The Vampire Spike in Text and Fandom: Unsettling Oppositions in Buffy the Vampire Slayer



Amy-Chinn D & Williamson M (2005) The Vampire Spike in Text and Fandom: Unsettling Oppositions in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 8 (3), pp. 275-288.

First paragraph: This special issue examines a number of key issues in cultural theory through the development of, and reaction to, a popular television character, the vampire Spike from the cult television success Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As the latest in a long line of sympathetic vampires, Spike's textual construction rearticulates the dualities which fictional vampires have long embodied: the simultaneous expression of erotic repulsion and attraction; a fear of and desire for the 'Other'; the ambivalences of a troubling ