, Javier Sierra, and ­A ndreu Carranza, but she does not mention El vampiro de Silesia (Contemporary Spanish Gothic, 55). 4 The hotel is named as Stayat Juli in the novel and we are told it has four stars and is very close to Wenceslas Square. In real life, there is a four-star hotel called Juliš in that square. Whether its receptionists speak Italian is unclear, but the website is only in Czech, English, German, and Russian. See www. (accessed 1 December 2016). A tourist guide to Prague says “nowadays you should have no problems communicating in English in most towns, and to a lesser extent in German. Older people often speak Russian and German. But French, Italian or Spanish are not very much spoken by the locals” czech-language/ (accessed 1 December 2016). Thus, the rather implausible hints about Italian being used during Maurizio’s time in Prague, arguably point more to the author’s wish to give the novel the feel of one translated from Italian than of attempts to bolster its believability.

24 Carlos Molinero, Verano de miedo [Terrific/Terrifying Summer] (2014)

The Author Born in 1972, Molinaro has written or co-written a range of screenplays, some drama and is also a film director. As far as I have been able to ascertain, he has not published other prose fiction to date.

Plot Summary This novel opens with a letter dated 1938 from a Civil War Republican fighter, now in hospital, to his daughter. He describes a vicious attack on the trench where he was stationed, by vampires in Nazi uniforms. It was brought to an end by a massive explosion that buried them and their victims in rubble, just after he managed to escape. Now the action moves to the year 2000, when the seventeen-year-old protagonist, Juan, is spending the summer with his mother and grandmother in the latter’s house, situated in countryside near Madrid. Since there is no internet connection at the house, Juan frequents the local cyber-café, where he meets two sisters who are locals, Marta and Eva. Marta is very attractive and has an unpleasant boyfriend, Robert, the rich kid of the area, son of a businessman who is building a housing development nearby. Eva, a Goth, is seriously overweight and suffers from a hormonal problem which causes her to perspire profusely. She is a victim of cruel taunting by her sister and others and suffers greatly from this emotionally. There is also a thirteen-year-old called Jairo, who is fond of Eva though she barely notices this as she is pining for Juan, who is himself wishing Marta would leave Robert for him. It transpires that the building-site for the housing development is just where the Nazi vampires were buried in 1938 and the excavation work there has enabled one of them to re-surface. The youngsters encounter him one night when Robert and Juan are playing a dangerous macho game of climbing one of the cranes competitively. Robert is killed and turned into a vampire, with the others getting away. Soon after, Robert attacks Marta, but is destroyed before she has been killed and turned into a vampire herself. Next is Eva, who decides she is so unhappy, having read Juan’s blog

144  Text-By-Text Analysis that refers to her weight problem flippantly, that she would rather be a vampire and hence be slim than continue to live as an overweight human. The same blog attracts the attention of an eccentric German vampire-hunter who knows of this particular group of Nazis and comes to help the youngsters. They confront the vampires together and in a scene of carnage, the undead Eva is apparently reduced to ashes and Juan loses an eye in combat. Juan and Jairo are admitted to a psychiatric hospital having been diagnosed as suffering from group psychosis. Juan tricks the psychiatrist into thinking he is cured and so is discharged. The dénouement shows him getting back together with the vampire-hunter so they can travel together to Chernobyl, where the vampires have moved on to, to try to rid the world of them there and a final twist suggests that Eva might not have been destroyed after all and is still therefore a vampire.

Analysis The form of the novel pays tribute to Dracula by deploying the same scrapbook format, updating it to reflect the latest technology for today just as Stoker did for his time (with phonograph recordings, for example). As well as diary entries and copies of traditional records (such as judicial and medical ones), we have Juan’s blog, his followers’ reactions to it, and there are also text message exchanges and internet chat-room transcriptions, for instance. It also retains the same elements of plot and characters: a vampire leader, now a Nazi from the 1930s rather than a Transylvanian warlord; a group of young people caught up in the unfolding drama, now teenagers rather than young adults; one loss that matters to the reader, now the unhappy and physically unattractive Eva rather than the alluring Lucy, but both characters presented sympathetically; and an older and wiser expert from another country to help the youngsters, now a German scientist rather than a Dutch one, but both offering the same combination of knowledgeability and eccentricity. The most important structural departure is the open ending: with Juan and the German vampire-hunter on their way to ­Chernobyl and a cryptic message seemingly from Eva, we are left without closure on those two important fronts. Some of the traditional rules are followed too: much is made of the efficacy of garlic and sunlight, both in abundant supply in summer in Castile (Juan uses his grandmother’s garlicky gazpacho against the vampires); the vampires are unable to cross running water and have to be staked or burnt to be destroyed. However, the religious component is played down noticeably; the thirteen-year-old Jairo is a devout Catholic, but his prayers and confessions do little good and his faith in the efficacy of holy water against the vampires is not borne out by events (104–05 and 118). We will return to this treatment of Roman Catholic belief in the novel in Part II. Notwithstanding all the rather well-worn transnational material, Verano de miedo does more than simply transpose events to Spain and update the

Carlos Molinero  145 technology. Burying the past and then unearthing it has been a recurrent trope in Spanish cultural production in recent years;1 we should not be surprised to find it used with a horror effect when it occurs in a vampire novel and the general idea is a feature of Anglophone vampire fiction too, as Hallab observes: the vampire embodies the not-so-dead past, insisting on the interconnectedness, for better or worse, of our origins and our present selves. As a living representative of history, the vampire tells us that we are not alone, that our past is not gone, our dead have not disappeared. 2 Nonetheless, it is interesting that the particular aspect of the Civil War that Molinero has chosen to present as undead and dangerous to today’s youngsters is the support of Franco’s Nationalists by Nazi Germany. As the heroic vampire-hunter is also German, the novel cannot be dismissed as expressing crude xenophobia or anti-German sentiment, implying instead that present-day Germans are also the victims of their country’s Nazi past (the vampire-hunter has lost the love of his life to vampires and this is his motivation to devote himself to pursuing them). Does Eva’s decision that she would rather join the ranks of the Nazi vampires, portrayed without an ounce of desirability, than continue living, shed light on the function of making vampires Nazis in this novel? She is the victim of implausibly cruel treatment by her sister, but what are more credible and effective in building up a depiction that enables the reader to understand and sympathize with her extreme unhappiness are the well-meant remarks by the mother and Juan’s thoughtlessness. The mother is trying to help her daughter lose weight but is actually driving her back to the fridge all the more inevitably by embarrassing her in front of her friends including Juan: for example, after telling her off in front of them for drinking Coca-Cola and accusing her (groundlessly) of eating crisps, she makes matters even worse by telling Juan and Jairo, “Veréis, chicos, Eva tiene un problema con la comida y tenemos que ayudarla, entre todos, espero que lo comprendáis” (33) [You see, lads, Eva has a problem with food and we have to help her, all of us; I hope you understand]. Juan’s thoughtless flippancy in referring to Eva’s excess weight and perspiration in his blog also strikes a chord for the reader, who recognizes the danger of saying things in electronic media which are read by the wrong person and/or misinterpreted. Perhaps the point of making Eva choose to join this unequivocally repugnant group of beings is to underline the depth of her misery and, by extension, that of other young people with serious body-image problems; to suggest that there are no lengths to which they will not go to escape them and that, in a way, whether we see her as a suicide victim as do the authorities, or as a voluntary convert to vampirism as do the protagonists, the tragedy is the degree to which she felt life as a human being was intolerable. Thus, we could read “Nazi” as shorthand for unalloyed evil, rather

146  Text-By-Text Analysis as in Entre nosotros, but with the added implicit message in this novel that the horrors of the Spanish Civil War can be blamed on outsiders, a more soothing idea than the messy and complex facts. All in all, the characters are admittedly rather caricatured set types, but they are coherent and consistent as such and so they can be judged successful on their own terms, as, say, cartoon art may be, as long as it is not expected to be like an oil painting.

Notes 1 For a helpful survey of this recurrent theme, see Byron and Byron, “Barcelona Gothic”. 2 Hallab, Vampire God, 14.

25 Gema del Prado Marugán, “Comer con los ojos” [Devouring Eyes] (2016)1

The Author Gema del Prado Marugán, a Madrilenian in her late thirties, has published short stories, some of them prizewinning, across the fantasy spectrum, in anthologies and online. As well as sole-authored texts like “Comer con los ojos”, she also has co-written with up to three others. She can be considered a niche writer, but one who certainly has her fan-base.

Plot Summary In this short story, Marcos and Alejandro are brothers whose parents apparently leave them to their own devices a great deal because of work pressures: the mother is doing night-shifts as a nurse and the father gets home late and goes out early. The story opens when the boys are having the breakfast they have made for themselves before school as their father has already left for work and the mother is not yet home: she comes in while they are eating, exchanges a few affectionate words with them and then goes straight to bed. We learn that they stayed up so late playing computer war-games that they have overslept and the younger boy, Alejandro, who is the hard-working one, is worried about missing the first lesson at school. Marcos promises to get him there on time by showing him a shortcut. This unfamiliar route takes them through a housing estate where Alejandro notices a child standing at a window in Mickey Mouse pyjamas looking forlornly out and, on making eye contact with him, is somehow captivated, ensnared. Not only does he start doing badly at school for the first time, but he distances himself from his elder brother, making excuses not to walk to or from school with him any more. He begins to waste away, inexplicably to the internal characters, but not of course, to the reader familiar with the conventions of vampire fiction. Eventually we learn that he had taken to visiting the boy in pyjamas, whom he calls “el tragón” [the guzzler or gulper] and that this boy has regained his strength by drinking Alejandro’s blood, which has in turn sapped him of his. At the end of the story, Alejandro is now a boy in pyjamas himself staring forlornly out of his window, hoping to catch the eye of another child and so move from prey to predator himself.

148  Text-By-Text Analysis

Analysis “Comer con los ojos” utilizes the conventions of vampire fiction selectively: there is blood-drinking and contagion, the hypnotic power of the vampire’s gaze, and there is the mysterious, consumptive wasting away of the prey; but there is no mention of garlic, crucifixes, nor any references to the tragón being undead and it utilizes the idea of the vampire having no mirror image to make the same point as Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent did a century earlier, for Alejandro does look in a mirror right at the end of the story, but rather than discovering he has no image at all, he sees a reflection that tells him he now has the face of the boy in the Mickey Mouse pyjamas; the closing words, in a paragraph on their own, are “Ahora él era el niño de la ventana” (75) [He was now the little boy at the window]. The title of the story is a set expression in Spanish with no exact equivalent in English. Its literal meaning, “to eat with one’s eyes”, can be paralleled in part with the English expression “to feast one’s eyes on” and, in some contexts, “to have eyes bigger than one’s belly”, but it has stronger connotations of covetousness, sexual desire, lust, and lechery, evoking a discomfiting way for a man to look at a woman, with internet discussions of how to translate it including suggestions of “ogling” and “undressing someone with a look”, for example. This doubtless reflects the transnational cultural conceptualization of heterosexual sex as somehow analogous to eating – on the man’s part – and being eaten – on the woman’s and indeed, this is reflected in the discussion forums, where the contributors are unanimous that it is only a man who can “comer con los ojos” a woman and not the other way around. 2 However, a femme fatale type of woman may be threatening precisely because she reverses this gendered predator/prey dynamic, as we see in many a story featuring female vampires (in this volume, see for example, the characterization of Señorita Vampiro in Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent’s story or the narrator-protagonist of Elia Barceló’s “La belle dame sans merci”, both discussed above) and in the vagina dentata trope towards which they gesture. 3 A fine example away from vampires of the sexually devouring imagery associated with this type of woman is to be found in Carlos Saura’s film Carmen (1983), when Antonio Gades (playing himself) is pressing the dancer playing that quintessential femme fatale, Carmen (Laura del Sol), to adopt a more predatory demeanour in the way she is dancing with him and goads her with the words “cómeme” (subtitled as “devour me”, but actually simply meaning “eat me”).4 This elision of eating with sex is discussed by Mervyn Nicholson, who observes how “food modulates metonymically into its neighbor appetite, sex”. 5 And as Susan Sontag has observed, “one set of messages of the society we live in is: Consume. … The very working of this economic system … depends on encouraging people to defy limits. Appetite is supposed to be immoderate.”6 Taken together – sex and eating are neighbour

Gema del Prado Marugán  149 appetites which can stand in for each other and in our consumer culture appetites are meant to be unbridled –, we have a concise summary of how vampires operate and the appropriately deathless relevance of stories about them. Nevertheless, this text belongs in the category of Spanish vampire ­stories – a larger one in Spanish than English, as we are finding – which do not use the vampire paradigm primarily to explore sexual anxieties. Rather, the opening invites the reader to expect it to deploy the mode to focus on a different but equally immoderate neighbouring appetite, screen-based consumption by children whose parents are too busy earning and/or glued to their own screens to devote much time or energy to their children’s lives and hence be in a position to rein them in, with the risks and guilt entailed. In real life, some of those risks and the fears they generate are sexual ones, such as children’s exposure to and hence consumption of internet pornography or being groomed online by a paedophile then to be sexually devoured in cyberspace or real life. However, parents also worry about threats which are less directly associated with sex and, in particular, may feel helpless to protect their own offspring, whose internet lives may be detached from their knowledge or understanding. Moreover, even if nothing untoward is feared to be happening online to children, there may be anxieties around their apparent addiction to the computer or smartphone: what they consume visually with their eyes on a screen perceived as consuming them in turn, whether physically, as they eat unhealthily while online, get too little sleep, and do too little exercise; mentally, as intellectual activities such as reading or schoolwork are squeezed out; emotionally, as they risk being affected by upsetting or dangerous content; or all three. Thus, with the opening being all about the late-night war-games the boys were playing on computer, we are expecting the horror effect of “Comer con los ojos” to draw at least in part on adult fears around consumption of and by children in the computer age. In the event, though, both the title and the opening of the story function by wrong-footing us: the title proves not to herald a story about “eating with one’s eyes” in the lascivious sense – or not obviously at least – and the opening does not lead to a plot about children being placed in danger through screen-based consumption either. It is, on the contrary, Alejandro’s ultra-traditional academic ­conscientiousness – his concern not to miss a dictation exercise, in fact – combined with the equally time-honoured naughtiness of simply staying up too late when one’s parents are not enforcing a sensible bedtime and then oversleeping when they are not there to prevent that either, which set the story in motion. Moreover, the harm done to Alejandro as a result is dependent upon ­physical – not virtual – contact between himself and the tragón, who is, notably, not even someone he has initially met online but instead, a boy he has encountered doing something as old-fashioned as walking to school with his elder brother.

150  Text-By-Text Analysis Thus, the story shows rather than tells its readers that they should worry about what they are worrying about, implicitly asking whether the widespread, mass-media-fuelled concerns over children’s screen-addiction and what they consume online are distracting adults and may even be leading children into greater danger as a result: is the mother too exhausted to notice her children have overslept precisely because she is working nights in order perhaps to be able to afford to buy them what we aptly call consumer goods and is the father too desperate to relax after the long hours he works for the same reason – relaxation which consists of screen-based consumption on his part, by the way – to supervise them properly in her absence? Maybe, but since the harm actually occurs in a manner that has not changed since the advent of the computer age, the story is also reminding us that we cannot blame computers for our inability to prevent our children from coming into contact with danger and in that way, del Prado forces us to confront the fear that we are probably neither more nor less helpless to protect them today than we have always been. The vampire as a creature that neither ages nor dies is well suited to personify this. Many vampire stories – and other Gothic narratives, for that matter – deal with issues around misplaced trust, especially on the part of women who take a more or less consciously calculated risk to trust one or more others under duress and a combination of naïveté and wishful thinking. Here we have what could be regarded as a present-day variation on this staple of the mode in two manifestations: first, there is the working mother who has decided to trust her husband and children to look after themselves and each other in her absence. In fact, “papá estaba demasiado entretenido con las play-offs de la NBA” (67) [Dad was too entertained by the NBA play-offs] to supervise his children’s bedtime and the mother coming off her shift, “la viva imagen del cansancio” [the living image of tiredness] and seeing the remains of breakfast on the table is happy to let herself be taken in by the boys’ pretence that all is well and not to notice how late they are running, “así de cansada estaba, la pobre” (both 67) [that’s how tired she was, poor thing], trusting them, in other words, to be watching the clock sensibly rather than monitoring this herself. This self-deceptive, misplaced trust at the breakfast table fools her, but not the reader, who has been told the facts by the omniscient narrative voice. The second instance of even more catastrophically misplaced trust is Alejandro’s initial sighting of the tragón, whom he rationalizes – overriding his feelings – must be just a lonely child unwell and off school. And yet, the boy’s devouring gaze when their eyes meet, coupled with the title of the story, alert the reader to danger, deploying the Gothic convention that dismissing anything that defies reason is a form of intellectual arrogance for which a high price will be paid. If the generation of vampire stories produced at the Victorian fin-de-siècle has been interpreted as tapping into fears around contagious diseases such as syphilis and tuberculosis – also called consumption, of course –, this twenty-first-century tale seems to use the ingestion of blood to emblematize

Gema del Prado Marugán  151 an equally antique fear, albeit played out in a contemporary context: children’s goodness and innocence being as fictional and saccharin as the Walt Disney ideology evoked by Mickey Mouse.7 This in turn draws attention to the adult world’s wish – need? – to believe children to be little pre-­lapsarian Adams happily living in their own Garden of Eden, when perhaps their lives are as complicated, pressured, and unprotected as our own, when perhaps they are quietly consuming one another away from our distracted, wilfully deluded, and hence averted gaze.8 That the metaphor for this here should be one that foregrounds swallowing (tragón derives from the verb tragar, “to swallow”) increases the power of the horror effect, for as Nicholson has observed, “the Fall is signalled by the start of a struggle for food” and so this consumption of each other’s blood reveals children as unequivocally post-lapsarian.9 The power and yet limitations of looking and interpreting what one sees have a long Gothic pedigree. Maggie Kilgour argues that in Matthew ­L ewis’s The Monk (1796), “vision is desire, an equation which is significant as the gothic villain often has penetrating eyes”, but she goes on to assert that “vision reveals only surface appearances” in this novel and, it is safe to assume, often enough elsewhere in the Gothic too.10 This tension is crucial to “Comer con los ojos”, with the tragón’s consuming gaze expressing his desire for Alejandro’s blood, whilst the mother’s superficial understanding of what she sees coming home from work and indeed, Alejandro’s failure to recognize the danger represented by the boy in the pyjamas, attest to the inadequacy of vision as a free-standing tool for understanding and hence basis for trust. What makes the story disturbing to read can be traced to the interaction of topical issues, some transnational, some seemingly more culture-specific, with others that have a much longer timeline. The topical area of concern revolves around children being beyond control and protection by adults, leaving the latter feeling helpless and out of their depth, a contemporary cause for a troubling experience – feeling helpless and out of one’s depth – which itself has a long Gothic pedigree. Also dating back a long way is the adult need or desire to conceptualize childhood as pure and good, which del Prado exposes and implicitly critiques; to that extent, this story may be categorized with many others that present us with a satanic child or children, particularly those where the child or children’s evil is undecidable in origin, degree, or nature: in this story, can we assume that the tragón was lured by another child, in which case where and how did it all begin? Is he bait manipulated by an evil adult vampire? Is he the evil starting-point in this chain of contagious consumption? The grain of the story is to see both the tragón and Alejandro as deserving of pity, victims who are hypnotized into desiring and so consenting to be consumed and then forced to become consumers for their own survival, but that does not make them less dangerous both to themselves and others. Adults, says Gema del Prado’s tale, have no traction in this cruel children’s sphere.

152  Text-By-Text Analysis More culture-specific is the question of how to read this family’s lifestyle. The lack of adult supervision of Marcos and Alejandro would seem to be more culturally transgressive in a Spanish story than it would be in an English one. In a carefully researched Ipsos Mori report published in 2011, comparing children’s lives in the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Spain, to seek to understand why children in the UK score so much lower than these two comparator countries on an international well-being index, many of the findings point towards a reading of the family in this story as remarkably Anglo in its lifestyle. For example, we note: The lack of quality family time observed in the UK stands in marked contrast to … Spain. … This pressure [on family time in the UK] may come … as a result of the transformation of children’s bedrooms into “media bed-sits” where they have private access to TV, internet, games consoles and phones independent of the rest of the family. Members of a family may well all be in the home at the same time but they co-exist rather than share time and space. … Whilst UK parents voiced worries about children spending time … playing networked computer games, … they seemed to have given in to pressure to buy their children computers and consoles, and were at a loss as to how to control their children’s screen time. In contrast, in … Spain …, families had clear rules about the amount of screen time they were allowed. … In Spain … it emerged … that it is socially expected that time with the family is prioritised over work and other commitments and this expectation appeared to be embedded within national culture. … For Spanish families, those who have no time with their children are “the deprived”.11 Taken together with the Mickey Mouse image on the tragón’s pyjamas, an emblem if ever there was one of the swallowing up (and we note the expression we use for this) of other cultures by Anglo-Americanness, plus the father’s interest in the NBA (the National – which is to say, ­A merican – Basketball Association), the findings of this report invite a reading of “Comer con los ojos” whereby the family’s un-Spanish way of life may be being tacitly indicted; if they had deployed extended family – a grandmother, an aunt – to help out the two working parents with childcare, as the report shows would be typical;12 if the boys had been in the ­sitting-room with their father instead of having the temptation of a “media bed-sit” bedroom, the trigger for the plot might have been avoided, since the children would not have been leaving late for school in the first place. Are we back to the old Gothic staple of labelling the foreign as frightening and dangerous, the vector of evil visited upon “our” purest and most innocent?

Gema del Prado Marugán  153

Notes 1 This section builds upon an earlier article, Lee Six, “Predatory Consumption”. 2 The internet discussion is at (accessed 21 May 2018). 3 On the vampire’s mouth evoking the vagina dentata, see Segal, “André Gide”, 86. 4 The image doubles back on itself in the film, since this imperative is delivered by the man and so could be seen as undermining the woman’s power, since she is simply obeying his instruction if she does proceed to “eat” him – and she must as he is the director of the production which they are rehearsing at the time. Perhaps this is why the dancer – who is portrayed as a genuine femme fatale in her offstage life – later reclaims her agency, taking her revenge when the man she previously had to obey has fallen under her seductive spell and she now dances with him outside the confines of the production, whereupon she repeats the same instruction to him and so emasculates the trope in identical fashion, by reducing the man to doing as he is told. 5 Nicholson, “Eat – or Be Eaten”, 202. 6 Sontag, AIDS and Its Metaphors, 76–77 (Sontag’s italics). 7 Vampires’ relationship with disease will be discussed further in Part II. For the horror effect of children depicted as cute (in the American sense), but revealed as evil, see Jackson, “Little, Violent, White”. For a more general discussion of monstrosity when it is belied by exterior appearances, see Lee Six and Thompson, “From Hideous to Hedonist. For discussion of a different instance of maternal self-deception concerning the innocence of a son and its harmful consequences for the child, see Lee Six, Juan Goytisolo, 114–15. 8 For the adult fantasy of the child as prelapsarian Adam, see Kuhn, Corruption in Paradise, 66. 9 Nicholson, “Eat – or Be Eaten”, 199. 10 Kilgour, Rise of the Gothic Novel, both 148. On page 173, she substantiates her assertion: “Schedoni’s eyes [the Gothic villain of Ann Radcliffe, The ­Italian], like those of many Gothic villains – Manfred [of Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto (1764)], Ambrosio [The Monk], Vathek, Melmoth, Dracula – are weapons.” 11 Nairn, Children’s Well-being, 31, 34, 49, 70, and 72, respectively. 12 Nairn, Children’s Well-being, 71.

26 Edgar Sega, “Los dos mundos de Lord Barrymore” [The Two Worlds of Lord Barrymore] (2016)

The Author Edgar Sega (born in Barcelona in 1975) is a theatrical lighting technician as well as a writer of numerous short stories and flash fiction in the fields of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. As well as this story, published in a themed anthology of vampire fiction, he has contributed to several others, including one devoted to gory tales no longer than 333 words (Calaba­ cines en el ático: Grand Guignol (2010)) and another to a fantasy maritime theme (La bruma (2014)), for example.

Plot Summary This short story features three characters: Laura, Lord Barrymore, and Mercedes. From the second sentence, containing an allusion to Facebook, we know it is set in the present day but it is unclear where the action is taking place. Laura, dressed as a Goth and using the pseudonym Zdenka, is going to a rendezvous with someone calling himself Lord Barrymore. It transpires that they met on a website called vampysex. com. For Laura, this is a role-playing sex-game: she is not only dressed as a vampire, but also uses false fangs and tinted contact-lenses to complete the look. She finds, however, that Lord Barrymore is playing it more authentically than she expected and, as well as insisting on formally inviting her to cross his threshold and having a trick mirror in the bathroom which gives the impression that she has no mirror image, he bites her on the shoulder and actually drinks her blood while they are having sex. She is angry, considering that he has gone too far with the game and leaves in a huff. Now, though, we learn that Mercedes has been watching the whole episode on CCTV while masturbating and she is in love with Lord Barrymore, but is treated by him as a cross between a nurse and a blood donor: following Laura’s departure, he satisfies his appetite for blood by taking some from Mercedes’s thigh, but while she is turned on by this, he clearly is not. The denouement reveals that her nursing of him involves her feeding him with a normal drip while she has got him sedated in his

Edgar Sega  155 coffin and monitoring his blood to try to keep him tolerably healthy. She is manipulating a mentally ill man, we learn in the closing sentences, into believing he is a vampire, and she is living in hope that he will come to love her eventually.

Analysis Sega has managed to fit several twists in this story despite its brevity: from assuming Laura is a normal human being playing a Goth sex-game, we wonder whether she has magically become a supernatural vampire on crossing Lord Barrymore’s threshold but does not realize it herself when she is shocked to find she has no mirror image in the bathroom. After that is explained away, we then begin to wonder if he is a supernatural vampire or just a human being who is sexually aroused by drinking blood and with that question still open, we read of Mercedes’s questionable role, which invites us to reflect upon who is working for and preying on whom between her and Barrymore, a similar question to that posed by other Spanish vampire fiction that focuses on someone’s need to give rather than to consume blood, such as Sastre’s “Las noches del Espíritu Santo”, discussed above. It is a fact that there are human beings in real life who drink the blood of others. Tony Thorne argues with reference to this group that some at least “may not be classifiable as insane. Their crimes seem to be motivated by uncontrollable fantasies of dominance and a desire for power that is denied them in everyday life”.1 If this is so, then Barrymore in this story is a sad parody of the type: suggestible, manipulated, and under surveillance at the hands of Mercedes, by the end of the story we can see that he is a vulnerable and dependent individual who is in fact sedated, monitored, and penetrated by the drip-feed tubes Mercedes inserts once she has gassed him into an unconscious (and hence non-consensual) state; thus, the fantasies of dominance and power seem to reside at least as much in Mercedes’s psyche as in his and to that extent, her behaviour is more vampiric than his. The names Sega has given his characters and the order in which these are revealed are noteworthy: Laura, a name which is the same in Spanish and English, does not disclose the character’s nationality, but coincides with that of Carmilla’s victim in Le Fanu’s classic. Zdenka, Laura’s pseudonym, exists in Czech, Slovak, and Croatian, giving the de rigueur East-European flavour to the game she is consciously playing, but he appears to believe is for real, as we discover when he denies that Lord Barrymore is a pseudonym (121). Until Mercedes is introduced, Hispanophone readers can believe they are reading a translation into Spanish of a story with an English source text, but this illusion is dismantled when she enters the story with her unmistakably Spanish name, and then the Englishness of the name “Lord Barrymore” becomes one more piece of fakery presumably dreamt up by

156  Text-By-Text Analysis her as she has fuelled his deranged fantasies. In this way, Sega mocks the facile association of vampire fiction with English literature, reminding us that for Spanish readers, having an English protagonist or atmosphere is a form of exoticism rather than a spine-chilling allusion to the threat being in “our” midst. That name of his sounds – more to Spanish ears than Anglophone ones, no doubt – confusable with Lord Byron, evoking the latter’s vampiric associations via Polidori’s protagonist, but it also explicitly links Sega’s character with John Barrymore (1882–1942), the American actor famed for his Hamlet, but also for numerous film roles including no less a Gothic classic than Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (dir. John S. Robertson, 1920). Using an iconic actor’s name both in the title and for a key character of his story invites us to consider the question of performativity in the story, not for the first time in the present volume, as we recall the con-man vampire in Sastre’s “Las noches del Espíritu Santo” and Tamparillas’s Betty. Sega’s Laura is performing her Goth identity with a clear sense of the boundary between acting and reality, whereas we can see that Barrymore is acting a Byronic vampire, but believes this role is the real him, as he makes clear when he laments to Mercedes “-¿Cuándo encontraré alguna a quien confesar lo que soy en realidad?” (127) [When am I going to find a woman I can confess who I really am to?] and the context makes clear that he believes that what he really is is a vampire. The delusion is attributable to Mercedes’s duplicitous acting: she is performing the platonic, loving, and self-sacrificial nurse when she is in fact suffering from unrequited love and at the same time, is manipulative and exploitative. Thus, three levels of role-playing are juxtaposed in the story: level one, introduced first, is acting a part consciously for fun and/or sexual thrills and is represented by Laura, who is sane enough to be clear about the boundaries between the two. She is performing Zdenka when she whispers “Muérdeme” [Bite me] to Barrymore as they are having sex, expecting him to understand that this is pretence and he is meant to play-act biting her rather than actually do so. Once he gets this wrong and defends himself by saying she had asked him to bite her, she snaps out of role to bark at him: “-¡Cabrón, [te pedía] un mordisquito, no que me hinques los dientes!” (126) [You bastard, [I was asking you to give me] a nibble, not to sink your teeth into me!]. The second level is acting through delusion as to who or what one is; this is Barrymore’s position, for which he is unequivocally labelled as “un hombre enajenado” (128) [a man who has lost his mind]. Finally, there is acting in a duplicitous fashion to conceal unethical or dishonest activities, represented by Mercedes. If Laura’s role-playing is harmless, but for a minor flesh-wound and a disappointing evening, Barrymore’s is shown to be self-harming – his physical health is at risk as well as his mental condition – but the strongest implicit censure is reserved for Mercedes, who is causing harm to others as well as herself, not exactly an audacious message.

Edgar Sega  157 In conclusion, “Los dos mundos de Lord Barrymore” uses the vampire paradigm to explore questions of acting, playing, and performance, but despite its postmodern context, it takes the conventional line that there is a true self behind or underneath a role. The dashing Lord Barrymore is “pálido, delgado, con las mejillas tan hundidas que realzaban sus prominentes pómulos, enmarcado con una mata de pelo rubio cuidadosamente despeinado” (121, my italics) [pale, slim, his sunken cheeks emphasizing his prominent cheekbones, framed by a thatch of carefully tousled blond hair], but via the analogy with his actor namesake, this is presented as a mere role which co-exists with someone the grain of the text implicitly presents as “really” a troubled and sick individual. 2 Mercedes, the selfless, platonic, nurse hireling is also “just” a role being played by someone who is presented as in fact manipulative and voyeuristic. Judith Butler’s seminal work on performativity, Gender Trouble (1990), of course posits the inextricability of gender and performance and this may hold the key to the dysfunctionalities versus sanity of Barrymore and Mercedes on the one hand, versus Laura, on the other. Laura’s performed role of Zdenka and how she sees herself away from the role both fit comfortably within cultural constructions of femininity: her Goth outfit accentuates rather than subverts her self-image and this in turn matches what is considered attractive for a woman: “un corpiño negro atado con cordeles – por cuyo escote asomaban unos pechos voluptuosos – que estilizaba su figura el punto necesario que no era capaz de conseguir con las visitas al gimnasio” (119) [a black, laced bodice – from the neckline of which voluptuous breasts emerged – which stylized her figure that bit more than she could achieve by going to the gym]. Whilst some female vampires do challenge feminine stereotypes, she is quick to point out that Zdenka does no such thing, reminding ­Barrymore that she desisted from using her prosthetic fangs penetratively when she reproaches him for biting her for real. By contrast, Barrymore’s vampire persona, aggressively penetrative and dominant sexually, performs a kind of masculinity which he signally lacks away from the role, where we see him emasculated and infantilized, being fed blood by Mercedes or, once she has put him to sleep, being penetrated by her drip-feed tube and the needle she uses to take a blood sample. Likewise but in reverse, Mercedes’s docile yet motherly nursing role sits comfortably within conventions of femininity, unlike the character depicted when she is not performing it: then she is sexually voracious, voyeuristic, penetrative, all descriptors of masculinity of the most conventional kind. Despite the title of the story, which appears to put an acted role and a “real” self on a level, by referring to them as simply two worlds, the content establishes the conventional hierarchy between artifice and authenticity and gives a depiction of crossing gender lines as problematic and dangerous: it may have been published in the twenty-first century, complete with Facebook, websites and CCTV, but “Los dos mundos de Lord Barrymore” is rooted in a world view more associated with the nineteenth.

158  Text-By-Text Analysis

Notes 1 Thorne, Children of the Night, 160. 2 John Barrymore had a serious drinking problem and was also deeply affected by his father’s descent into mental illness. For more on him, see for example, LoBianco, “John Barrymore Profile”,­ article/184983%7C0/John-Barrymore-Profile.html (accessed 19 July 2017).

Part II

Comparative Analysis

27 Folklore and Religion

Vampires as they appear in cultural production are a blend of Eastern European folklore and the accumulated imaginations of the literary and cinematic creators of stories about them, imaginations which are themselves informed by such creators’ personal experience, including the language in which they think, and other stories they have read, watched, or heard. This observation, that we are a product not only of experiences we have lived through but also stories we know, chimes with the views of one of Spain’s leading contemporary novelists, Javier Marías, who refers to his own creative work drawing on “una serie de vivencias que indudablemente había tenido … aunque fuera en la butaca de un cine o leyendo en un sillón. Las experiencias, con ser cinematográficas y librescas, no dejaban de ser personales e intransferibles” [a series of experiences I had undoubtedly lived through if only sitting in a cinema seat or reading in an armchair. Such experiences remained personal and non-­ transferable even though they were cinematic or book-based].1 This is of course as applicable to Spanish authors creating vampires and vampire stories as to those of any other nationality and, like their counterparts elsewhere, part of their personal experience is bound to be transnational, be it derived from Hollywood and other cinematic sources, or from reading non-Spanish vampire fiction, whether in the original language or translated, in which latter case there will inevitably be translation losses, some of them potentially significant. At the same time, authors of any nationality, including Spanish, are also bound to have absorbed –­ consciously or unconsciously, directly or indirectly – elements specific to their own culture, which includes its folklore-based and religious traditions. These cannot but inflect the ways in which they imagine the vampires they create. It will be argued in the first part of this “Folklore and Religion” section, that some of what is likely to seem surprising to an Anglophone reader of Spanish vampire fiction may be attributable to that component of Spanish culture that derives from its rich and diverse folklore, folklore that seeps into everyday language, proverbs, and idle remarks to children as well as traditional stories and beliefs that a given writer may or may not know.

162  Comparative Analysis In the second part, we will survey the range of treatments of religion in our corpus to seek to understand the effects and implications of the Roman Catholic culture which is the baseline for Spanish authors, irrespective of any personal religious affiliation or lack thereof.

Folklore There is no need to be especially interested in or knowledgeable about folklore or folktales for them to affect one’s mindset. To mention a few relevant Spanish examples by way of introduction, a colloquial pejorative term for a woman, roughly equivalent to calling someone a bitch in English, is to call her a witch in Spanish (bruja), meaning that the word is not confined to the lexical domain of fantasy or children’s stories but in everyday usage. A second example is that one of the many names for a bogeyman character that adults use to frighten children into going to sleep, threatening that if they refuse he will come and get them, is the sacaúntos, literally “ointment extractor” or sacamantecas, literally “lard extractor”, both terms which draw on the folkloric belief that witches and other evil beings steal children to extract (sacar in Spanish) an ingredient from their bodies (their manteca or “lard”) needed to make an ointment (unto in Spanish), which confers magical powers upon them but kills the children. 2 This common term, however jokingly used, both reflects and keeps alive in the popular imagination the twin ideas that children are especially susceptible to being preyed upon by evil creatures and that the predation takes the form of extracting a vital bodily element from them, both important notions when we turn to Spanish vampire fiction, as we shall see. 3 By way of a final example, we may note that the meiga xuxona, which is Galician for “sucking witch”, with blood being understood as what she sucks, is still being mentioned in passing in contemporary mainstream fiction set in Galicia, keeping alive the specific link between witches and blood-sucking in that region, but not only there, as will be discussed below.4 However, it must be acknowledged at the outset that characters called vampires do not feature at all prominently in Spanish folklore. For example, in two very detailed and authoritative studies devoted to magical and superstitious beliefs and traditions in Castile and León, and in Galicia, respectively, almost all of the content is devoted to witches and witchcraft, both malevolent and benevolent, and creatures labelled vampires do not figure at all.5 Nevertheless, as the examples above indicate, there are features of folkloric beliefs attached to witches that overlap strikingly with what an Anglophone would associate with vampires – and not necessarily with witches at all – and it is therefore possible to argue that vampiric beliefs are demonstrably present in a wide range of Spanish folklore even though they are not obvious because they are not separated out and labelled as such.6 Let us now consider these. We will start with the features that vampire

Folklore and Religion  163 traditions and Spanish ideas concerning witches have in common, then reflect upon those which have more limited overlap, and finally discuss the implications of the areas of clear divergence. One of the most important findings is that as the reference to the Galician meiga xuxona illustrates, some witches (and not just Galician ones) are believed to suck blood, children’s in particular, but not exclusively or universally. The idea is very old, being mentioned, for example, in the notably cool-headed account of 1529 by a little known Franciscan friar named Martín de Castañega, published in Logroño and entitled Tratado muy sotil y bien fundado de las supersticiones y hechicerías y vanos conjuros y abusiones; y otros [sic] cosas al caso tocantes y de la posibilidad e remedio dellas [Very subtle and well-founded treatise on superstitions, sorceries, and vain spells and abuses; and other matters pertinent to the possibility and remedy of them]. According to David H. Darst, this was the first independent book on witchcraft composed in a vernacular language.7 Then, chronicling the witch persecutions of 1609 in Navarre, Carmelo Lisón Tolosana lists among the accusations levelled at the suspects, that they “matan a niños chupándoles la sangre” [kill children by sucking their blood].8 To illustrate beliefs in witches sucking the blood of adults too, Francisco Blanco may be cited. He mentions a location known as the ‘fuente de las brujas’ [witches’ spring] on the border of Asturias and León, where witches were reputed to hold their sabbaths and, in consequence “las gentes no se acercaban a esta fuente por miedo a ser mordidas, arañadas o verse chupadas la sangre por las brujas” [people kept away from this spring for fear of being bitten, scratched or having their blood sucked by the witches].9 Transcriptions of other testimony dating from the trials of those accused of witchcraft by the Inquisition include allegations that they sucked their victims, without specifying precisely what they were being accused of sucking: the witches “chuparon a un niño los dedos de los pies y de las manos. … todo fue asistir a aquelarres y chupar niños” [they sucked a child’s toes and fingers. It was all about going to witches’ sabbaths and sucking children] records an Inquisitor named Juan Blázquez in the seventeenth century. A soothsayer astrologist named Diego de Torres Villaroel included in his predictions for 1731 witches going out to “sorber niños” [sip from children] and then, having assembled to meet the Devil, the latter opens his address to them with the words, “No todo ha de ser chupar, | Brujas mías” [It is not all to be about sucking, oh witches of mine] before he gives them other instructions.10 Whether this lack of specificity is because it was considered obvious that what would be sucked or sipped would be blood, or because it was a vaguer notion, encompassing blood and other bodily fluids and effluvia and/or a spiritual crime of draining the life-force of others, this belief concerning witches’ evil deeds maps onto the range of what vampirism covers too, both outside Spain and in our corpus. We are reminded of Don Fortunato stealing Inesiña’s youth by sucking into his own lungs her exhaled breath in Pardo Bazán’s “Vampiro”, or a psi-vamp like Alfonso

164  Comparative Analysis in García Morales’s La lógica del vampiro, as well as the explicit blood-­ sucking of other Spanish vampires such as Fernández Flórez’s Octavia in “El claro del bosque”, for example. Of an importance to us almost equal to the blood-sucking, a well-nigh ubiquitous accusation levelled at witches in Spanish folklore is that they cast the evil eye on their victims. Not only does this overlap somewhat with the power of the vampire’s penetrating, sometimes hypnotic gaze, but the symptoms often identified as its effect read exactly like the traditional inexplicable wasting of the vampire’s victim: for example, “los niños que tienen mal de ojos adelgazan rápidamente, entristecen sin causa ­manifiesta y, secándose, mueren” [children suffering from the evil eye rapidly grow thin and melancholy for no apparent reason and withering, die] records Blanco in one community, adding very similar descriptions from a host of others.11 Gema del Prado Marugán’s story, “Comer con los ojos”, surely taps into this connection between dangerous eye contact and wasting away, even though she reconfigures the motif, aligning it with vampire tradition via her treatment of contagion, an area in which beliefs diverge significantly, as we shall see below. The inexplicable wasting which has led to the death of ten-year-old Anabel in Álamo’s “El hombre de la pala” also aligns with this body of belief initially, even though she later proves to have been vampirized. Another resonant feature of Spanish folk traditions concerns how to keep oneself and, above all, one’s children safe from witches, for this deploys not only Catholic iconography and artefacts, including crucifixes and holy water, but also in several locations, garlic.12 This blending of Catholicism with folk beliefs is a further feature in common with vampire tradition and underlined by Blanco, whose field work demonstrates that “lo religioso y lo mágico se combinan armoniosa e indiscriminadamente en la cultura tradicional” [the religious and the magical combine harmoniously and indiscriminately in traditional culture].13 This is borne out by looking at Spanish children’s storybooks. One need look no further than the first tale in a present-day collection entitled Relatos infantiles tradicionales de ­España: cuentos de hadas españoles [Traditional Spanish Children’s Stories: Spanish Fairytales], for it features both a wicked witch and Saint Joseph, whose help enables the child-protagonist to escape her clutches.14 The same combination of Catholic symbols and herbal ones, especially garlic, familiar to us from the Anglophone canon, is found in stories in our corpus, such as David Jasso’s “Víctimas inocentes”, where we are told that the vampires have destroyed all the garlic plantations, reducing the humans to defending themselves by the sole use of crosses. Worthy of note too is that witches are widely believed to be able to fly and to turn themselves into a range of animals, and the night is when they are at their most active and dangerous; at least some of their magical powers dissolve at sunrise.15 Even a story as seemingly wholly derivative of ­Hollywood as Cervera’s “Una historia de amor” emphasizes this ability to

Folklore and Religion  165 fly during the night that witches and vampires have in common and the ending of García Sánchez’s historical novel, Ella, Drácula: Erzsébet Báthory, presents us with a bird of evil omen haunting one of Báthory’s castles, which alarms the story’s focalizer long after Báthory’s death because, it is implied, he fears she may be somehow present in this avian form. Whilst the posthumous element here does not overlap with beliefs about witches, the animal transformation into a creature that can fly does strike a chord. Bearing in mind these significant areas of common ground between traditional beliefs concerning witches and the conventions of vampire lore, we can speculate that a Spanish writer might choose (consciously or unconsciously) to incorporate some of them into a vampire story in preference to those that are entirely alien to traditional beliefs in Spain if s/he is seeking to present a set of ideas that are not going to seem outlandish or exotic once a supernatural premise is established. In this regard, we note in particular the prevalence of strongly emphasized references to vampires’ eyes and the power of their gaze in the Spanish corpus. Let just three examples suffice. When de Hoyos y Vinent’s narrator sees Señorita Vampiro for the first time, he describes how “al través de las pestañas de oro fulguraban dos ametistas” [through her golden eyelashes sparkled two amethysts] (“El señor Cadáver y la señorita Vampiro”, 88). García Morales uses a verb we would expect to find with reference to fangs when Elvira describes Alfonso’s visual attack: “hundió su mirada en la mía y sentí un pánico incomprensible” [he sank his gaze into mine, at which I was filled with incomprehensible panic] (La lógica del vampiro, 61). And Puente Molins’s Fernando unnerves the dentist with “una mirada horrible. De perturbado. De bestia. De vampiro, en definitiva” [a horrible look. Deranged. Bestial. Vampiric, in short] (“Caries”, 76). Might not the centrality of evil eye beliefs imputed to witches in Spanish folklore have attracted our authors to that characteristic of foreign vampires more than ones which chime less with their own culture, such as their revenant status? Moving on now to the more distant echoes, the question of transmission of a witch’s powers has some resonance but less than the features enumerated above: we note beliefs in heredity as one explanation given in some communities and contagion in the literal sense of physical touching at the moment of death in others.16 In this regard, it is worth recalling that the source of Báthory’s evil in García Sánchez’s Ella, Drácula, is linked with heredity via an aunt, as well as the collaboration of a known local witch, and that the vampire-protagonist of Clara Tahoces’s Gothika gives birth to two children, one of whom inherits her vampiric identity, the other taking after its non-vampire father, even though she herself has been vampirized in classic fashion by being bitten by a vampire. This element of inherited vampirism is identified in the Part I discussion of Gothika above as problematic for a variety of reasons related to incompatibilities with Anglophone culture’s vampire lore; might Tahoces have decided to flout this because the concept of a hereditary blood-drinker fitted with Spanish folklore?

166  Comparative Analysis A third way to become a Spanish witch is the classic Satanic pact, but whilst this forges a recognizable link between the witch and damnation, which is in common with vampires, Anglophone portrayals of the latter do not typically utilize this device to explain how their characters became vampires in the first place.17 By contrast, Fernández Flórez makes a pact with the Devil the alleged source of Octavia’s supernatural and vampiric characterization in “El claro del bosque”, creating thereby a potent cross-­ fertilization of Spanish folkloric traditions with transnational predecessors such as Clarimonde and Carmilla, with whom she shares the qualities of her beauty, amorous demeanour towards her prey and, above all, her invasion of her victim’s dream-life spilling over into or blurring with his waking experience. Crucially, for all three ways of becoming a witch – heredity, contagion, or a pact with the Devil – this process is distinct from being on the receiving end of a witch’s attack, be this the casting of the evil eye or the sucking and/or ointment extraction discussed above. This clearly constitutes an important difference between the two sets of beliefs and may account in part for the noticeably non-ubiquitous utilization of the plot motif of a character dying and becoming a revenant vampire as a result of being bitten in the Spanish corpus. As we shall see below, in the discussion of contagion and transmission, both heredity and vampirism otherwise passed on within the family do, on the other hand, feature recurrently in the Spanish texts, which may be at least partly attributable to traditional folklore concerning witches, be it consciously or unconsciously deployed by a given author. This is not the only reason why Spanish witches are not co-extensive with vampires as we know them in Anglophone literature, however. Arguably, an even more critical divergence between traditional beliefs concerning witches and vampires is that the former are not revenants and most (but by no means all) of them are old and women, typically poor, solitary, and thought to be envious of those more fortunate than themselves. And alongside their sucking and casting of the evil eye, there is that widespread belief mentioned above that they extract material from the bodies of their child victims, which they mix with other ingredients to make an ointment that they spread on their bodies, with this giving them their most spectacular magical powers of flight and transfiguration. None of this converges with what one would associate with a vampire, but – tellingly – does have occasional echoes in our corpus, such as in the case of both Báthory and Betty spreading blood on their bodies in García Sánchez’s Ella, Drácula and Tamparillas’s “La vieja, muy vieja Betty”, respectively. We should also note here that as well as these two, there is the saludadora character in Valle-Inclán’s “Beatriz”, a non-standard presence on the cast-list of a vampire story, according to Anglophone expectations, but whose profile – old, poor, and female – matches the folkloric tradition. Even Báthory, who is fabulously wealthy, learns witchcraft from Darvulia, who is the old, poor, female witch type.

Folklore and Religion  167 All things considered, then, how does the overall profile of the witches of Spanish folkloric traditions elucidate our understanding of Spanish vampire fiction? Might the divergences between witches and vampires account for some of the peculiarities of our corpus? Might the frequency we have noted in our Spanish texts of a presentation of vampires as the old preying upon the young derive, at least in part from its witch tradition? Might even the old vampires who are male – the grandfather in Tamparillas’s “Sangre de mi sangre”, the old man in Soto’s “Siempre en mi recuerdo” or Pardo Bazán’s Don Fortunato in “Vampiro” – indirectly echo the folkloric motif of the envious old witch who unscrupulously steals the lives of the young for her own nefarious ends? Some of the content of Carmen de Burgos’s La mujer fría resonates too, if also faintly. Blanca is, after all, an older woman who is alone in the world – though the opposite of ugly and poor – and she herself refers to the prevalence of superstitious beliefs in her home region, beliefs of which she has been a victim. Indeed, she had her childhood blighted by traditional fears projected onto her, as her friend and confidant, Don Marcelo, explains: Su madre y su padre murieron … a causa de … una enfermedad des­ conocida, que las buenas gentes del Norte creían producida por hechos sobrenaturales, demoníacos o brujos. … La madre murió al dar a luz una niña, que … era un pedazo de carámbano. … [Algunos] lo atribuyen a una funesta herencia de la enfermedad misteriosa de sus padres; algunos creen que algún abuelo padeció en la Edad Media un mal extraño que se reprodujo, por el salto atrás. … Para su abuela y las parientas que la criaron todo eran hechizos. … Han hecho exorcizar a la pobre criatura cientos de veces. … No había que pensar en que las madres dejasen a ninguna niña jugar con ella. … Todas las [plantas] que tocaba se secaban. … Son muchas las mujeres que ejercen esa mala influencia sobre las plantas. (98–99) [Her mother and father died of an unknown disease, which the good Northern folk believed to be the product of supernatural events, the Devil, or witchcraft. The mother died giving birth to a baby girl who felt like a lump of icicle. Some attribute it to an ill-fated inheritance of the parents’ mysterious disease; others believe that some ancestor had a strange ailment in the Middle Ages which re-emerged as a throwback. For her grandmother and the other women in the family who raised her, it was all about spells. They had her exorcised hundreds of times. For the other mothers, there was no question of letting any of their little girls play with her. All the plants she touched would wither. There are plenty of women who have that kind of bad influence on plants.]

168  Comparative Analysis What emerges from Don Marcelo’s testimony here is a noticeable blurring of whether Blanca is believed the victim of Satanic practices – which is what her grandmother’s beliefs appear to amount to – or whether she  is the involuntary heir of a witch identity running in the family, which is implied by the other mothers keeping their own children away from her (if she were merely the victim, contact with her would not be dangerous to others).18 In any event, it is clear that in her traditional community, Blanca’s apparently supernatural characteristics are associated with witchcraft and its link with the Devil (as implied by the use of exorcism), rather than vampirism, which is not part of their belief system. To that extent, it is possible to argue that if de Burgos’s primary target is to critique some of the cultural assumptions that underpin the transnational stock character of the vamp or femme fatale, achieved by linking her implicitly with vampirism, this is based on elements unavailable to the internal characters, not least because they lack this nomenclature.19 The closest any of them come to branding her a vampire is her cruel nickname of “la muerta viva” [the living dead woman] (100), coined in Vienna (outside Spain and bordering on eastern Europe, we note), following the death of her first husband. Thus, at a relatively unobtrusive level but significantly nonetheless, the Spanish context gives rise to an interrogation not only of the demonization of the transnational figure of the femme fatale but also the misogyny that underpins folk beliefs concerning witches. Witchcraft beliefs converge at least as noticeably with the transnational conventions of vampire narratives in de la Rosa’s novel, Vampiro. Even though the action never moves to Spain, many elements documented in anthropological studies of witchcraft beliefs there are echoed in de la Rosa’s portrayal of the master vampire, called the “Bestia” [Beast]. This builds up throughout the text gradually but by the end, he seems barely distinguishable from the devil and his acolytes bear a striking resemblance to witches who have pledged allegiance to him. His defeat depends upon white magic incantations and his survival depends on black magic ones. Indeed, Spanish folklore has just as strong a tradition of belief in positive or white magic as it does in its negative dimension. Sometimes – but by no means always – people in Spain to whom positive supernatural powers are attributed are called something other than witches, such as “healers” like the saludadora in Valle-Inclán’s “­B eatriz” or hechiceros/-as [enchanters], this last especially for those who specialize in supernatural means to solve love-related problems. However, this balance between two types of supernatural force, each able to cancel out and at odds with the other is pivotal to Vampiro and stands at quite a distance from the Anglophone vampire paradigm, where the counter-­ measures to destroy a vampire bear little resemblance to the practices of white magic to counteract supernatural evil: incantations can overlap with prayer to some extent, but the potions and poultices of its

Folklore and Religion  169 practitioners are a long way from the classic methods of destroying vampires and their combination of Catholic rituals and physical violence: staking, decapitation, and so on. Whereas Valle-Inclán’s description of the folk-healer or saludadora’s practices chime with vampire lore, featuring a mirror and a Salomonic circle, a story like Exímeno’s “Al caer la noche” introduces an element which appears to evoke only witchcraft, the use of a doll or fetish, but re-purposes it as a remedy against a vampire.20 The idea of the shaman-like figure who observes an arcane ritual concerning the creation of the carved image and the type of wood it needs to be made from, all read like credible references to pre-existing folk traditions, although the details seem to have been invented by Exímeno. This apparently faux ancient wisdom echoes the first generation of Gothic texts and the era of Romanticism in which they were produced, when a medieval atmosphere was also re-invented creatively.21 Irrespective of whether there is a folk-history to the details of Exímeno’s ritual which I have failed to trace, its presence in “Al caer la noche” illustrates that a Spanish readership is expected to find elements that evoke witchcraft compatible with a vampire story. Most surprising of all to an Anglophone is surely the downplaying or explicit exclusion of the possibility that so many of the Spanish vampires in our corpus are revenants and that their victims will join their ranks, rising from the dead themselves to do so. None of the texts published before 2007 makes the revenant status of the vampires conclusive and of those published from 2007 onwards there are still plenty that continue that non-revenant trend. As we shall see in the sections following this one, the explanation for the flouting of such a basic characteristic of vampires seems unlikely to be reducible to a single cause, but one can already be excluded and two provisional conclusions can already be drawn. We can confidently exclude the possibility that stories about life after death in general are unpopular or somehow un-Spanish: Aldana Reyes provides ample evidence to the contrary when he documents the literary production emerging from what he calls the “­twentieth-century spiritualist craze”.22 The first conclusion we can draw from the present section’s consideration of Spanish folklore is that it is a mistake to regard Spanish creators of vampire fiction as drawing only on foreign antecedents and any differences between Spanish vampires and non-­ Spanish predecessors being attributable to the authors’ creativity emerging from a vacuum. The second is that there is a compelling case for recognizing ­Spanish folklore and its blood-sucking witches as important here, for having planted the idea in popular culture that sucking human blood is something not confined to revenants and leads to the victims’ death pure and simple. Indeed, what non-revenant Spanish vampires do most frequently is kill (or nearly kill, for those that escape in time) their victims and that is the end of them: consider Pardo Bazán’s Don Fortunato, de Hoyos y Vinent’s Señorita Vampiro, de Burgos’s Blanca, Fernández Flórez’s Octavia, García Morales’s Alfonso, García Sánchez’s Báthory, Álamo’s Anabel, Botey’s Murat, Puente Molins’s Fernando, Soto’s old man, and Tamparillas’s Betty.

170  Comparative Analysis Above all, leaving aside crisscrossing and overlapping details, witches and vampires seem to serve the same purpose in popular culture, namely to give a concrete form and identity to evil. Blanco observes: “parece como si la cultura tradicional hubiese hecho una elección irrevocable por asignar a las brujas la personificación del mal” [it seems as if traditional culture made an irrevocable choice to assign to witches the personification of evil]. 23 Perhaps this is because they are like the vampires of eastern European folklore in the important sense identified by Thorne: “The Vampire is different from many supernatural entities in that, unlike fairies and devils, it could be and often was identified with real individuals. … It was then an interpenetration of the human and magical world”. 24 And converging even more decisively with the figure of the witch, Thorne later argues, “We have never managed to make the devil meaningful: it is the Vampire who has represented and represents for us what we fear and try to repress”.25 This, surely, is why the blending of the two in Spanish vampire fiction produces a distinctive variation on the vampiric theme but one that is just as potent as the Anglophone classics.

Religion Gothic texts of the eighteenth century are generally regarded as strongly negative towards the Roman Catholic Church, peopled with evil characters who represent it and sometimes including lurid depictions of the brutalities of the Inquisition. 26 In the nineteenth century, with the advent of vampire fiction, there is a recognized shift, hinging upon the fact that Roman Catholic practices, artefacts, and rituals are shown to be powerful in combating and destroying vampires. Morgan is worth quoting at some length on the implications of this: In the conventions of the vampire genre, … Catholic icons and rites typically have occult power …. The vampires’ approach-avoidance impulse toward Catholicism in horror narratives is perhaps a projection of Protestant authorial ambivalence; these writers seem to share with vampires a begrudging sense of Catholicism’s occult potency. … Thus, despite the full measure of anti-Catholicism ingrained in Gothic fiction, there are traces of the inevitable curiosity and hesitant respect the forbidden and comparatively exotic engender. And the literary drama­ tizing of Catholicism by Protestant Gothic authors has ironically led to Catholicism’s being established as the significant spiritual antagonist to uncanny evil in the horror mode.27 As Anglophone vampire narrative develops in the twentieth century, the traditional depiction of the Roman Catholic Church is now respected, now adapted, now abandoned completely. Often, a modern text’s engagement with the issue of religion is one component part of a wider-ranging

Folklore and Religion  171 narrative device, which makes intertextual references to the classics and then refutes or nuances certain ideas from them. Typically, the characters who encounter vampires rely on what they know from novels and/or films, only to discover that some or all of this does not apply to the “real” vampires they are now facing and just as this may be that garlic or daylight does them no harm, it may also be that brandishing a crucifix at them will have no effect either. Thus, if Stephen King’s vampires in Salem’s Lot (1975) are as averse to Catholic ritual and iconography as Bram Stoker’s, Tanith Lee has a vampire who wears a crucifix in “Nunc Dimittis” (1983). 28 Michael A. Burstein has a story, “Lifeblood” (2003), featuring a vampire on whom only Jewish ritual works, the surprising rationale being that it is the faith of the victim, a Jew here, that determines the efficacy of the practice. Neil Gaiman, in his re-imagined vampiric version of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, called “Snow, Glass, Apples” (1994), is one of plenty of producers of contemporary fiction who sees fit not to include religion in any form in a whole story. We find the same range of possibilities vis-à-vis religion in our Spanish corpus, but different interpretations suggest themselves because these need to be inflected by a Spanish as opposed to an Anglo baseline. Carrasco’s Entre nosotros is a good example of the device of intertextual reference to earlier vampire stories, setting these up as a contrast to the “real” vampires the characters have encountered. In Chapter 5, called “Lo que sabemos sobre los vampiros” [what we know about vampires], the protagonists watch a long list of classic vampire films and then brainstorm on that basis. Part of the ensuing discussion revolves around the role of crucifixes and holy water as effective weapons (258–59); they speculate on the importance of the vampire’s religious affiliation as well as that of the person trying to destroy it with respect to the effectiveness of these. Here we learn that one of the vampire hunters, Arisa, is a Buddhist (she is of oriental extraction); another, Gabriel, is half-Jewish but from a secular family; and only Abel, the narrator, describes himself as Christian, but without stipulating whether he is Catholic, Protestant, or some other denomination (259). The characters conclude that as their own lack of unanimous Christian affiliation and the possibility that a vampire’s not being of Christian background might invalidate the power of crucifixes and holy water (in either or both cases), they had better not rely on them. What is striking here is that the nature and tone of the characters’ discussion of these Catholic symbols makes it clear that they see them as equivalent to film props, in the same category as stakes and weapons for decapitating vampires, rather than as comfortingly potent signs of “our” goodness and righteousness, which will protect “us” against Satanic evil. This treatment of the Church as just one of several religious affiliations associated with the good characters in a multicultural setting is consonant with the text’s self-presentation as a contemporary American novel. An analogous device underpins Lorenzo Fernández Bueno’s El vampiro de Silesia. Like Entre nosotros, this novel seems to be inviting us to

172  Comparative Analysis imagine it is a translation and, as such, its presentation of the Vatican as evil adopts the position familiar to readers of some eighteenth-century Gothic novels as well as modern-day thrillers such as The Da Vinci Code: thus, in El vampiro de Silesia too, this is a foreign organization whose members will stop at nothing to achieve their ends, a force generating fear rather than assuaging it, but there is nothing in the text, explicit or implicit, to encourage parallels with the Church in Spain to be drawn. The narrative strategy in both of these novels then, foreignizes the reader rather than the vampiric threat: Carrasco’s and Fernández Bueno’s readers are being invited to imagine themselves as Anglo-Saxons and to read accordingly. When Spanish writers create vampire fiction that is not masquerading as translated and especially when they set the action in Spain, they have to make decisions about if and how to present the Roman Catholic Church, from a different starting-point. As the above-quoted passage from Morgan makes clear via its association of Catholicism with the “comparatively exotic”, the position from which the Roman Church is traditionally shown in Anglophone fiction as an efficacious antidote to vampires is not one of comfortable and comforting familiarity. If it is possible to generalize at all in this area, it would seem that the rituals are part of the otherness that makes the classic vampire texts frightening, rather than offering the reader (or viewer) relief from fear, notwithstanding their coding as representative of good in the good versus evil binary. Now, even though plenty of Spaniards are not believing or practising Catholics, or are as half-hearted about their Church as many Anglicans are about theirs, limiting their contact to the so-called “hatch, match, dispatch” pattern of baptism, weddings, and funerals, it is undeniable that Roman Catholicism in the Spanish context cannot be viewed as forbidden or exotic at all, but banal, a kind of unremarkable backdrop to schooling, family gatherings, and the annual cycle of public holidays. Away from vampire fiction, Spanish literature generally features priests and nuns of all shapes and sizes, as motley a group as any other in the population: clever and stupid, broad-minded and narrow-minded, selfish and altruistic, some who are quietly content with their lot and others who are tortured souls or restless ambitious careerists, some smug and some plagued with self-doubt. Whilst the ones who are protagonists may well be extraordinary in one way or another, the ones who appear as secondary or minor characters perhaps provide a more reliable guide to Spanish cultural perceptions of the Church and its representatives and the overriding impression gained from these is that a priest or a nun in a story is as un-type-cast as a shopkeeper or a farmer and, crucially for our purposes here, what these all have in common is that nobody finds them strange or frightening per se. Let just a few representative examples suffice, sampling from across the chronological span covered here. Miguel de Unamuno’s novel of 1921, La tía Tula, problematizes several aspects of Catholicism, but the main priest in the

Folklore and Religion  173 story, Don Primitivo, is a simple and undemanding man, intimidated by his firebrand of a niece, the title character. Miguel Delibes’s 1950 novel El camino, describes a village in which the priest is considered a “gran santo” [great saint] by the locals, their respect and admiration for him being a source of gentle amusement for the reader who can see that he is a perfectly normal individual. The other villagers – the schoolmaster, the blacksmith, the grocer and so on – are very similarly treated in that we smile at the epithets and nicknames they are given by the other locals and can see them all as human beings complete with their fair share of virtues and failings. Finally, Luciano G. Egido’s novel of 1995, El corazón inmóvil, portrays a community of nuns, working as nurses at the beginning of the twentieth century and, notably, shows them to be neither angelic nor evil across the board, but a collection of individuals with the full gamut of character traits to be found in the general population. Moving on from individual representatives of the Catholic Church to aspects of its doctrine, a case in point is a text that has no pretensions to Gothic horror, Juan Valera’s Doña Luz (1879), in which the eponymous character treasures a particularly gruesome picture of the crucifixion, which she keeps covered except when she is on her own and wishes to contemplate it in fascinated adoration and prayer. Valera was known for his espousal of the so-called idealist literary movement, which defended beautifying and aestheticizing real life in literature, so to include this in a novel must have been found compatible with these aims, however unexpected that seems to an English reader of the novel. The same everyday, unfrightening ordinariness seems applicable to engaging with Catholic rituals such as going to confession or to mass: Carmen de Burgos, for example, presents this as a merely tedious social obligation empty of spiritual importance or power to intimidate the protagonist of Confidencias (1920) (a different kind of story from La mujer fría and with nothing to do with vampires), even though she has been educated by nuns and is currently committing adultery. And lest we might think this woman is unusually godless, it is remarked that all the women in her social circle of middle-class Madrilenians share her views. 29 An example of the same phenomenon in more recent fiction can be taken from a short story with no pretensions to Gothic horror either. By Rosa Regàs and published in 1996, it is about a middle-aged woman who has a disillusioning chance re-encounter with a man who was her first love at the age of thirteen. They met initially in church, when she was (belatedly) taking first communion and he was an altar boy; indeed, the title of the story, “Introibo ad altare dei…” (ellipsis in original), is taken from the Latin rite but this is merely the backdrop to (and an ironic metaphorical opportunity for) an exploration of sexual awakening and first love. The protagonist-narrator comments: “Estaba tan absorta en lo que me estaba ocurriendo [falling in love with the boy] que pasó sin que me diera cuenta, el momento de la Consagración y la Elevación de la Hostia, / Hoc est enim Corpus meum. ‘Éste es mi cuerpo’“ [I was so wrapped up in what was

174  Comparative Analysis happening to me [falling in love with the boy] that the Consecration and the Elevation of the Host / Hoc est enim Corpus meum. “This is my body” quite passed me by].30 All in all, it seems safe to assert that Spanish authors cannot rely on their readers’ response to the Catholic Church being, what Morgan, quoted at the beginning of this section, calls “the inevitable curiosity and hesitant respect the forbidden and comparatively exotic engender”. Bearing in mind this heimlich rather than unheimlich starting-point, let us turn to the openly Spanish texts in our corpus to see how a Catholic base-line inflects the portrayal of religion and religions. The authorial options are these: to retain the association of vampires with an “other” religion, meaning that that religion cannot be Catholicism; to keep the Catholic association but to use it to explore anxieties around self rather than other, what is within rather than without. Then again, a parallel world can be created where the reader is taken to territory which still deploys vampires to explore a tension between the familiar and the unfamiliar, religion included, but maps the polarities onto invented rituals and religions. Finally, allusions to religion of any kind can be avoided altogether. Let us now consider examples of each of these narrative strategies and their implications for any conclusions that we may wish to draw as to the uniqueness or otherwise of Spanish vampire fiction. Emilia Pardo Bazán chooses the first of the options enumerated above in “Vampiro”, when she traces Don Fortunato’s vampirism to an Englishman he met in the New World. In this way, she retains the idea of vampires as a threat which is geographically and religiously other in origin and then, in time-honoured fashion, she brings this evil “home” to Spain, when Don Fortunato starts to prey on “our” – read Catholic – young girls (his victim, Inesiña’s piety is emphasized in the story). By choosing a denouement that leaves him still on the loose, Pardo Bazán avoids having to decide whether her vampire’s destruction will be achieved and, if so, whether this will be via the judicial system or some kind of religious ritual, in which case, which one will it be, Protestant or Catholic? This is a dilemma she was doubtless wise to sidestep, not least as she was a believing Catholic herself. Notwithstanding such inconclusiveness, we note that she implicitly rejects the concept of Catholic rituals or artefacts as protective against vampires, since the victim married the vampire in church, wearing a religious habit, and she is devout enough for us to imagine, in the absence of any textual evidence to the contrary, that she would be bound to have decorative crucifixes on the walls of their luxurious home and around her own neck, but her own piety is just as ineffective in saving her as the village doctor’s efforts. Pardo Bazán is also careful to leave open the question of what the motives of the victim’s uncle are, the abbot who has persuaded her to marry the vampire of the title: well-intentioned if misguided or culpably uncaring and selfish? Either way, “Vampiro” retains the connection of vampirism with the forbidden and exotic, merely adapting what these labels can be attached to for Spanish readers.

Folklore and Religion  175 Another story in our corpus that associates becoming a vampire with coming into contact with another culture relative to Spain and then bringing the evil home does not link the foreign with a religion viewed as “comparatively exotic” from a Spanish perspective, for the other rich returning vampire émigré is cousin Adolfo in “Sangre fresca para el muerto”, but he made his money in Transylvania, which is to say presumably in a Catholic context. In other words, foreignness does not have to go hand in hand with religious thematics; Atienza indeed is one of the many who has chosen to omit religion from his story altogether. Despite retaining many traditional features such as sleeping in a coffin and needing to avoid sunlight, allusions to religion are conspicuous by their absence, both in the portrayal of the vampire and the other foreigners in the story, the tourists who are colonizing Majorca. We will return to the areligious vampire story presently. Alfonso Sastre’s “Las noches del Espíritu Santo” also maps vampirism onto an alien variety of Christianity relative to Spanish Catholic culture, in the first half of the story, at least, for the vampiric characters are non-Catholics, converts to Protestantism, a faith which is viewed as strange and suspect by the local community. However, unlike Pardo ­B azán, whose omniscient narrator leaves the reader in no doubt as to the source of the vampire’s powers, Sastre chooses to exploit the potential of undecidability in this regard, for local prejudice against non-Catholics serves to cast doubt on the rumours labelling Amalia as a vampire and polarizes the two possible readings available: if she is not a vampire, but an ordinary woman struggling to raise a handicapped child with a husband who is unable to support the family through no fault of his own, her social marginalization and lack of community solidarity due to religious prejudice make her and the family all the more pitiable. If she is a vampire, preying on her own husband and child, then she is deeply antipathetic and this aligns vampirism with what is alien, other vis-à-vis Spanishness, here presented in the religious key of meaning non-­Catholic. The second half of the story, however, shows a devout Catholic being duped by a fake vampire, implicitly suggesting that belief in vampires sits comfortably within a Catholic mindset, primed to accept the supernatural as an article of faith. Thus, the second part of “Las noches del Espíritu Santo” produces a negative portrayal of Catholicism, associating it with gullibility of a dangerous kind, for it leads to murder of the fake vampire and incarceration of the woman he conned. Overall, then, the text has to be viewed as presenting religion generally as damaging, whether to its adherents or to those it targets, hardly surprising given the Marxist credentials of the author. In Abad’s Sangre, vampirism is again associated with an “other” religion, but this time it is one which, like Roman Catholicism in the classics, knows how to defend itself against vampires. Instead of holy water, communion wafers, and crucifixes, this text posits that the prohibition

176  Comparative Analysis to consume blood or accept a blood transfusion is what protects the Espondalarios from becoming vampires. This is what Marina, the apostate, discovers to her cost when she flouts it and is then doomed to the tailor-made torment of having to share her body and mind with her revenant mother. Unlike Pardo Bazán and more prominently than Sastre, Abad uses the linkage of an alien religion with vampirism to explore what we think we mean by blood relationships, just how inter-connected family members and especially mothers and daughters are and just how illusory our beliefs in our own freedom to walk away from our family background may be. We will return to this in the next section, on contagion and transmission. Miguel Puente Molins’s “Caries” also retains an implicitly Catholic baseline, such that this is still the assumed religious identity of the majority population: the story, apparently set in Spain – for the characters have Spanish names – features a dentist who keeps a supply of holy water in case of trouble with a vampire client. Now, however, the vampires are not presented as Protestants or other post-Reformation grouping, but rather as a pre-Christian sect. Thus, the vampire wears jewellery which he patronisingly explains to the dentist identifies him as belonging to a Sumerian religion. Given that the poetic logic of the story demands that we accept that holy water does protect against vampire attack, however, the underlying premise remains entirely traditional, implying that whatever religion vampires may profess to belong to, they are Satanic creatures who are enemies of the Roman Catholic Church, which, moreover, is a uniquely powerful religious counter-force. The idea that a vampire is a pre-Christian being also underlies José de la Rosa’s Vampiro. Now, though, the method to destroy one involves equally ancient incantations which seem to bear no relationship to the Catholic Church. The battle between good and evil in this novel is expressed and played out as one between ancient black and white magic spells, rather than deploying Catholic iconography. Despite the novel’s apparent side-stepping of religious thematics in that regard, however, there is a possibly anti-Semitic, pro-Catholic undertone, for the priceless antique, magic spell-book is associated with a monastery library that kept it from falling into the wrong hands for centuries (357) and there is a duplicitous character who is a Turkish Jew. Nonetheless, the protagonist, Sibila, who is determined to become a vampire, is presumably of Catholic heritage, since she is Spanish, but clearly has no faith in Church doctrine and she is presented as a sympathetic character. Taking all of these elements together, it seems arguable that Vampiro’s position on religion holds up a mirror to Spanish culture vis-à-vis religion at the time of publication in 2010: a young woman like Sibila finds no comfort in Catholic doctrine, which might have enabled her to resign herself to the suffering and premature death she watched her mother endure and the inevitability of her own fate being the same – hence her determination to escape it

Folklore and Religion  177 and her relative or perhaps total lack of fear of perdition – but there is a (maybe only semi-conscious) positive sense of trust pertaining to monasticism and of mistrust towards Jews. The second option for an author, as enumerated at the beginning of this section, is to retain the relationship between vampires and Roman Catholicism and not to introduce a non-Catholic religion to represent threatening otherness. The consequence of doing that is to bring vampirism home, as it were, making whatever threat or anxiety it is gesturing towards one that comes from within rather than without. This is Ramón del Valle-­I nclán’s choice in “Beatriz”: not only is the vampire a Roman Catholic cleric, he is the family chaplain, underscoring the identification of the figure as the enemy within. The character who is culpably blind to the danger Fray Ángel represents is a devout Catholic too, Beatriz’s mother, although a straight anti-Catholic message for “Beatriz” would be simplistic, since the two characters who expose and then combat the threat are also associated with the Church – the girl’s confessor and the folk-healer, respectively – ­exemplifying two important points made above. With the contrast between Fray Ángel and the father confessor, we see that in a Spanish context, characters identified with Catholicism cannot be lumped together as representatives of one particular type and with the saludadora’s mixture of prayers with magic, the seamlessness of the join between religious and folkloric beliefs and practices is illustrated. Catholicism is the only religion in David Jasso’s “Víctimas inocentes” too, with vampirism seemingly godless and Satanic, a purely dark force, as the name of the vampire hordes, “los oscuros” [the dark ones] indicates, in contradistinction to the mother’s name, Luz, meaning ‘light’ as well as being a Spanish forename. The population being decimated, coded “us”, is implicitly Catholic: for example, baby Dani wears a crucifix and this is not presented as an exotic measure adopted by the family just to protect itself. However, Jasso’s “oscuros” are alien invaders rather than enemies within like Fray Ángel. With the denouement being the parents’ choice to become vampires themselves rather than destroy or abandon their vampirized baby, the message would seem to be that parental love is more powerful than religious faith and if the two are brought into conflict, the former will be given precedence by “normal” people like “us” and thus the threat to “our” world is that the children we love will be converted to an evil (read un-Catholic) value-scheme because they are young and defenceless and we have failed to protect them adequately through our own naïveté. And then we will choose to follow them rather than lose them, leading to the gradual but inexorable downfall of the good, normal (read Catholic) world and its takeover by dark forces. In this way, Roman Catholicism is disempowered: no longer is it an effective antidote – Dani’s cross is easily removed without his parents noticing – nor the path to rid the world of evil. Thus, with the ending of the story showing the main characters happy to have joined the enemy hordes in order not to lose their vampirized baby, their decision is

178  Comparative Analysis tantamount to apostasy, leaving us with the unavoidable impression that abandoning the Roman Catholic Church is being aligned disturbingly with the abandonment of moral principles and even presented as a path leading to the downfall of the human race, an extremely conservative message to be found in a story dated as recently as 2009 and long after the Second Vatican Council accepted that not all non-Catholics were automatically damned back in the 1960s.31 In all of the texts with a Spanish setting mentioned so far, the backdrop against which the vampire narrative unfolds is of a Spain depicted in relatively realist colours and that includes the assumption that its majority population can be safely imagined as at least nominally Catholic. As mentioned in the enumeration of options at the beginning of this chapter, one alternative to this is for an author to create a parallel reality in which we find ourselves in a Spain whose mainstream belief system is something different. Such is Exímeno’s choice in “Al caer la noche”. Although the family at the heart of the story seems recognizable as an ordinary Spanish one, working class, eating Spanish food, and having Spanish names, as discussed in the folklore section above, the character who arrives to tackle their vampiric son does so by carving a special figure according to an arcane ritual and there are no references to suggest that the belief system underpinning this course of action is combined or compatible with Roman Catholicism, in contrast to folk traditions and their practitioners that mesh with those of the Church, such as the saludadora figure and her prayers in Valle-Inclán’s “Beatriz”. Given that the central family do not give any indication that this ritual is something exotic, but treat it more like one might imagine members of a traditional community would an exorcism, Exímeno cleverly creates a world which feels like “ours” from a Spanish reader’s perspective, but through this treatment of religion it nevertheless has an eerie strangeness as well, bringing the story into the familiar-yet-unfamiliar terrain of Freud’s unheimlich. Finally, a discussion of religion in Spanish vampire fiction since 1900 must reflect upon its absence from a significant selection of the texts across the chronological span of our corpus. It makes no appearance, explicitly or implicitly, in the two pre-1920 vampire stories by Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent, nor in Atienza’s story mentioned above and dating from 1974, nor in Adelaida García Morales’s 1990 novel, for example. What does this tell us? Does it even tell us one homogenous thing? From a non-Spaniard’s perspective, one might have expected that an uneducated prostitute such as the one we meet in de Hoyos’s “Una hora de amor” whose client turns out to be a vampire, would have crossed herself instinctively in horror as she struggled to escape and perhaps run into the nearest church. Or in García Morales’s La lógica del vampiro, would none of the characters sucked into relations with the vampiric Alfonso seek help from the Church? On finding Diego dead, would not Elvira or the others with her murmur a prayer, mention calling a priest, or even say something about why that would not

Folklore and Religion  179 help? One possible answer to these questions is that fiction is selective in what it chooses to mention, and there is much which authors do not doggedly describe because they know that readers do not need to be told it and so it does not serve any useful purpose. In one context, this might be going to the supermarket or doing the laundry just as in another it might be adhering to Catholic traditional practices such as crossing oneself. Indeed, it could be the fact that Catholicism and the gestures that accompany it are felt to be banal, unfrightening, and just as taken for granted by Spanish writers and readers as doing the shopping which places them in the same category of not worth mentioning. There is some textual evidence for understanding these absences – glaring to the eyes of a non-Spanish, non-Catholic reader – in this way. For example, in La lógica del vampiro, passing mentions of details that confirm the Catholic underpinning include the landlady’s endless crocheting, the products of which she donates to nuns for missionary work in Africa and Elvira’s discomfiture that Alfonso dissuades her from sitting with Diego’s body, something she says she would have liked to do even though she does not believe in life after death. But the descriptive material which could have sent a shiver down the back of a non-­ Catholic is passed over: Diego’s funeral is described without any mention of the Catholic ritual that could be expected to accompany it; the rooms in a boarding-house whose landlady crochets in aid of missionary work would be very likely to have religious prints on the walls and crosses above the beds, but there is no mention of them, with the unsettling atmosphere being created instead by other features, unrelated to religion, such as the penumbra and the sound of a ticking clock, presumably because a crucifix with a dying Christ nailed to it on the wall above a bed or a gruesome picture of a martyr’s death is not thought of as having potential to enhance a horror effect by a Spanish writer. Supporting the hypothesis that the features of Catholicism that perturb those from other cultures are regarded as unremarkable by Spanish writers and so not picked up and dwelt upon for atmospheric purposes, is the treatment of religion in Fernández Flórez’s “En el claro del bosque”. The story rests upon the classic religious premise of the vampire paradigm: the vampire, Octavia, is a damned soul without a body when she pursues her victim in his dreams and possibly waking life. He is a devout man on a pilgrimage to try to escape her. The story is brimming with powerfully disturbing, at­ oman Cathomospheric description and yet none of it deploys features of R lic practice that could have enhanced this, for an Anglo reader at least. Thus, when Mauricio arrives at the frighteningly silent city with its empty streets, there is no mention of a church, bells tolling ominously, hooded monks silently processing, Gregorian chants echoing in the distance, or any other stock characters or details that an English writer might have seen fit to introduce. These observations come as an important reminder to non-Spaniards that the Catholic Church, however undeniably part of Spain’s national identity

180  Comparative Analysis and culture, may belong to the background rather than the foreground, or to use a different metaphor, may be more part of the underpinning of Spanishness than a visible cornerstone of its present-day architecture and to emphasize it would in fact be more like the clichéd foreign perceptions of Spanishness, with its Carmens and its bullfighting, ill-matching the reality of being part of the culture or chiming with readers any more than any other national stereotypes. If de la Rosa’s implausible portrayal of London fog and tea-drinking looks silly to an English reader, we should be cautious in our turn as non-Spanish Hispanists not to expect equally simplistic portrayals of Spanishness – and that includes Catholicism – to be deployed by Spanish authors. A case in point, which seems to bear out this hypothesis, is the treatment of Catholicism in Molinero’s Verano de miedo. The setting, a village near Madrid, and most of the “us” characters are Spanish. The “them” characters are vampires who are revenant Nazis dating from the S­ panish Civil War and who are best repulsed by spraying garlicky gazpacho around. Although holy water is tried at an early stage in the battle, the character who knows most about such things is unconvinced by its reliability and even angry with the one youngster with religious faith, Jairo, who suggests it (118). Moreover, the latter is younger than the others and the son of unskilled Latin American immigrants, giving an implicit third-world undertone to Catholic piety, and overall, he is presented as rather naïve and foolish. The scrapbook format of the novel includes his contributions to a website called ‘’ [], where he uses the pseudonym Pecador_Asustado [Scared_Sinner] and what he writes there appears childish in the wider context of the novel as a whole, if pathos-laden. Eva, the key character who is turned into a vampire in the novel, declares once she is one that she does not believe she has a soul (193), challenging the fundamental principle that the existence of vampires proves the contrary or at the very least, showing her failure to understand the nature of the being she has become, but above all, underlining her atheism as a Spanish teenager in the present day. Juan, the main character, is equally atheistic, lumping religious faith together with belief in flying saucers at one point, for example (289). If the older generations are at least nominally Catholic, Molinero apparently sees no reason to allude to this: Juan’s grandmother dies in the course of the novel, for example, but no mention is made of last rites or whether she has a religious or secular funeral. As the daughter of a Republican father, the latter remains entirely possible, but crucially, Molinero must regard this as irrelevant to the novel as a whole. This, in conclusion, seems to be the direction of travel for the role of Catholicism in much Spanish vampire fiction: an increasingly irrelevant feature but one with significant consequences overall for what and how vampires mean when placed alongside other departures from tradition identified in the Spanish corpus. We will return to this in the Conclusion.

Folklore and Religion  181

Notes 1 Marías, “Autobiografía y ficción”, 72. I am grateful to Dr Marta Pérez-­ Carbonell for making me aware of this essay by Marías. 2 See Blanco, Brujería, 295 for the word sacaúntos. Sacamantecas is a widely used term, so much so that a present-day anthology of horror stories in which contemporary writers have produced texts inspired by traditional tales, deploys it in the title: Legendarium I: cuentos de fantasmas, asesinos y sacamantecas [Legendarium: tales of ghosts, murderers, and sacamantecas] (ed. by Pellicer and Serrano). Two out of the seven tales focus on the figure, “¿Quién duerme bajo tu cama?” [Who’s sleeping under your bed?] by Ivan Mourin (15–34) and “Mariquilla” by Tony Jiménez (81–102), the former using the Catalan version of the type and the latter the Andalusian. 3 Emilia Pardo Bazán uses popular belief in child-killing for ointment extraction as the premise for a story called “Un destripador de antaño” (1890) [A Ripper of Olden Times], showing its currency – in Galicia then, at least – beyond etymologies that speakers of Spanish may not think about consciously when they use terms like sacamantecas. I have analysed this story in Lee Six, “Gothic Gore”. 4 Mayoral, Bajo el magnolio, 30. For more on this figure, see, for example, http:// ­(accessed 8 August 2018). 5 The Castile and León study is Blanco, Brujería. Most of the book is about witches, but the final chapter, called “Otros seres fantásticos” [other supernatural beings] has four sub-sections: gnomes; bogeymen; basilisks and snakes with supernatural powers; and unicorns. The Galician study is Lisón Tolosana, Brujería, which has a comprehensive subject index in which there is no entry for vampiro or its cognates. 6 Catalan folklore probably comes closest to containing characters that resemble the vampires of Eastern Europe and this has inspired some Catalan fiction, including Joan Perucho’s Les històries naturals (1960). The present study is limited to texts written in Castilian Spanish and so it is not included here. For details of the stories from Catalan folklore, see, for example http://janonomar. (accessed 7  November 2017). This website also contains much detail on the different regional varieties of Spanish blood-sucking witches. 7 Darst, “Witchcraft in Spain”. Following a discussion of the treatise, the author gives his own English translation of it. The reference to witches drinking and sucking blood appears on p. 307 of this translation. 8 Lisón Tolosana, Brujería, 20. More details on one of the cases, a male shepherd, who confessed to killing and drinking the blood of his infant niece and to drinking the blood of another child who was not killed, is provided by Gifford (“Witchcraft”, 12). 9 Blanco, Brujería, 98 and 99, respectively (his italics). 10 Cited in Blanco, Brujería, 90, 91, and 95, respectively. 11 Blanco, Brujería, 108–09. 12 Lisón Tolosana records the sprinkling of holy water, salt, and garlic in Galicia to undo the effects of a witch (Brujería, 182) and Blanco cites the widespread use of garlic as a witch repellent in Castile and León as well as in the traditions of some diasporic communities of Sephardic Jews (Brujería, 163). It is still in use in the present day to protect houses and stables from the evil eye in the Arribes del Duero area (Salamanca and Zamora provinces) (González, García-Barriuso, Pardo-de-Santayana, and Amich, “Plant Remedies”, 39 and 42–43).

182  Comparative Analysis 13 Blanco, Brujería, 131. 14 “El príncipe Tomasito y San José” in Marietan, ed. Relatos infantiles, an e-book available on Amazon’s Spanish website at­ Espa%C3%B1oles-Infantiles-Tradicionales-ebook/dp/B00QBDEHLI/ref=sr_1_ 31?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509698157&sr=1-31&keywords­= cuentos+tradi cionales+espa%C3%B1oles+infantiles (accessed 3 November 2017). 15 Blanco, Brujería, 104. 16 Martín de Castañeda nuances this belief in his 1529 treatise, maintaining that the inheritance of witch status can only proceed with the consent of the heir (Darst, “Witchcraft in Spain”, 307), chiming interestingly with the notions of consent via threshold crossing in vampire lore. Nevertheless, this does not seem to have lodged in the folkloric imagination and is not to be found in any of the vampire stories discussed in this volume which contain vampires who have inherited their identity as such. Lisón Tolosana states that the belief in heredity for the transmission of witches’ powers applies right across Galicia ­(Brujería, 267), whilst Blanco records the belief that “hay que tener escrupuloso cuidado de no cogerle la mano [a una bruja] en el momento de morir, porque puede transmitirte sus poderes” [the greatest care must be taken not to hold a witch’s hand at the moment of death, for that can transmit her powers to you] ­(Brujería, 68). 17 For an example of the Satanic pact, written in blood drawn by the devil from the prospective witch, see Lisón Tolosana, Brujería, 35–36. 18 Lisón Tolosana provides ample evidence (Brujería, 99 et passim) that traditional beliefs include the idea of people who involuntarily cast the evil eye. This would presumably be what the other mothers fear from the strangely cold little girl. Involuntary casting of the evil eye also appears in Martín de Castañeda’s 1529 treatise and is related there to menstruation, though the author also asserts that deliberate casting of it for evil purposes is more harmful to those on the receiving end (Darst, “Witchcraft in Spain”, 310). 19 Some key arguments for reading Blanca as a vampire are rehearsed in Lee Six, “Carmen de Burgos, ‘La mujer fría’”. Different grounds are the subject of Lee Six, “Last of the Vamp(ire)s”. 20 Although I have not found references to the use of dolls or fetishes in the accounts of specifically Peninsular Spanish witchcraft, its well-known role in the Americas and the Caribbean has been posited as traceable to European origins (Elsie Clews Parsons, Pueblo Indian Religion, vol. 2 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939), 1068 and “Witchcraft among the Pueblos: Indian or Spanish?”, Man, 27: 70 and 80 (1927), 116, both cited in Pi-Sunyer, “Religion and Witchcraft”, 66–67). 21 Examples abound, but one might mention the faux old French of Keats’s “La Belle Dame sans Merci”, discussed in Bennett, “‘Alone and Palely Loitering’”, the poem echoed of course in Elia Barceló’s story title. 22 Aldana Reyes, Spanish Gothic, 136 et seq. 23 Blanco, Brujería, 201. 24 Thorne, Children of the Night, 71. Thorne argues that this makes vampires different from witches, who merely “invoke magical forces”, but this does not seem applicable to the Spanish understanding of what being a witch means. 25 Thorne, Children of the Night, 266. 26 I have challenged this reading of The Monk. See Lee Six, “The Monk (1796): A Hispanist’s Reading”, 39–45. For discussion of the view that Gothic texts of the eighteenth century are anti-Catholic, see, for example, Miles, “­Europhobia” and Canuel, Religion, 55–56. 27 Morgan, Biology of Horror, 63–64.

Folklore and Religion  183 28 29 30 31

Lee, “Nunc Dimittis”, 278. De Burgos, Confidencias, 60. Regàs, “Introibo”, 87. For a succinct and helpful summary of changes to Roman Catholic doctrine made by the Second Vatican Council, see (accessed 24 July 2018).

28 Contagion and Transmission

Anglophone vampire fiction or film fans would surely take for granted that when a vampire attacks, the person preyed upon is turned into a vampire too, give or take variations from one story to another concerning how many times someone needs to be bitten for this to be the effect or other details governing vampirization. This is reflected in the 1997 ­Encyclopedia Britannica, for example, which simply states without caveats that a vampire’s victims “become vampires after death”.1 This distinguishes vampires from many other supernatural as well as human and animal predators and has been theorized as tapping into anxieties around contagion, especially with reference to sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis (before it was curable) and, more recently, AIDS. Jack ­Morgan, for example, sees no need for argument when he asserts (presumably with reference to Anglophone texts), “Werewolf and vampire narratives are of course … versions of contagion horror”. 2 Marty Fink summarizes helpfully: Illness narratives … frequently render people living with HIV/AIDS as threats to those who are or appear to be “healthy”, enlisting metaphors of otherness and contagion to represent disease. One such metaphor may be found in the figure of the vampire. Since their popularization in the nineteenth century, vampires have evolved as literary signifiers of racial and sexual deviance, embodying illnesses as wide-ranging as syphilis and tuberculosis. 3 Whilst this convention of contagion is followed and indeed drives the plot in several of the stories discussed in the present volume, it is by no means universal and that this feature is less taken for granted in the Spanish popular imagination is reflected in Spanish reference sources. For example, the Spanish version of Wikipedia mentions it not as the primary method of becoming a vampire, as does Encyclopedia Britannica, but as the fifth and last, after, in this order, an inborn natural predisposition, premature or violent death including suicide, failure to observe correct funeral rites, and a divine curse for impiety or criminality or for making a demonic pact.4

Contagion and Transmission  185 As we saw in the Folklore section above, an inborn predisposition and a demonic pact overlap with Spanish beliefs about how witches come to be and the latter are also associated with drinking their victims’ blood; has some kind of fusion of the two types in the Spanish popular imagination influenced the higher ranking of these ways of becoming a vampire than the contagious bite? For vampirism to be available as a metaphor for sexually transmitted disease, several criteria need to be met: vampire attacks need to have sexual connotations of some kind; the victims – some of them at least – need to become vampires; and being a vampire needs to be analogous on some level to a diseased state. These features are found to be co-present in surprisingly few of the texts considered in this volume, as the analyses in Part I have shown. Perhaps one reason for this is that the vampire as a sexual predator is not its primary or chronologically first metaphorical value in Spanish, which is a financial leech. The first sexual association with vampirism that I have been able to find in a Spanish reference work is in the 1929 Enciclopedia universal (roughly equivalent to the Encyclopedia Britannica) where it mentions in the part of the article on the revenant vampire of Balkan folklore that “el vampiro tiene comercio carnal con su viuda ó con otra mujer” [the vampire has carnal relations with his widow or another woman]. 5 Nevertheless, the sexual connotations clearly were available to writers before then, as all of the stories pre-­ dating 1929 analysed in the present book attest and yet contagion in the Anglo sense is nowhere to be found there, so this hypothesis can only be part of the explanation for the prevalence of non-contagious vampirism in the Spanish corpus. In any event, this means that Spanish vampire fiction cannot be unproblematically fitted en bloc inside the category of sexual contagion horror in the same way as for so many Anglophone texts. It follows that this limits the applicability of some ideas coming from those writing about them in this vein, scholars such as those quoted above. This chapter will first consider the texts that come closest to fitting the sexual contagion pattern and ask whether they do anything innovative or identifiably Spanish with it. It will then explore texts that suggest metaphors relating to another vector of pathological transmission – heredity – and ask how this idea inflects readings of vampirism and how it is used in the Spanish corpus. In particular, heredity as a way of becoming a vampire will be considered in the light of two cross-cutting features of Spanish vampires: the age-old Spanish preoccupation with family bloodlines known as limpieza de sangre or cleanness of blood and its possible contamination by non-Christians; and the vampire’s smell, mentioned recurrently in ­Spanish vampire fiction. Whilst preoccupations relating directly or indirectly to limpieza de sangre have appeared in Spanish literature for centuries, smell is not a traditional literary topic and this difference between the two has implications which also need to be examined.

186  Comparative Analysis

Contagion The three texts in our corpus that seem to come closest to following Anglophone convention in how they handle the question of contagion are Clara Tahoces’s Gothika, Juan Ignacio Carrasco’s Entre nosotros, and Carlos Molinero’s Verano de miedo. As far as Entre nosotros is concerned, this is not surprising given its self-presentation as if it were a translation into Spanish of an American story, but for the other two, set in Spain and peopled by Spaniards, the authors have evidently decided to respect that particular transnational convention and adapt it to their personal – and more Spanish-specific – agenda, as we shall now see. In all three novels, classic, blood-drinking revenant vampirism is coded negatively and in Entre nosotros and Verano de miedo the source of contagion is identified with Nazis, lest one might be in doubt as to its evil (and foreign) connotations. To identify vampires with Nazis is not in itself innovative.6 Given the emphasis on blood in Aryan supremacist ideology, the Nazi vampire metaphor is well chosen. As Monica Black observes, “Nazi thinking had deeply politicized blood, reordered the cultural meanings imputed to it, and heightened the value of blood deemed ‘German’”.7 In Gothika, on the other hand, the first narrated source of contagious vampirism is the protagonist’s aunt, who vampirizes her niece via a classic blood-drinking attack; nevertheless, this contagious character is a member of the victim’s family rather than a menacing stranger, coming closer to Eastern European folklore in that respect than literary tradition. Notwithstanding this difference between the contagious character’s positioning as foreign or family, in all three novels, the evil characterization of the original infecting vampires is not called into question but whether becoming a vampire automatically turns a person evil is interrogated. Gabriel Shine’s vampirized mother in Entre nosotros is characterized as one of the evil vampires’ victims, someone caught in the crossfire between her husband’s activities and the vampires’ wish to put a stop to them, rather than a person whose transformation has led to her being infected with the evil qualities the other vampires embody. Her continued goodness postdeath is illustrated by the fact that she used to visit her son regularly in vampiric form when he was a little boy, but did not attack or otherwise harm him (104–05). Who is providing the blood for her undead existence is conveniently omitted from the storyline. The unpalatable corollary of this motif is that the evil vampires are culpably so and whilst this is unlikely to trouble readers in their connection with Nazis, that is not the case for the portrayal of Helmut, the vampire who was formerly a homosexual man with whom the arch-baddie of the novel, Higgins, was in love, driving the whole plot and, crucially, his placing of our protagonist in harm’s way. Verano de miedo avoids such controversial characterization by limiting the vampires’ associations to Nazis rather than any particular sexual preferences. It deploys the same motif as with Gabriel Shine’s vampirized

Contagion and Transmission  187 mother, though, giving it more prominence as it attaches to the central character of Eva, who also manages not to “catch” the vampires’ nastiness when she joins their ranks. She also carries connotations of victimhood, in her case being the victim of her disordered human body and of the cruelty of others towards her because of it. Admittedly, she proceeds to take revenge on her sister, Marta, but the latter has been presented as so sadistic and cruel towards Eva that we forgive her for committing what feels like a justifiable crime of passion. Eva’s image as a sympathetic character even post-vampirization is enhanced by the fact that she saves Juan, our hero, from the evil Nazi vampire who has just deliberately poked out his eye and is about to kill and perhaps vampirize him (257). Robert, the other character who catches vampirism in the course of the story, was already nasty beforehand and his personality appears unchanged by his physical transformation. In sum, both of these novels of contagious vampirism seem to code it inherently sick and evil at first glance, but this proves somewhat deceptive as we learn that it is not the fact of being or becoming a vampire which necessarily defines or turns someone evil: the pre-existing character can remain despite the physical transformation. Not only that, this choice by the respective authors means they can keep at least one foot on the sympathetic-vampire bandwagon and feed the wishful fantasy of an ideal form of immortality, the very kind that Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno insightfully posited is what we all want: La inmortalidad que apetecemos es una inmortalidad fenoménica, es una continuación de esta vida. Nuestro anhelo [es] de no perder el sentido de continuidad de nuestra conciencia, … el sentimiento de nuestra propia identidad personal concreta. La inmortalidad del alma pura, sin alguna especie de cuerpo o peri­ espíritu, no es inmortalidad verdadera. Y en el fondo, el anhelo [es] de prolongar esta vida, esta y no otra.8 [The immortality that is attractive to us is a phenomenal immortality – it is the continuation of this present life. Our longing [is] not to lose the sense of continuity of our consciousness…, the feeling of our own personal, concrete identity. The immortality of the pure soul, without some sort of body or ­spirit-covering, is not true immortality. And at bottom, what we long for is a prolongation of this life, this life and no other.]9 Tahoces’s treatment of contagious vampirism tackles the issue of character change head on and attempts to strike a difficult balance: Analisa is presented as a good, sympathetic young woman before she becomes a vampire. The aunt who attacks her is portrayed as evil and devious through and through, but we do not know whether this is due to her vampirism or

188  Comparative Analysis she was always like that. Once Analisa is turned, she retains some vestiges of her human character, but these are contaminated somewhat unevenly by her vampiric traits: she is heartless, manipulative, and cruel towards her disciple, a would-be vampire called Violeta, but humane and gentle towards a mentally handicapped youngster she looks after for a time, and displays motherly love towards him as well as towards her own vampire-daughter, Mariana, upon whose unalloyed vampiric cruelty she reflects: Mariana carecía de toda moral, así de la capacidad de emocionarse, del sentido de arrepentimiento y de la empatía suficiente para ponerse en la piel de sus víctimas. …. A fin de cuentas, Mariana era un vampiro nacido, no como en su caso [de Analisa]. … Sin embargo, … esa falta de expresividad humana era lo único bueno que a la niña podía pasarle. … Constituía un escudo protector frente a su propia naturaleza monstruosa. … Analisa habría preferido no conservar emociones humanas de ninguna clase, no tener sentimientos como la piedad, la compasión, el remordimiento o el arrepentimiento. (287–88) [Mariana lacked all morality, as well as any capacity for emotion, a sense of regret and the empathy necessary to put herself in her victims’ place. At the end of the day, Mariana was a born vampire, not like in her own case [Analisa’s]. However, that lack of human expressiveness was the one good thing that could happen to the girl. It amounted to a protective shield against her own monstrous nature. Analisa would have preferred not to retain human emotions of any kind, not to have feelings like pity, compassion, remorse or regret.] We shall return to the hereditary vampirism that also appears in this novel, but for now we note that the implication is that vampires are inherently heartless but that at least some humans are able to cling to part of their better, human nature even after joining their ranks. In Analisa’s case, this vestigial goodness accounts for her choice never, we are told, to turn her prey into vampires (265). That remark enables us to make two deductions: one is that in Gothika’s poetic logic, vampires have a choice over this and from there, Analisa’s aunt must have made an actively evil decision to vampirize her niece, adding to the character’s antipathetic credentials. Is this a metaphor for those who follow safe sex guidelines versus the criminally liable deliberate infectors of sexual partners with HIV? Or is it an allusion to HIV-positive intravenous drug users who are careful not to share ­needles versus those who are negligent in this regard? Either way, adding the ­element of choice to contagion does seem to reflect contemporary ethical dilemmas that did not apply in earlier periods.

Contagion and Transmission  189 In Gothika, vampirism apparently entails nasty, ruthless character traits, but Analisa, does resist these up to a point; separating herself off from them, she calls her vampiric self a beast living inside her (199 and passim) and to that extent her characterization aligns with Anglo fiction, as Cyndy Hendershot has observed: A Gothic body is frequently a possessed body, a body inhabited by an alien other. Vampires’ victims, zombies, the insane – all point to the fear of an external force that invades and controls the human, making him or her into a puppet controlled by an unseen, frightening puppet master.10 If vampirism is coded evil in these three novels of contagious vampirism and yet the central vampirized characters retain key human virtues, it would seem that the nineteenth-century tension between Zola-esque Naturalism and Emilia Pardo Bazán’s championing of a version of it compatible with the Catholic doctrine of free will has lived on, for here are Analisa, Eva, and Gabriel Shine’s mother, deterministically set on a path to evil, whose authors nonetheless bestow upon them sufficient agency and choice, in present-day parlance, or free will, to use the language of the old controversy, to resist that fate, something which is a cornerstone of their standing as sympathetic characters.11 Carrasco’s vampires turn some of their victims into vampires in classic Anglophone fashion, but he has added the idea that there is a vampire quota and a one-in-one-out policy (no explanation is given as to why this should be); thus, when there is no capacity, they merely kill humans. In Verano de miedo, there is a vaguer sense of some vampiric authority deciding which humans can become vampires and which should simply be killed by their predators. As Eva explains with respect to her attack on Marta: “Cuando he terminado le he clavado el cuchillo en el corazón. Es lo que tenemos que hacer con la comida. Él nos lo ha dicho. Sólo los elegidos pueden llegar a la vida eterna” (221–22) [When I finished, I stuck the knife into her heart. It’s what we have to do with our meals. He told us so. Only the chosen can attain eternal life.] Gothika, for its part, as we have seen, gives vampires an apparently free choice as to whether or not to turn their victims into vampires and if others are at all like Analisa, they may have enough vestigial humanity not to want to. Because of this, one element which is usually a cornerstone of what makes Anglophone contagious vampires frightening – that unless we destroy them all, they are going to multiply and spread like a pandemic and so take over the world – is eliminated from these three texts, despite their retention of the classic convention of the contagious bite. Thus, from a contagion horror perspective, the anxieties around diseases spreading uncontrollably are noticeably absent even in three Spanish texts that appear to remain close to the Anglophone paradigm. This effectively frees the texts to focus on other anxieties.

190  Comparative Analysis Gema del Prado Marugán’s “Comer con los ojos” can also be labelled contagion horror to the extent that it retains the idea that having one’s blood drunk by a vampire makes a person need to start drinking the blood of others and indeed makes the victim come to resemble the attacker as he turns from prey to predator, for when the protagonist, Alejandro, looks in a mirror at the end of the story he sees an image which looks like the vampiric child into whose clutches he previously fell. The vampiric state is also represented in the traditional way as diseased: Alejandro thinks the vampiric child must be ill when he first sees him and he begins to waste away once he has entered into relations with him. However, there are no obvious sexual connotations to the vampiric relationships in the story; instead, as argued in Part I, the author has chosen to tap into parents’ fears over their inability to keep their offspring safe from the harm of being turned into harmful creatures by other children, a rather original use to which to put the contagion motif in a vampire story. The contagion metaphor’s usual ramifications are limited further by other features of the story: since passing the condition on appears to cure the first vampiric character, the metaphor of an epidemic destroying the whole human population is unavailable. Notwithstanding the lack of obvious sexual connotations to vampiric relations as they are presented in the story, this unusual feature of predation having curative power does evoke STDs in that it seems to gesture towards wishful and dangerous falsehoods whereby syphilis or AIDS have been believed to be curable by having sex with a virgin.12 This idea – that the horror once passed on frees the person who has passed it – also forms the backbone of a film that pre-dates “Comer con los ojos”, It Follows (dir. David Robert Mitchell, 2014) and the connotations are shared, though they are explicitly sexual in the film and the characters involved are teenagers rather than children. The film, however, would be classed as a ghost/haunting horror film rather than a vampire one and that is revealing in that for Anglophones this plot would not lend itself to vampires, whereas the same premise does not preclude that for Gema del Prado Marugán and her Spanish readers. Becoming a vampire is presented as the result of a contagious attack in David Jasso’s “Víctimas inocentes” (presumably, although this is not described) but here this motif is twinned with the premise of an unchosen family problem, for the parents’ motivation for choosing to become vampires subsequently is love for their vampirized baby son, whom they cannot bring themselves to destroy or abandon. Unlike those discussed so far, this story stands out as one of the few which does retain the epidemic connotations of vampirism taking over the human race: “Cada baja nuestra era un nuevo soldado en sus filas, una auténtica maldición” (86) [Every casualty of ours was a new soldier in their ranks, a veritable curse]. However, in common with other texts which will be discussed presently, choosing to become a vampire serves – if tangentially – as a cure for and inoculation against the physical frailties of the human condition, for the narrator’s painful and incapacitating injury inflicted on him by the vampires vanishes

Contagion and Transmission  191 once he becomes one, a fact pointed out by Eloy, the traitor character who endorses the family’s move into enemy ranks. Just afterwards, the narrator declares himself happy with his new vampiric identity, suggesting that this is one factor, if not the main one in his case, for preferring darkness to light (it will be recalled that the vampires in this story are referred to as “los oscuros” [the dark ones]). In common with José de la Rosa’s Vampiro, discussed below, “Víctimas inocentes” thus associates the human condition with illness or susceptibility to a range of pathologies, pain, and injury, with the corollary that it can present a willingness to adopt the more robust identity of the vampire, even though it is an evil one, as a tempting tradeoff and an understandable choice, if a regrettably unethical one from the reader’s point of view. The co-presence of the two motifs pitted against one another here – parental love versus the downfall of the human race – evoke anxieties as diverse as antibiotic resistance and Islamist radicalization of youngsters. To that extent, the story follows in the transnational tradition of readings of the vampire as existing “to absorb a mess of unexamined but real psychosocial pressures”.13 Alfredo Álamo’s “El hombre de la pala” plays interestingly with undecidability on contagion. Like “Comer con los ojos”, if less centrally, it evokes every parent’s fear of losing a child to a mysterious disease, with the depiction of the mother’s harrowing grief at ten-year-old Anabel’s funeral, but the central storyline is about Ismael, the graveyard gardener, and his terror upon witnessing Anabel’s lethal attack as a revenant on his boss. This is followed by his own stated preference to face capital punishment having been unjustly convicted of that murder rather than be exonerated but live in fear of Anabel coming for him next. The unanswered questions here are: first, how did Anabel become vampirized? We hear of her inexplicable wasting illness but nothing about how it all started and, bearing in mind that as we saw in the Folklore section, these symptoms are identical to those suffered by people – especially children – who are victims of a witch’s casting of the evil eye, we cannot use them as conclusive proof that she was bitten by a vampire herself. Second, will Ismael’s boss, her first victim, now become a revenant vampire? Anabel has vampire fangs and goes for his neck when she attacks him so this seems like a traditional portrayal, but there is no mention of his rising from the grave subsequently. Third and crucially, is becoming a vampire what Ismael fears and is that the reason why he would rather be executed before Anabel has a chance to attack him? Or is it simply that he is sure she will come for him in due course and is more frightened of dying at her hands in the way he witnessed her killing his boss than of the state apparatus administering capital punishment? Ismael’s dying wish is to be buried extra deep: is this because he fears he will rise from the grave himself and hopes that a few extra centimetres of soil will stop him? Surely not, as he has not been attacked by Anabel as yet. Is it because he thinks Anabel will be interested in attacking his dead body and hopes that she might not do so if he is harder to dig up? If so, this undermines a reading of her as a

192  Comparative Analysis vampire for then she would be looking for living human beings to attack, not dead ones (and yet this illogicality does seem to apply to the story, as discussed in the analysis of it in Part I); or is it a fusion of the vampire and the ghoul in the panicky reaction of an uneducated man? The result of all of these undecidables is that this story cannot be pigeon-holed comfortably as contagion horror, even of a non-sexual variety; its horror effect rests on either the reader’s active choice to assume the contagion convention of the Anglophone vampire – to assume, despite the lack of textual evidence, that Anabel was attacked by a vampire and has made Ismael’s boss one too – or, if not, to derive a more generalized kind of spine-chill from staples found in a range of supernatural stories rather than vampire ones specifically, namely the fear of being pursued by a vengeful supernatural creature; being wrongfully convicted of a capital crime; and finding oneself in a macabre atmosphere arising from the cemetery setting and the presence of a Satanic child. The publication of the text in an anthology of vampire stories predisposes the reader to view it as such, but this consideration of its dubious contagion credentials either reveals it as even more hybrid than it already seems at first glance or adds to the evidence that Spanish vampire fiction does not regard the contagious bite as a sine qua non.

Family Transmission Alfonso Sastre utilizes the familiar presentation of the vampire as the vector of infection in the first part of “Las noches del Espíritu Santo” but there the resemblance with classic contagious vampire fiction ends for his is a different type of transmission, anticipating a trend Anglophone scholars read as particularly suited to the present day: “Current genetic mapping … re-enables the ‘horror of heredity’ theme, which, in a nurture-oriented psychology was, until recently, beginning to be regarded as folkloric”.14 The story features a seriously handicapped child-vampire, who may have become one because he inherited vampirism from his mother or because she infected him by attacking her own child. However, the balance of probability tends towards hereditary transmission because we know she “relieves” her husband, Zarco, of his blood, but there are no signs that this has turned him into a vampire or will do in the future and another character, who has known Amalia for a long time and claims she has had many lovers, including him, on whom she has preyed vampirically, does not give any indication that any of them have or will become vampires either. Another possibility is that this mother is not a vampire at all and the child has been fed blood self-sacrificially extracted or obtained by her in a desperate attempt to fortify him. In that reading, Sastre’s story would align with the ones discussed below that are linked with limpieza de sangre in that they tap into anxieties around slanderous gossip. In any event, however, the child can only have contracted his own taste for blood from his mother, so parent-child transmission by whatever means is being posited and the child is portrayed as

Contagion and Transmission  193 grotesque, becoming a victim of the revulsion he evokes through no fault of his own. This is a very far cry from the portrayal of vampiric contact as transgressively erotic. To that extent, Sastre branches out from the Anglophone norm creatively: if the vampiric child here has anything to do with contagion horror, it is via the idea of the “syphilis of the innocents”: babies born syphilitic or infected by wet-nurses and the wives of unfaithful men who brought sexually transmitted disease home.15 Sastre’s portrayal of a vampiric child thus suggests an almost Biblical visitation of the sins of the fathers – or here, mothers – on their children. Inheritance as the vector of transmission of vampirism, along with the blamelessness that entails for the hereditary vampire, obtains in Gothika too, via Analisa’s daughter, but, as mentioned above, there it appears in parallel with the contagious bite, whereas in Lorenzo Fernández Bueno’s El vampiro de Silesia, it is the central, stand-alone trope of the plot: in the latter, the transmission of vampirism is presented as mistakenly associated with plague historically when in fact it was hereditary, as the story posits the Vatican realized but kept to itself. In contrast to both “Las noches del Espíritu Santo”, where the narrative perspective is that of the man who is horrified and frightened of the vampiric child, and Gothika, where we see Analisa’s vampire daughter from the mother’s more than somewhat ambivalent perspective, here in El vampiro de Silesia we side wholeheartedly with Maurizio and his ancestors, carriers of the vampiric immortality gene, because they are persecuted by evil human beings who are determined to purloin it and isolate it for their own use, irrespective of the harm done to the innocent hereditary carriers in the process. Such reverse characterization is a phenomenon found in Anglophone cultural production too, as Angela Curran notes, with reference to the film An American Werewolf in London (dir. John Landis, 1981): [The film] ends … with a final shot in which the werewolf is represented as a tragic victim, cornered in an alley, with policemen ready to fire and a throng of bystanders clamouring to get a thrill from a look at the werewolf. This role reversal of the monster and the humans and the reference to the worst side of human nature reminds us of the theme of “moral horror” – the ethics of humans in their worst moments – that is American Werewolf’s underlying subject.16 In the film, it is the general public who are demonized in this way, whereas Fernández Bueno targets his attack at the highest echelons of the Roman Catholic Church specifically, in the process harking back to the anti-­ Catholicism of the first Gothic novels, as mentioned in Part I. Whilst El vampiro de Silesia includes plenty of sex, as we also saw in Part I, this is not associated with the transmission of vampirism. Thus, the STD metaphor does not apply; instead, the novel – for all its Italian setting and characters – fits with the utilization of transmission imagery which

194  Comparative Analysis emerges as especially attractive to Spanish writers, namely vampirism as pathological, yes, but divorced from eroticism and passed unsought between family members, by heredity or otherwise. Here, this results in harmful envy on the part of humans, perhaps evoking (albeit in reverse) the evil eye traditions discussed in the Folklore section above, but that enviability rests upon a conceptualization of vampires as superior to humans. The desirability of the vampire from a human perspective is a cornerstone of the figure in the Anglophone corpus too, but there it is traditionally a transgressive sexual variety, whereas in this novel Maurizio’s sexual attractiveness is presented as incidental to his vampiric heritage and the engine of desirability, here and elsewhere in the Spanish canon, is immortality of the Unamunian variety. Hereditary horror is also at the heart of José de la Rosa’s Vampiro and it shares with El vampiro de Silesia a presentation of the vampiric state as desirable and superior to the human condition because of the immortality it promises. Now, however, the hereditary horror is on the human side of the equation, for hereditary illness is associated with the human protagonist, Sibila, and her family, whereas the vampire is in the enviable position of being impervious to infection, reconfiguring the disease metaphor of vampirization in the process, so that it is more evocative of inoculation than infection. Just as becoming a vampire offered Eva in Verano de miedo her only hope of escaping her sense of being trapped inside a physically repugnant human body and the father’s broken pelvis was cured when he chose vampirization in “Víctimas inocentes”, in this novel, becoming a vampire offers Sibila her only chance of escape from the genetic abnormality she knows she has inherited from her mother and which will bring her a painful and premature death: what she desperately wants to “catch” is the vampire’s non-susceptibility to such human frailties and this creates her desire for contact, which blurs with the sexual variety. She is willing to cut loose from her identity in the widest sense of the word if that will free her from the accident of birth that has doomed her and the route to a new vampiric self – if not the destination – does have erotic connotations in this novel. When she first senses the vampire’s invisible presence, the description is reminiscent of sexual overtures, for she is in bed at the time and woken by it to discover that it “tenía la forma de un susurro, de un suave susurro” [it took the form of a whisper, a gentle whisper]. Then, when she creeps to the door to trace where the sound is coming from, “el sonido era más intenso, como el bombeo de sangre de un corazón acelerado” (both 228) [the sound was more intense, like the pounding blood of a quickened heartbeat]. The description of the climactic transformative encounter reads like violent rape: “el vampiro … permanecía sobre su presa, con su boca pegada a la garganta. Sujetándola sin miramientos del cabello para hacerla adoptar una postura imposible, rota’ (406) [the vampire remained bent over his prey, his mouth glued to her throat. Holding her down ruthlessly by the hair to force her to adopt an impossible position, broken]. If traditional contagion horror vampire texts address the anxiety that transgressive sex may be punished

Contagion and Transmission  195 with a death sentence and perdition, congress with a vampire that brings escape from human mortality, as here, might have seemed to be conveying the subversive message that on the contrary, seeking contact with forces of evil will be rewarded. Vampiro avoids this in two ways: by depicting the eventual consummation contact as horrific rather than erotic, as we have just seen – a punishment of sorts for Sibila? – and by suggesting that she might have regretted her decision too late to backtrack: “su boca [de Sibila] era lo único que movía, intentando atrapar una bocanada de aire, o quizá pronunciando alguna palabra” (406) [her mouth was the only thing that moved, trying to snatch a mouthful of air or maybe saying something]. This evokes the classic interrogation of sexual consent when it is uninformed, something more typically raised in Anglophone vampire fiction via the convention of the vampire’s need for an invitation to cross the threshold. However, in the light of Spanish cultural tradition – and remembering how it is reflected in that Spanish Wikipedia entry – this motif seems to be more noticeably alluding to the conventions of stories of demonic pacts, whereby the soul-seller thinks s/he has made a worthwhile deal, only to discover too late that the devil has tricked him/her.17 Likewise, if in a milder form, the fate of Eva of Verano de miedo cannot be read subversively, as endorsing and rewarding a turn to evil even though she achieves her goal of becoming attractive to Juan and being kissed passionately by him, since she feels constantly cold, desperately misses sunlight, and at the end of the novel, she may have been destroyed, but even if she has not been, Juan is now in partnership with a skilled vampire hunter and seems unlikely to want anything to do with her in the future. Hereditary horror of a different kind from the genetic disease trope of Vampiro is at the heart of José María Tamparillas’s “Sangre de mi sangre”, where the vampiric grandfather escapes his diseased and dying body to occupy his grandson’s youthful healthy one and traps the boy in his. Here the classic metaphor of consent via the need to enter the vampire’s territory of one’s own volition is explicit, since it is the grandson’s decision to visit his grandfather in the care-home where he is living (or rather, dying), against his parents’ advice, which enables the old man to operate the body-switch. However, Tamparillas’s usage distances the trope from sexual consent: the harm that befalls the protagonist here is due to his willingness to engage with the family patriarch and, little does he know at the time, the ruthless values he incarnates. Thus, the motif of uninformed consent is reshaped and extended beyond sexuality, gesturing, like Verano de miedo, towards the burying and unburying of Spain’s painful Civil War past – now at a remove of two generations – and the issue of many of today’s young ­people having been kept in the dark about their own family history, history which, the story seems to caution, they approach guilelessly at their peril. Will this evil grandfather, now occupying his grandson’s body, operate the same predatory switch in two generations’ time and so on indefinitely into the future, so that each grandson appears to outsiders to have inherited  – “caught”

196  Comparative Analysis by heredity, according to the popular belief in traits skipping a generation and then re-appearing – the cruel character trait that runs in this family, rendering it deathless? This is an ingenious turn of the contagion screw, showcasing its versatility beyond anxieties around STDs. Mercedes Abad also explores the question of heredity in Sangre, when a daughter’s body and self are invasively occupied or, one might say, infected by her late mother as a result of blood drinking. Overlapping with the body-snatcher motif, Sangre is possibly more alarming than the classics of that type, such as Ira Levin’s The Stepford Wives or “Sangre de mi sangre” just discussed, because the original character is still present, conscious of what has happened, and forced to share her body and mind with her mother against her will, just as Analisa is conscious of the vampiric beast living inside her in Gothika. In the poetic logic of Sangre, this appears as a kind of vindication of the mother, whose religious beliefs prohibit blood transfusions even when the patient’s own salvaged blood is used. Marina, her daughter, no longer subscribes to her parents’ religion and has carried out a threat to drink her mother’s blood made as emotional blackmail to try to persuade her to accept just such a transfusion, but the strategy not only has failed to make the mother relent but has apparently verified her belief system by having such nightmare consequences for both characters. This is hereditary transmission without consent on either side: Victoria, the mother, did not consent to be effectively raised from the dead via Marina’s drinking of her blood and Marina’s decision to ingest her mother’s blood is a classic case of the uninformed variety of consent so often explored in vampire fiction, just as Jonathan Harker thought that consenting to enter Castle Dracula was merely a practical step to carry out his job and not an agreement to let the Count and his minions loose on himself and his nearest and dearest. Marina thought she was making a symbolic point that would be unpalatable but no more than that; in the event, however, that blood mixing allowed her mother’s consciousness to invade and occupy hers. However nightmarish the premise – to have inside one’s head, commenting critically on one’s every thought, a mother one loves but who disapproves of one’s values and lifestyle and is a strong and irritating character – ­Sangre gives a more positive exploration of family transmission than the other texts discussed thus far, for Marina discovers that the mother’s personality when she was a child during the Civil War and subsequently during the Franco regime was far more admirable than she ever imagined and she realizes that they are also much more alike than their mother-daughter relations gave her to believe. In other words, Marina’s drinking of her mother’s blood leads her to an appreciation of the positive power of heredity, seeing herself as continuous with her mother’s identity rather than the rebellious independent spirit she had thought herself. What she “caught” by simply being her mother’s daughter is revealed by the vampiric act rather than the result of it and in this more cheerful story, Abad has made the inherited identity admirable instead of sickly or despicable. Nevertheless, Sangre has

Contagion and Transmission  197 in common with all of the other texts that narrate the transmission of vampirism between family members, an acknowledgement of the inescapability of heredity, deploying the time-honoured metonym of blood. What these narratives linking intra-family relations to vampirism seem to be adding up to is a particular interest in the Spanish corpus in exploring anxieties around blood relationships: their power, inescapability, uncontrollability, and their potential for toxicity. To that extent, the texts in question accord with the characteristic of the Gothic more generally: that it challenges boundaries, including those of the self.18 A doppelgänger plot is one way of doing that, but blending family members with one another can have an equally powerful horror effect, albeit one that an Anglophone reader might not expect to find in a vampire story. Limpieza de sangre That vampirism should be presented as inextricably bound up with problems related to family bloodlines more prominently than transgressive sex could point to vestiges of the virulent obsession with limpieza de sangre or untainted blood and tacitly posit that it remains undead, however buried it may be consciously. Consider the following summary of the phenomenon: Los “Estatutos de Limpieza de Sangre” … comenzaron a aplicarse en el Concejo de Toledo en 1449, propagándose ininterrumpidamente durante los siglos XV, XVI y XVII. El objetivo fundamental era descubrir la identidad y las prácticas de los que se sospechaba que eran falsos cristianos. Los Estatutos consistían, básicamente, en investigar el linaje genealógico de las personas sospechadas, a las que se abrían procesos de indagación sobre los pensamientos, sentimientos y actos, para establecer cómo se transmitían las características negativas de madres y padres. De esta manera se establecía en qué forma y con qué categorías debía juzgarse la calidad de las personas. Así, mucho antes de los racismos científicos que se desarrollaron desde el siglo XVII, aquel régimen simbólico de clasificación de las personas por su linaje genealógico, constituyó un sistema de clasificación social que se transmitía de padres a hijos a través de la sangre.19 [The “Clean Blood Statutes” began to be applied at the Council of Toledo in 1449 and were propagated without interruption during the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The fundamental objective was to discover the identity and practices of those suspected of being fake Christians. The Statutes basically consisted of investigating the genealogical lineage of suspected persons, on whom inquiries were opened over their thoughts, feelings and actions, so as to establish how negative characteristics were passed down from mothers and fathers. In this way, methods and categorizations for judging people’s quality were

198  Comparative Analysis established. Thus, long before the scientific racism developed from the seventeenth century onwards, that symbolic classification regime ac­ eople’s genealogical lineage constituted a system of social cording to p classification that was transmitted from parents to children through their blood.] The anxieties generated can be traced to the question of how a person might come to be suspected, for this could rest on gossip, hearsay, a malicious neighbour with a score to settle, all frighteningly beyond the control of the individual concerned. As the explicit link between this and blood in the above quotation shows, the vampire paradigm seems particularly well suited to probe such issues. Thus, vampirism as above all a family problem not only overlaps with Eastern European folklore and its stories of the dead returning to attack family members, but it opens the possibility for Spanish writers to explore antique anxieties around slights to a family’s social standing based on accusations of tainted blood. 20 Indeed, in our corpus, story after story presents a vampiric threat that derives directly or indirectly from within the family and impacts its standing in society or threatens to do so, be it centrally or peripherally. In Emilia Pardo Bazán’s “Vampiro”, for example, it is the victim’s uncle who persuades her to marry the opulent vampire, presumably to enrich the family and enhance its status in the local community thereby. Moreover, the fact that a considerable proportion of the story is told from the point of view of the townsfolk and what they make of the marriage implicitly endorses the importance of this. Carmen de Burgos amalgamates hereditary horror with inter-spousal transmission of death-dealing contact in the rumours circulating about Blanca in La mujer fría, for she is suspected of having caused the death of her parents and two children as well as her two husbands. Crucially, from the point of view of a limpieza de sangre argument, whether there is any foundation in this gossip remains undecidable: de Burgos shows that what is damaging is the cruel talk itself, which has given Blanca the nickname of la muerta viva [the living dead woman], a nickname she has tried and failed to stop from spreading, epidemic-like, echoing anxieties during the Inquisition based on that same lack of control over what rumours others might be spreading about one’s blood being contaminated. In Wenceslao Fernández Flórez’s “El claro del bosque”, the vampire is positioned ironically as a daughter in a family which the father is keen to protect from outsiders if he suspects that offering them hospitality might threaten his reputation, something that rests upon his standing as a paterfamilias presiding over females of unblemished reputation. That he is thinking of this rather than of altruistically seeking to keep his daughters safe is made clear when he throws the protagonist out of the house, for he says, “No consentiré nunca que un embrujado pase la noche bajo el mismo techo que yo” (45, my italics) [I will never consent to a bewitched man spending the night under the same roof as me]. The story explores age-old

Contagion and Transmission  199 woman-incarcerating male paranoia by holding it up to ridicule, since the vampire daughter escapes through her dream-life and this is known by the other pilgrim, who spreads his knowledge casually to the protagonist and presumably elsewhere. Thus, the father’s honour is sullied despite his authoritarianism and so the story demonstrates the endurance of the old anxieties of men whose honour is compromised due to their inability to circumscribe the reputation of females under their control, however hermetically they have immured them to this end. Analisa’s vampire aunt in Tahoces’s Gothika is leading to local gossip, however muffled, and Analisa herself comes to harm because the matter was hushed up by her parents, presumably in an attempt by them to avoid being stigmatized as a family; Marina in Abad’s Sangre has lost her religious faith which in turn leads to the vampirism, because of a public embarrassment at a prayer meeting where she was hoping to enhance the family’s reputation in their religious community by being recognized as a worthy heir to her grandfather’s talents as a preacher, when in the event her shortcomings made her feel she had brought shame on her bloodline instead (50–54). The texts just discussed are illustrative examples rather than an inclusive list; a reading of Part I easily reveals how many others also deploy a vampire trope to reflect upon anxieties around bloodlines and a family’s collective social standing. On reflection, deploying a figure as inextricably linked to blood as a vampire is, to address issues around blood relationships seems obviously suitable.

Smell However, if blood, in the widest sense of the term, is the key vector of vampirism, why should smell feature so prominently in our corpus of Spanish vampire fiction? Unlike limpieza de sangre, smell is not something we find given especial emphasis in Spanish literature or culture in general, so it deserves to be analysed carefully for what it can tell us about the Spanish conceptualization of how and what vampires mean and their relationship to metaphors of illness, otherness, contagion, and transmission. Whilst the early German “Wake Not the Dead” (1822) by Ernst Raupach features a vampire with an intoxicating smell which increases her power over her prey, this idea of the vampire with an attractive smell seems rather unusual in the transnational corpus.21 By contrast, Augustin Calmet mentions the idea of the stinking vampire in his famous treatise of 1751 and his influence over vampire beliefs and conventions in the following centuries can scarcely be overstated.22 Indeed, time and time again, we meet Spanish vampires who smell bad. Even when they are portrayed as not – or not n ­ ecessarily – undead and not – or not necessarily – evil, Spanish authors keep returning to the stench of the vampire, so for what purposes might this be being utilized? First, to give vampires a bad smell is an evocative and economical way to make them seem threatening, for a bad smell connotes danger and, in

200  Comparative Analysis particular, disease, returning us to the notion of contagion. Mark S.R. ­Jenner is worth quoting at length: Germ theory revolutionized understandings of odors. … In the 1880s and 1890s, medics moved from a conviction that noxious stinks were lethal to a confidence that, although offensive and indicative of unhealthy conditions, they were not in themselves particularly hazardous. Crucially, however, … there was no equivalent epistemic shift in general attitudes toward foul odors. Indeed, … because they could indicate likely sites for germs and hence of disease, bad smells continued to generate considerable sanitary anxiety and activity. Bacteriology was thus laid upon, and became entwined with, older miasmatic attitudes  …. Evidently, scholars should not assume that changes in the scientific models of sensory perception were or are necessarily translated into equivalent transformations in subjective understandings of sensation or perception. 23 This accounts for the inclusion of vampires’ bad smell in several of our texts, such as Miguel Puente Molins’s “Caries”, where Fernando, the vampire, proves to be extremely dangerous and the human dentist has to wear a gas-mask rather than the usual surgical kind to prevent himself from fainting due to the stench of his patient’s breath. It is even added that vampires “no es que puedan hipnotizar a sus víctimas, sino que les apesta tanto el aliento que les aturden” (77) [it’s not that they can hypnotize their victims but that their breath stinks so much that it bamboozles them]. With decay giving the story its title and the setting being a surgery, albeit just a dental one, the vampire’s stench here does implicitly associate him – and by extension, vampires in general – with a diseased state. Likewise, the adamantly heterosexual Abel in Entre nosotros comments, describing his confrontation with the homosexual vampire, Helmut, “abrió la boca y descubrí que el aliento del vampiro es casi tan peligroso como sus mordeduras. ¡Dios, qué peste!” (303) [he opened his mouth and I discovered that vampires’ breath is nearly as dangerous as their bites. God, what a stink!]. This establishes an implicit link between homosexuality and disease via smell, which contributes to the thinly veiled homophobia in this novel discussed in Part I. Second, there is what Alain Corbin has called a “correlation obsédante entre la puanteur et la profondeur de l’enfer”. 24 Whilst vampires of all origins are associated with damnation and so could be expected to smell of hell, for at least one Anglophone scholar, Mary Hallab, the essence of the vampire is precisely that s/he refuses to go to hell, as we noted above in the discussion of Soto’s “Siempre en mi recuerdo”. 25 Nevertheless, iconic vampires of Anglophone literary tradition, from Dracula to Stephen King’s creations in Salem’s Lot also smell bad and this is implicitly linked to their state of damnation. Stoker uses this ingeniously, suggesting it is a modern man’s attempt to rationalize an otherwise inexplicably visceral

Contagion and Transmission  201 repugnance: Jonathan Harker remarks that the first time Count Dracula came close to him, he “could not repress a shudder. It may have been that his breath was rank”, but as this also gives him “a horrible feeling of nausea” and as shuddering and nausea are quite an over-reaction just to bad breath, the reader infers that the smell is merely a symptom of something more intangible and far more threatening: could this be the smell of damnation if not of hell itself?26 Certainly, the Count’s eyes when he is angry are described by Harker as looking “as if the flames of hell-fire blazed behind them”. 27 Nonetheless, the reference to the Count’s breath is not especially striking and we note in particular that in all the lurid descriptions of Lucy in vampiric form, her smell is not mentioned. In our Spanish corpus, however, the emphasis is stronger and in some texts, such as de Burgos’s La mujer fría, smell is a really dominant feature, with connotations of Corbin’s “puanteur … de l’enfer”. Is there a link here with the overlap discussed in the Folklore section with beliefs about witchcraft and witches? As the latter are in league and regular contact with the devil, this may account for stronger associations between vampires and demons and hell in the Spanish popular imagination. As we have seen, in some of the texts, including La mujer fría, it is posited that the vampire’s body houses a spirit, presumably demonic rather than angelic, a presumption we make precisely because of its bad smell: we are told that in Blanca’s case, “el olor a cadáver … en ese hermoso cuerpo” [the smell of a corpse in that beautiful body] has been attributed to “la encarnación de un espíritu en el cuerpecito que la madre dio a luz muerto. … Es un cuerpo de muerta donde vive un espíritu” (100) [the incarnation of a spirit in the little body of a stillborn baby. She’s a dead body where a spirit lives.] This enables Blanca to attract pity, by separating the malodorous evil being from the innocent woman forced to house it in her body through no fault of her own, anticipating the same strategy deployed, as we have seen, in Gothika. So when Analisa, the vampire protagonist there, is described as having “un fuerte olor de podrido” (179) [a strong smell of rottenness], as noticed by the nun she is about to attack, it seems safe to interpret this as an allusion to the vampiric beast she is housing in her body, showing it to be a hellish creature. Third, references to smell can be part of a racist metaphorical network. Jenner summarizes research which has shown that “the olfactory was extremely important within the phenomenological as well as the symbolic construction of racial categories”. 28 Thus, for example, the “extraño olor” [strange smell] of the vampire who attacks Amy and her baby in “Viviendo con el tío Roy”, which is “algo como rancio, como cerrado y húmedo. Moho, barro, polvo” (189) [something kind of stale, kind of stuffy and damp. Mustiness, mud, dust], adds to the racist implications of the story discussed in Part I: this smell, despite the graveyard diction deployed, cannot be attributable to a portrayal of the vampires as revenants and therefore smelling of the graves from which they have risen, as they are explicitly an

202  Comparative Analysis ethnic group in this story, rather than former human beings. Working in the opposite direction but with the same logic, the sympathetically portrayed Fernando who is in love with Blanca in La mujer fría, tries to talk himself out of finding her smell repugnant by thinking that perhaps it is only because she is of a different race, implying that he should not find this difference off-putting (Blanca is from the Pyrenees so may be Basque or Catalan, 109). Fourth, smell has a gender dimension. With the sole exception of Octavia in Fernández Flórez’s “El claro del bosque”, female vampires whose attacks are presented as having sexual connotations and who are depicted from the viewpoint of their male victims smell bad in our corpus. 29 Thus, for example, Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent’s Señorita Vampiro is described as having “un extraño olor de podredumbre” (99) [a strange smell of putrefaction] escaping from her lips as she sleeps the morning after the sexual encounter with the narrator and just when he is feeling horror-stricken about that. Likewise, in La mujer fría again, Fernando, seeks (in vain) to convince himself that “acaso aquel olor [de Blanca …] no era más que el olor de su carne de mujer” (109) [perhaps that smell of Blanca was just the smell of her woman’s flesh] alongside the above-mentioned racial one as he looks for innocent explanations. From the perspective of this sexually inexperienced male Spaniard, femaleness is as unknown to him as an exotic other race, something it is not surprising that an author like Carmen de Burgos would be keen to critique. One of those who believes Amalia to be a vampire in Sastre’s “Las noches del Espíritu Santo” and who had an affair with her in their youth, claims she “olía a muerto” (62, italics in original, conveying the speaker’s emphatic tone) [she smelt like a dead body], but smell is not mentioned in the description of her vampiric little boy nor of herself in the present, not sexually active time of the action, when she sits next to the narrator on a bus, for example. Eva in Carlos Molinero’s Verano de miedo is an interesting case in point, since one of the reasons she found life so intolerable that she willingly became a vampire was her hormonal disorder, leading to her perspiring uncontrollably as well as being seriously overweight. Then, once she becomes a vampire, Juan, the protagonist for whom she suffers unrequited love, laconically remarks that instead of smelling of sweat, now she smells of earth, which he regards as an improvement, but which we can see is one of several aspects of her conversion which shows the decision to have brought such derisory benefits that it was tragically illjudged if understandable. Taken together with the other connotations of a person’s bad smell, this gender dimension found across our corpus presents femaleness or at least sexually active femaleness as something akin to a diseased and/or damned and/or racially alien state of being, whether to endorse such a misogynistic view tacitly or to indict it. It is not surprising then that these examples map precisely onto the texts in which an STD contagion horror metaphor is available, even if it appears alongside or overshadowed by other connotations.

Contagion and Transmission  203 There is no direct reverse phenomenon – male vampires smelling bad to female victims in relation to ambivalent erotic overtones – for smell is simply not mentioned in connection with any of our Spanish male vampires characterized as dangerously desirable and/or irresistibly attractive, such as Alfonso in Adelaida García Morales’s La lógica del vampiro or Alfons Cervera’s sexy male vampire in “Una historia de amor”. When we do read of male vampires smelling bad, as in the case of “Caries”, cited above, the discovery is channelled through a male adversary (the dentist in this instance) who can be presumed or is known to be heterosexual. Again, the smell of the male child-vampire in “Al caer la noche” is focalized through the exterminator, Fernando, who “sintió el hedor procedente de la boca del niño” (109) [perceived the stench coming from the child’s mouth]. He is facing his task with grim determination in a story with not an ounce of titillation for any character featuring in it or the reader. Mercedes Abad introduces the idea of foul-smelling breath in Sangre, but attaches it to General Franco, when Marina comments: “no pude evitar olerle el aliento. … Me pareció … que acababa de comer morcilla con cebolla. … Habida cuenta de lo tóxico que había resultado a todo un país …, la ligera fetidez de aquel aliento no estaba ni mucho menos a la altura de las circunstancias’ (191) [I couldn’t avoid smelling his breath. He appeared to have just been eating blood sausage with onion. Bearing in mind how toxic he’d turned out for a whole country, his slightly fetid breath was nowhere near up to the mark]. Marina has defined herself as a vampire, yet the character to whom foul-smelling breath is attributed – as if he had consumed blood, the blood in blood sausage – is Franco. Thus, thanks to the bad breath trope, the manoeuvre identified by Curran in relation to An American Werewolf in London and cited above is operating here – the stinking blood-consumer is the human Franco, not the vampire – so just as with Sibila’s genetic heritage in Vampiro, and as with the Vatican group persecuting Maurizio and his forebears in El vampiro de Silesia, we are being invited to reflect upon what deserves the monstrous, the diseased label more, the vampiric or the supposedly human. In sum, smell in this corpus of texts has a number of important effects which are consonant with the specificities which have emerged as to the uses to which the vampire paradigm is put by Spanish authors. It is part of a metaphorical network that can articulate the danger to “us” – whether that is defined by health status, race, gender or some other binary in a given context – that a character represents, notwithstanding appearances to the contrary, and as such fits within a recurrent Gothic anxiety based on the limitations of relying on visual appearances, as Maggie Kilgour has observed.30 As just one symptom – but a particularly evocative one – of disease, it can continue the transnational tradition of contagion horror with special associations of STDs, but only, interestingly, when the carrier is female. In other contexts, it can contribute to a focus on different anxieties such as pressure on a family when one member of it places the whole unit

204  Comparative Analysis at risk, as in “Al caer la noche”, or it can give disturbingly racist or heterosexist undertones to a text, as in “Viviendo con el tío Roy” and Entre nosotros, respectively. Ultimately, we can read it as a powerful image to stand in opposition to notions of clean blood for several reasons. If clean blood is related to good standing in a community, resting on others’ perceptions of a family rather than its own, smell and especially bad breath, the origin of the smell of the majority of the cases in our corpus, is likely to be perceptible to others rather than the carrier; it is intangible but omnipresent, and it evokes all that is not clean, in the widest sense of the word. *** In conclusion, we have seen that Spanish vampire fiction is not necessarily contagion horror in the Anglophone sense and that a particularly prominent vector of transmission that it explores is heredity rather than sexual contact. In the present day, that may seem especially topical, with developments in genetics and gene-sequencing that have sharpened public awareness of how much illness may be traced, at least in part, to accident of birth, but the issues raised invite other readings too. Explicitly in some texts, implicitly in others, the Civil War and the Franco regime are evoked and, via characters’ parents’ and grandparents’ involvement in both, unbeknownst to them, readers are invited to ask themselves what horrors their own ancestors have bequeathed to them through their blood-lines and to reflect upon whether they are better off holding their noses and keeping their distance or if this is pointless because there is no escape from their own blood if it is tainted, for the stench will reach them eventually anyway.

Notes 1 This is the wording cited by Waltje and attributed as follows: The New Encyclopedia Britannica, “Micropedia”, vol. 12. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 1997, 253 (Blood Obsession, 31). The entry in the current online edition of the encyclopedia, by Alison Eldridge, puts it this way: “A person may become a vampire in a variety of ways, the most common of which is to be bitten by a vampire” (, accessed 16 October 2017). 2 Morgan, Biology of Horror, 19 (my italics). 3 Fink, “AIDS Vampires”, 416. 4 (accessed 16 October 2017). 5 Enciclopedia universal, vol. 2, 1153. 6 See, for example, Worland, “OWI Meets the Monsters”, especially his discussion of Monogram’s Black Dragons (1942) in which Bela Lugosi plays a Nazi (49) and of Columbia’s Return of the Vampire (1943), set in part during the Second World War when a Luftwaffe air-raid is responsible for setting a vampire, played by Lugosi again, free (55–59). 7 Black, “Expellees Tell Tales”, 86–87. 8 Unamuno, Del sentimiento trágico de la vida (1912), 91, 199, and 202, respectively. 9 Unamuno, Tragic Sense of Life, 97, 226, and 229, respectively.

Contagion and Transmission  205 10 Hendershot, Animal Within, 43. 11 Pardo Bazán explores naturalism and the controversy around it in Spain extensively in La cuestión palpitante, arguing that “descartada la perniciosa herejía de negar la libertad humana, no puede imputársele [al naturalismo] otro género de delito: verdad que éste es grave, como que anula toda responsabilidad, y por consiguiente, toda moral” [leaving aside the pernicious heresy of its [naturalism’s] denial of human freedom, no other type of crime can be imputed to it: true, this is a serious one, as it cancels out all responsibility and hence all morality] (322). Thus, her version of it reflects that while unwilling to go all the way with Zola, she yet could go considerable distance along the road to naturalism. Without imitating the extremes of determinism to be found in the work of her French master [Zola], she still could in conscience write an acceptable naturalistic novel in which heredity and environment would be presented as strong, but not absolute forces in human life. (Fowler Brown, Catholic Naturalism, 47) 12 For this belief concerning syphilis, see for example, Milburn, who refers to “the popular [… Early Modern] belief that intercourse with a virgin could cure the syphilitic man of his infection” (“Syphilis in Faerie Land”, 609). For HIV/ AIDS, Kloer, for example, attests to “the cultural belief in some parts of the world that sex with a virgin can cure HIV or AIDS” (“Sex Trafficking and HIV/ AIDS”, 10). 13 Thorne, Children of the Night, 81. 14 Morgan, Biology of Horror, 19. 15 Baldwin notes the influence of Ibsen’s Ghosts (premiered in 1882) and Brieux’s Les Avariés (premiered in 1902) on public opinion and policy arising from raised awareness of innocent victims of syphilis (Contagion, 427–28). See also 434–36 on babies and wet-nurses, in particular. Baldwin explains that antipathy was reserved for those viewed as indulging in “voluntary and sinful acts” (382). 16 Curran, “Aristotelian Reflections”, 58. 17 Matthew Lewis’s The Monk offers a classic example of this in the Anglophone Gothic category; Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s play, El mágico prodigioso (1637), is an equally classic Spanish example. 18 For a discussion of this aspect of the Gothic with particular reference to masculinity and boundaries of the self, see Hendershot, Animal Within, 5–9. 19 Allione, “Estatutos de limpieza de sangre”, 7. 27.%20Los%20Estatutos%20de%20limpieza%20de%20sangre%20y%20 el%20patr%C3%B3n%20de%20poder%20colonial%20Trabajo%20Final. pdf (accessed 28 July 2018). 20 For more on what McKendrick calls “the crucial connexion between honour and limpieza” and how this functioned in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries versus the refracted form it took on the stage, see “Honour/vengeance in the Spanish ‘Comedia’” (this quotation, 319). 21 The vampire, Brunhilda’s “faint, mouldering taint of the grave was changed into a delightful violet scent”. We are later told that Walter, her former husband, who had persuaded a sorcerer to raise her from the grave, was “cast into a profound sleep by the odour of her violet breath” and mention is made of the “opiate perfume of Brunhilda’s breath”. I cite from the Project G ­ utenburg Australia database, which mis-attributes the story to Johann Ludwig Tieck (http://, accessed 6 August 2017). The story was originally published in an annual miscellany for the year 1823, Minerva: Taschenbuch für das Jahr 1823, published in Leipzig in 1822. The Minerva series ran to twenty-three volumes, covering the years from 1809 through

206  Comparative Analysis


23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

1833. Raupach’s story, “Lasst die Todten Ruhen: Ein Mährchen,” is the third selection in the volume for 1823, running from pages 35 through 88. It first appeared in English in an anonymous translation in volume 1 of the three-volume Popular Tales and Romances of the Northern Nations (London: W. Simpkin and R. Marshall; and J.H. Bohte, 1823). (1823). This information on the story’s publishing history is taken from Douglas A. Anderson’s internet discussion of the mis-attribution of the story to Tieck (http://desturmobed.blogspot. com/2012/05/george-blink.html, accessed 28 August 2018). The ­Project Gutenburg text gives no name of a translator; the archaic English of it suggests it may be this original unattributed version. ‘L’on a vu de semblables Revenans, & quand on les a tirés de terre, ils ont paru vermeils, ayant les membres souples & maniables, sans vers & sans pourriture; mais non sans une très-grande puanteur’ (Calmet, Traité sur les apparitions des esprits, 35). Jenner, “Follow Your Nose?”, 346. Corbin, Le Miasme et la jonquille, 23. Hallab, Vampire God, 6–7. Stoker, Dracula, 25 (my italics). Stoker, Dracula, 53. Jenner, “Follow Your Nose?”, 347. This is the only sense not used to describe Octavia, for we do read about the taste of blood on her lips, how she looks, the sound of her voice, and what it feels like to touch her body. Kilgour, Rise of the Gothic Novel, 148.


Blood Relations has been a quest to discover what vampires “made in Spain” since 1900 mean and where they fit both in Spanish popular culture and the transnational vampire paradigm. But there are many other cultural products on which this type of research could shed light, since the vampire is only one of many tropes that have global reach but are nuanced by the mind-set of the creator who decides to deploy them, a mind-set which is itself a blend of personal experiences; the language(s) in which s/he thinks, reads, writes, and watches films; the place(s) where s/he has lived or visited; and the ideas and stories s/he has encountered, whether in books, newspapers, cinemas, art galleries, on a computer screen, or a grandparent’s knee as a child. When we look at a group of Spanish texts that deploy the same trope – here, vampires, but it might have been something quite different – we can begin to discern features that together add up to provide important clues to understand what happens to the transnational when it is filtered through a national, linguistic, and personal sieve: what gets poured away for good or ill and what is left behind and stirred in with other ingredients to express a writer’s individual agenda for a particular work. We have seen how the metaphorical values bestowed on vampires and vampirism in our corpus can differ markedly from what an Anglophone is likely to expect from vampire fiction: anxieties concerning sex and sexuality with concomitant fears over contagion may not be in the spotlight, freeing the trope to explore others which may be transnational, such as the ageing demographic or eating disorders; or more Spain-specific, such as the legacy of the Civil War for the grandchildren of those involved or the ravages of the mass tourism industry on the island of Majorca. In particular, we have noted that the vampire as a financial predator has considerable traction. This has emerged in several iterations. There is the transnational figure of the female gold-digging vamp(ire) with which some authors take issue and upon which others draw in a variety of different ways. Then, away from the gendered dimension of the question, we have found interrogations of whether vampires or humans are the ones sucking monetary value from each other. The financial aspect of the trope also plays a central role in stories of vampires who use their own wealth to prey on their victims.

208 Conclusion Sometimes, the same plot motif can have different implications with each iteration, inflected by the socio-cultural context of its creation first and then by the preoccupations of readers coming to it in a new era. Thus, the ageing demographic, which seems to be central to some vampire stories at the most recent end of our chronological span, ones that show the old preying on the young – “Siempre en mi recuerdo”, “La vieja, muy vieja Betty”, and “Sangre de mi sangre”, for example – was also deployed by Emilia Pardo Bazán back in 1901. She may have been concerned about and magnifying to Gothic proportions the convention of her time that young women should be expected to marry middle-aged or even older men and to accept having little if any choice in the matter, but when we read the story today, it has new applicability, just as the old Anglophone stories that articulated syphilis and/or tuberculosis fears offered new readings when HIV and AIDS came on the scene. A new resonance of this kind may be temporal, but it can also be geographical. What means one thing when read by an English reader may come across differently to a Spanish one. As we have seen, this phenomenon has transformed the connotations of Englishness and Americanness in some texts along several axes. Not only do we find the “dangerous foreigner” label attached to an Englishman in Pardo Bazán’s story, for example, but also the lifestyle of the family which is tacitly indicted in “Comer con los ojos” can be identified as Anglo. Moreover, remarkably – for an English reader – such details reveal how the atmosphere of an English s­ etting, which to borrow a term from linguistics, we might call unmarked in a British-authored text read by someone of the same nationality, contributes to the potentially spine-chillingly exotic flavour from a Spanish perspective, such that even standing at a taxi-rank on a foggy day or drinking tea has been considered worthy of inclusion, functioning as the same kind of establisher of mood that the protagonist is in a strange place as Jonathan Harker’s remarks about the food served at the inn when he first arrives in Transylvania. Conversely, the banalities of life in Spain, which could have contributed to the horror effect for an Anglophone reader – notably including Catholic rituals and practices – are conspicuous by their absence, presumably because Spanish authors judge them to be as irrelevant to creating a frightening atmosphere for their readers as drinking tea is for English ones. Such differences apply beyond a straight Spanish-English binary, however, since for Spanish readers, Spanishness is not as homogeneous as it may look to outsiders. Thus, Blanca’s Pyrenean origins in La mujer fría marked her out as a belonging to foreign race to the Madrilenian characters and Analisa in Gothika feels she is venturing into an alien environment when she visits her vampire aunt in an Andalusian village and being out of her element there, feels helpless and unable to distinguish between what is normal for that setting and no cause for alarm versus what should be putting her on her guard, in time-honoured fashion. There are analogous alien spaces

Conclusion  209 within national boundaries in vampire fiction coming from other countries, of course, setting up similar tensions between locals who know how to operate safely in that environment and the character(s) arriving from elsewhere who do(es) not; Stephen King plays with this in “One for the Road”, as does Anne Rice in “The Master of Rampling Gate”, to name examples by just two classic authors. Texts like these, whether Spanish or Anglo – some of them, at least – explore a vampiric threat conceptualized as an internal one, by estranging and revealing as destructively voracious – what is within rather than beyond borders in the widest sense of the word. This is Valle-Inclán’s strategy in “Beatriz” when he casts the family chaplain as the vampire threatening mother-daughter relations and Abad similarly presents vampirism as an inner predatory estrangement inextricably bound up with mother-daughter relations in Sangre. I have argued elsewhere that English early gothic texts such as ­Matthew Lewis’s The Monk may well have drawn fruitfully on Spanish seventeenth-­ century wife-murder plays.1 However, this cultural cross-­fertilization in the eighteenth century seems not to have had the effect of sensitizing Spanish writers today to the rich potential of their own literary precursors as far as Gothic horror is concerned. Not only drama, but also Spanish prose fiction of the Golden Age period could have been an inspiration: María de Zayas (1590–1661), for example, writes stories which include such ideal topics for horror fiction as a woman being walled up and left to die, anticipating Poe’s live burial theme. Yet she does not figure in the bibliography given at the end of García Sánchez’s, Ella, Drácula, a pity, since de Zayas’s no-holdsbarred portrayal of such a grisly death might have contributed to his own depiction of Báthory’s. More generally, we have seen plenty of evidence in interviews with Spanish producers of contemporary vampire fiction, as well as in the texts themselves, that there is a widespread belief that this type of writing is a direct descendant of non-Spanish antecedents, bearing witness repeatedly to a blindness to and disregard of what Hispanic literary history has to offer. Anthology and story titles echo this, paying homage to John Polidori, to Ambrose Bierce, and to Edgar Allan Poe, rather than any Spanish precursors, regrettably enough, considering how much inspiration a writer of horror fiction could take from certain Spanish texts and authors of earlier centuries. At the same time and only apparently paradoxically, we have also detected the extent to which Spanish folk-beliefs permeate vampire fiction written by Spaniards, however unconscious this may be on an individual writer’s part. Whether this is the significant downplaying of vampires being revenants or the relative scarcity of the contagious bite; or whether it is the prevalence of the wasting symptoms of vampires’ victims and the power of the vampire’s eyes, the authors in our corpus seem to be more drawn to selecting those features of the transnational paradigm that chime with their own traditions and more willing to leave out the ones that do not than others.

210 Conclusion Perhaps the most noticeable hallmark of the Spanish vampire fiction analysed in Blood Relations – to which that title alludes, of course – is the prevalence of vampires situated within a family context. Of the twenty-nine texts included here, a family dimension to the problem posed by the vampire is entirely absent in only four cases (“El señor Cadáver y la señorita Vampiro”, “Historia de amor”, “Caries”, and “Los dos mundos de Lord Barrymore”) and of the remaining twenty-five, a family-related issue is either central to the whole story or its premise in twenty cases (being peripheral but present in the other five). These proportions are too large to pass over without comment and seem to be enabled by the relatively low incidence of the metaphorical weight of the vampire being transgressive sexual desire of one kind or another. Once the figure is freed from carrying that figurative baggage, a vampire can be deployed to explore problematic relations within perfectly legitimate families. In some of our texts, this is configured as (presumably) married parents with young children or babies. In others, the offspring are grown up, but there is still an interrogation of how parent-child and/or sibling relations either can be predatory themselves or are affected by a vampiric presence in the household or family, presenting implicit or explicit links with the social standing of the family, something which I have posited is in a metonymic relationship with blood for Spanish speakers due to the old limpieza de sangre preoccupation. Other stories in our corpus tap into analogous anxieties concerning the dynamics of blood relationships even though the classic nuclear family is not presented as such. Hereditary vampirism in El vampiro de Silesia or the desperate search to escape human hereditary horror by means of vampirization in Vampiro drive the plot of those two novels and the linkage between mother-child heredity and a vampiric state emerges repeatedly elsewhere too – in “Las noches del Espíritu Santo”, Sangre, or Gothika, for example – surprisingly for a Anglophone reader, but not perhaps for a Spanish one, thanks to the blending with witches and the belief in the hereditary transmission of their powers. Finally, family anxieties in La lógica del vampiro take a somewhat different form but remain absolutely central, since it is a sister’s concern for her brother which sets the plot in motion and that plot is about the way in which the vampire character has created a dependent ersatz family out of the emotionally needy upon whom he preys. Finally, we can see that the Spanish authors who have deployed the figure of the vampire have used it ingeniously, adapting it for their widely differing purposes, which illustrate the versatility of the creature, versatility which doubtless accounts for its immortality and geographical mobility. All ages, from newborn to thousands of years old; all combinations of masculinity and femininity, seductiveness and repulsiveness; more or less powerful, invincible, integrated with or distinct from the blood-sucking witches of Spanish folklore; rich or poor; no muerto meaning undead or just not dead; foreign or native; a disease or an inoculation; a carrier or a critique

Conclusion  211 of prejudiced attitudes to race, gender, or sexuality; an evildoer or a victim; a more or less trashy product of popular culture or a fine literary creation; but wherever a given vampire is placed on each of these spectra, Blood Relations has sought to show that there is an even more important one to acknowledge and take into account and that is that every Spanish vampire is the offspring of two parents, Spanish culture and the global vampire paradigm. Some of the stories analysed here bear a stronger resemblance to one side of the family and some to the other, but as with human beings, when we look hard enough, we can always find traces of both.

Note 1 Lee Six, “The Monk (1796): A Hispanist’s Reading”.


Primary Texts (Editions Used) Abad, Mercedes. Sangre. Barcelona: Tusquets, 2000. Álamo, Alfredo. “El hombre de la pala.” In La sangre es vida, edited by Colectivo Nocte, 11–23. Madrid: Mandrágora, 2010. Atienza, Juan G. “Sangre fresca para el muerto.” In Colección Terror, 71–126. Barcelona: Dronte, 1974. Barceló, Elia. “La belle dame sans merci.” In La sangre es vida, edited by Colectivo Nocte, 159–62. Madrid: Mandrágora, 2010. Botey, Nuria C. “Viviendo con el tío Roy.” In La sangre es vida, edited by Colectivo Nocte, 163–91. Madrid: Mandrágora, 2010. de Burgos, Carmen. “La mujer fría.” In Carmen de Burgos, Three Novellas: Confidencias, La mujer fría and Puñal de claveles, edited by Abigail Lee Six, 75–110. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016. Carrasco, Juan Ignacio. Entre nosotros. Barcelona; Debols!llo [sic], 2010. Cervera, Alfons. “Una historia de amor.” In Alfons Cervera, De vampiros y otros asuntos amorosos, 120–21. Barcelona: Montesinos, 1984. Exímeno, Santiago. “Al caer la noche.” In La sangre es vida, edited by Colectivo Nocte, 97–109. Madrid: Mandrágora, 2010. Fernández Bueno, Lorenzo. El vampiro de Silesia. Barcelona: Minotauro/Planeta, 2013. Fernández Flórez, Wenceslao. “El claro del bosque (Historia de pesadilla).” In Wenceslao Fernández Flórez, Tragedias de la vida vulgar: cuentos tristes, 39–56. Madrid: Ediciones 98, 2010. García Morales, Adelaida. La lógica del vampiro. Barcelona: Anagrama, 1990. García Sánchez, Javier. Ella, Drácula: Erzsébet Báthory. Barcelona: Planeta, 2005. ­ inent, de Hoyos y Vinent, Antonio. “Una hora de amor.” In Antonio de Hoyos y V El pecado y la noche, 65–72. Madrid: Renacimiento, 1913. Reproduced by Tredition Classics. Hamburg, 2013. Also available online at www.gutenberg. org/files/28592/28592-h/28592-h.htm#UNA_HORA_DE_AMOR, accessed 17 Aug. 2017. ———. “El señor Cadáver y la señorita Vampiro.” In Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent, Del huerto del pecado: cuentos, 83–100. Madrid: Renacimiento, 1919. Jasso, David. “Víctimas inocentes.” In La sangre es vida, edited by Colectivo Nocte, 83–96. Madrid: Mandrágora, 2010. Molinero, Carlos. Verano de miedo. Barcelona: Minotauro, 2014.

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Note: Page numbers followed by n denote end notes. Abad, Mercedes 73–9; Catholicism versus other denominations 56, 175–6; family reputation 199; hereditary transmission 196–7, 210; mother-daughter relations 133, 209; smell 203 abuse, sexual 16–18, 23n14, 33–4, 123, 132, 194–5; see also predation, sexual addiction 53, 55, 58, 86–7 Álamo, Alfredo 97–9, 164, 169, 191–2 “Al caer la noche” see Exímeno, Santiago Aldana Reyes, Xavier 4, 22n3, 50–1n4, 56, 169 Allione, Osvaldo Francisco 197–8 American Werewolf in London, An (1981 film) 193, 203 Anderson, Farris 58 Andrés Ferrer, Paloma 22n3, 22n7, 22–3n8, 24n19 anti-Semitism 41, 43–4, 107, 118, 176–7 Appelbaum, Stanley 20 Atienza, Juan G. 6, 7, 61–5, 175, 178 Baldwin, Peter 205n15 Barceló, Elia 10, 100–2, 148 Barrymore, John 156, 158n2 Báthory, Erszébet (real person) 106–7 Baudelaire, Charles 34 “Beatriz” see Valle-Inclán, Ramón del Bierce, Ambrose 209 Black, Monica 186 Blanco, Francisco 163, 164, 170, 182n16 Blázquez, Juan 163 bloodlines see limpieza de sangre

Botey, Nuria C. 8, 35, 103–8, 169, 201–2, 204 bullfighting 112–13, 180 Burgos, Carmen de 41–5; Confidencias 173; pitiable vampire 39, 102; race 208; seductive power 134; smell 201, 202; victims 101, 169, 198; witchcraft link 167–8 burlador burlado, trope of 111, 113, 113n2 Burstein, Michael A. 171 Butler, Judith 157 Butler, Samuel 105 Byron, Lord 115, 156 Calmet, Augustin 1, 199, 206n22 “Caries” see Puente Molins, Miguel Carmen (1983 film) 148, 153n4 “Carmilla” see Le Fanu, Sheridan Carrasco, Juan Ignacio 114–18; contagion 186–7, 189; crime fiction 138; homophobia 200, 204; intertextuality 7, 171; Nazis 145–6; translation illusion 63, 139 Castañega, Martín de 163 Catholicism, conceptualized as “us” 162, 170–80, 208; Abad 75, 78; Pardo Bazán 30; Sastre 56 Catholicism, as irrelevant 88, 90, 171, 174–5, 178–80, 208 Catholicism, rituals of: crucifix 93, 164; holy water 110, 144, 164; host wafer 17, 169; Lord’s Prayer 99; rosary 18–19 Cervera, Alfons 66–7, 164–5, 203, 210 child vampires: Álamo’s 97–9, 191–2; Exímeno’s 89–91, 129, 203; Jasso’s

226 Index 94–5, 190–1; del Prado Marugán’s 147–53, 190; Sastre’s 54, 192–3; Tahoces’s 86–7, 188, 193 cinema: vampire films 4, 7, 64n3, 65n4, 67, 161, 171; see also Nosferatu “Clarimonde” see Gautier, Théophile “El claro del bosque” see Fernández Flórez, Wenceslao “Comer con los ojos” see Prado Marugán, Gema del contagion 184–204; Anglophone vampire fiction 9, 150; choice 87, 121–2; contamination by foreigner 29, 63, 130; evangelism analogy 74; within family 133; Spanish vampire fiction 2, 118, 148, 151, 164; undecidability 55; witches’ powers 165–6, 182n16; see also transmission Corbin, Alain 200, 201 Curran, Angela 193, 203

eye, evil: link with vampires’ gaze 165; Spanish folklore 164, 166, 182n18, 191, 194; Valle-Inclán 16, 18, 23n14; see also folklore, witches and witchcraft Ezpeleta Aguilar, Fermín 49

damnation: fear of 16, 17, 194–5; lack of fear of 177; linked to smell and gender 200–1, 202; vampires as damned 44, 74, 179; witches as damned 166 Darst, David H. 163 Delibes, Miguel 173 Devil, the: link with witches 50–1n4, 166–8, 184–5; vampire distinguished from 170; vampire elided with 120, 195; see also damnation Dijkstra, Bram 22n6, 39–40n7 disease, sexually transmitted see contagion Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde 88 Don Quixote 34 Dracula see Stoker, Bram

fantastic, the 1, 17, 56, 130 femininity 117, 133, 157, 202, 203, 210 femme fatale see vamp Fernández Bueno, Lorenzo 117, 136–42, 171–2, 193–4, 203, 210 Fernández Flórez, Wenceslao 46–51; blood-sucking 164; Catholicism 179; demonic pact 166; killing victims 169; limpieza de sangre 198–9, smell, lack of 202 Fink, Marty 184 Flaubert, Gustave 21 folklore, Eastern European: crossing running water 22–3n8; element in literary vampires 161; link between werewolves and vampires 12n17; vampires attacking family members 129, 185, 186, 198; vampires biting breast 39n6; vampires identified with real people 170 folklore, Spanish 2, 161–70, 209; blending with religion 177; nonrevenant blood-drinkers 8, 120, 134, 185, 201, 210; power of eyes 88, 191 A Fool There Was (1915 film) 44 foreignness 36, 42, 44, 62–4; see also Englishness Fowler Brown, Donald 205n11 Frankenstein 62, 88 Frayling, Christopher 135n2 Freud, Sigmund 49, 51n8, 64, 178

Egido, Luciano G. 173 Ella, Drácula: Erzsébet Báthory see García Sánchez, Javier Eldridge, Alison 204n1 enclosure in home 30, 50, 80, 106, 198–9; see also home as metaphor Englishness: demonized 26, 30, 63, 208; exoticized 3, 120–1; faked 155–6 Entre nosotros see Carrasco, Juan Ignacio Érice, Víctor 68 esperpento 15, 21 Exímeno, Santiago 89–92, 102, 129, 169, 178, 203–4 exorcism see possession, demonic

Gaiman, Neil 171 Galicia 3, 15, 25, 46, 49, 162–3 García Lorca, Federico 35 García Morales, Adelaida 68–72; eyes 165; family relations 210; killing victims 169; psi-vamp 5, 163–4; religion (absence of) 178–9; smell (lack of) 203 García Sánchez, Javier 8, 80–4, 106–7, 165, 166, 169, 209 Gautier, Théophile 1, 4, 20, 22n7, 48, 101, 166 Gelder, Ken 7 gender 9–10, 117, 148; see also femininity, homophobia, masculinity

Index  227 Goetz, William R. 72n5 Gómez de la Serna, Ramón 43 Gordon, Joan 108 Gothika see Tahoces, Clara Goytisolo, Juan 59, 60n14 Gutiérrez Trápaga, Daniel 11n2 Haigh, John 2 Halberstam, Judith 44, 63 Hallab, Mary Y. 6, 108, 125, 145, 200 Harry Potter books 115 Hay Japp, Alexander 28–9 Hendershot, Cyndy 95, 189 Hester, Marianne 58 Hinds, Hilary 28–9 Hoffmann, E.T.A. 49, 52 Hollinger, Veronica 108 Holmes, Trevor 27, 105 “El hombre de la pala” see Álamo, Alfredo home as metaphor 75, 106, 131 homophobia 117–18, 186, 200, 204, 210–11 Hoyos y Vinent, Antonio de 33–40; eyes 165; family (absence of) 210; killing victims 169; link with de Burgos 41–3; point of view 101–2; predatorprey reversal 64; religion (absence of) 178; seductive power 134; smell 202; victims’ resemblance 148 Inquisition, Spanish 163, 170, 198 It Follows (2014 film) 190 James, Henry 26, 30, 72, 131 James, M.R. 69, 72n1 Jasso, David 93–6, 102, 164, 177–8, 190–1, 194 Jenner, Mark S.R. 200, 201 Jiménez Molina, Miguel 22n3, 22n7, 22–3n8, 24n19 Keats, John 101 Kilgour, Maggie 106, 151, 203 King, Stephen 6, 80, 124, 171, 200, 209 Kipling, Rudyard 44 Kirkpatrick, Susan 42 Kloer, Amanda 205n12 “La belle dame sans merci” see Barceló, Elia La lógica del vampiro see García Morales, Adelaida

La mujer fría see de Burgos, Carmen “Las noches del Espíritu Santo” see Sastre, Alfonso “La vieja, muy vieja Betty” see Tamparillas, José María Lee, Tanith 171 Le Fanu, Sheridan 20, 48, 75, 101–2, 155, 166 Levin, Ira 88, 196 Lewis, Matthew 16, 20, 106, 209 limpieza de sangre 197–9; defined 3; family bloodline 132, 185; link to quedirán 67, 79, 192; social standing 210 Lisón Tolosana, Carmelo 163 López Gonzálvez, Encarni 31n2 “Los dos mundos de Lord Barrymore” see Sega, Edgar Lovecraft, H.P. 109 Lustig, T.J. 72 McKendrick, Melveena 205n20 magic see witches and witchcraft Mangini, Shirley 45n9 Marías, Javier 161 marriage, vampirism within: de Burgos 198; Pardo Bazán 25–32, 174; Sastre 53–4, 56; Soto 125–6; Tamparillas 130 Marxism 28, 31n7, 52, 57, 106, 175 masculinity 94–6, 110–13, 128, 132–3, 157, 210 Milburn, Colin 205n12 mirrors, use of/mirror image 17, 90, 148, 154–5, 169, 190 modernismo 15 Modleski, Tania 30 Molina Foix, Vicente 5 Molinero, Carlos 143–6, 180, 186–7, 189, 194–5, 202 Monleón, José B. 10n2 Morgan, Jack 48, 82, 170, 172, 174, 184, 192 Nairn, Agnes 152 Nazis, vampires associated with: in Carrasco 114, 117; in Molinero 143–5, 180; representing evil 186–7; during WWII 44, 204n6 Nicholson, Mervyn 148, 151 Nickel, Catherine 22n3 Nixon, Nicola 31n11 Nosferatu (1922 film) 44, 117 noventayochismo 15, 19–20, 23n18

228 Index Pardo Bazán, Emilia 25–32; family standing 198; link to folklore 167, 169; marriage conventions 208; non-blood-drinking vampire 5, 163; religion 56, 174–6; vis-à-vis Atienza 63; vis-à-vis Soto 124, 126; vis-à-vis Tamparillas 131–2, 134; vis-à-vis Valle-Inclán 21 Pérez Galdós, Benito 21 Pérez Gañán, María del Rocío 50n3 Perrault, Charles 49 Persin, Margaret 21 Perucho, Joan 181n6 Poe, Edgar Allan 6, 52, 99, 109, 209 Polidori, John 42, 115, 156, 209 possession, demonic 15–16, 18, 88, 189, 196, 201; see also damnation, Devil poverty see predation, monetary Prado Marugán, Gema del 147–53, 164, 190–1, 208 predation, of death on life 72 predation, monetary: link to sex 37–9, 44; marriage market 3, 27–30; predatory web 64; vampire metaphor 9–10, 26, 56, 106–7, 185, 207; vampire victim 109–12 predation, of old on young: ageing demographic 126, 207; within family 131–2, 195–6; marriage market 3, 26–7, 208; between men 111, 124; witches 162–4, 167 predation, of past on present 70, 132, 195, 207 predation, sexual 37–9, 44, 148, 155, 185, 192, 194 Protestantism 30, 53–6, 170, 175; see also Englishness psi-vamps 5, 68–72, 131, 134, 163, 210 Puente Molins, Miguel 109–13; Catholicism 176; eyes 165; family (absence of) 210; killing victim 169; non-revenant vampire 8; relations between men 132; smell 200, 203 Punter, David 70, 72, 106 Radcliffe, Ann 21, 57, 141 Ragan, Robin 42 Ramos, Rosa Alicia 22n3 rape see abuse, sexual Raupach, Ernst 21, 199 Regàs, Rosa 173–4 religion 2, 9, 74–5; fictional 73, 78–9 revenants, vampires as: Abad 176; Álamo 98, 191; Barceló 100; coded

negatively 186; distinction from witches 165, 166; Exímeno 89–90; García Morales 69; Molinero 180; outside Spain 12n17; Pardo Bazán 31n2; Sastre 53; Soto 124; Spanish corpus 7–8, 169, 209; Tahoces 87–8 Rice, Anne 209 Ronay, Gabriel 12n17 Rosa, José de la 119–23; foreign settings 139, 180, 208; heredity 210; link to Spanish folklore 168; religion 176; superiority of vampiric condition 194–5; vis-à-vis Exímeno 90; vis-à-vis Jasso 191 “El sabor de la buena tierra” see Tamparillas, José María Sangre see Abad, Mercedes “Sangre de mi sangre, carne de mi carne” see Tamparillas, José María “Sangre fresca para el muerto” see Atienza, Juan G. Sastre, Alfonso 52–60; addiction metaphor 86; fake vampire 156; predator-prey reversal 64, 155; religion 175–6; smell 202; undecidability 10; vampirism within family 129, 192–3, 210 “Satanás” see Valle-Inclán, Ramón del Sega, Edgar 154–8, 210 “El señor Cadáver y la señorita Vampiro” see Hoyos y Vinent, Antonio de Shaw, Daniel 113 Shelley, Percy Bysshe 115 Showalter, Elaine 31n11 “Siempre en mi recuerdo” see Soto, Marc R. smell 41–5, 90, 109, 129, 185, 199–204 Sontag, Susan 148 Soto, Marc R. 124–6, 132, 167, 169, 200, 208 Spooner, Catherine 120 STDs see contagion Stoker, Bram: anti-Semititism 44; Catholic ritual 171; Dracula in texts by others 2, 52; Dracula title 20; emphasis on victim 30; foreignness 3, 63, 120–1, 208; smell 200–1; translation into Spanish 8; vis-à-vis Abad 75, 196; vis-à-vis Fernández Bueno 141; vis-à-vis García Morales 70, 71; vis-à-vis Jasso 95; vis-à-vis Molinero 144

Index  229 suicide 18, 23n13, 69, 71, 115, 145 syphilis see contagion Tahoces, Clara 85–8; contagious vampirism 186–9, 193; foreignness 208; hereditary vampirism 165, 193, 210; housing beast within 196, 201; quedirán 199 Tamparillas, José María 127–35, 156, 166, 167, 169, 195–6, 208 Thorne, Tony: psi-vamps 11n9; real-life vampires 59n7, 155; vampires as metaphor 191; vampires versus Devil 170; vampires versus witches 182n24 Tolstoy, Leo 21 Torres Villaroel, Diego de 163 translations, Spanish: in anthologies 1; of Dracula 11–12n15; of “La Morte amoureuse” 4; Spanish texts masquerading as 99, 104, 114, 140, 155, 171–2, 186; of undead 3, 8, 210 transmission 2, 184–204 transmission, hereditary: Fernández Bueno 138; de la Rosa 119–23; Sastre 55; Tahoces 87, 88; Tamparillas 131, 133; witches 165–6, 182n16; see also contagion “Una historia de amor” see Cervera, Alfons “Una hora de amor” see Hoyos y Vinent, Antonio de Unamuno, Miguel de 34–5, 172–3, 187 uncanny, the see Freud, Sigmund United States 3, 99, 114–18, 152, 208

Valera, Juan 16, 173 Valle-Inclán, Ramón del 15–24, 90, 166, 168–9, 177–8, 209 vamp: Belle Dame sans Merci 100–2; Betty 133–4; Blanca 41–4, 168; gold-digger 207; in Spanish 10; Señorita Vampiro 34–9; sexually devouring 148 Vampiro see Rosa, José de la “Vampiro” see Pardo Bazán, Emilia El vampiro de Silesia see Fernández Bueno, Lorenzo Verano de miedo see Molinero, Carlos “Víctimas inocentes” see Jasso, David “Viviendo con el tío Roy” see Botey, Nuria C. Walpole, Horace 21 Waltje, Jörg 16–17 wealth see predation, monetary Wilkins, Amy C. 28 Williamson, Milly 125 witches and witchcraft: Basques suspected 42; by birth or demonic pact 88, 185, 210; Cuban 134; smell 201; Spanish folklore 8, 22–3n8, 162–70; strigoi 113; use of dolls/ effigies 90; white witches 120 xenophobia and racism 107, 152, 201, 204, 210–11; see also anti-Semitism Zanger, Jules 43–4, 126 Zayas, María de 209

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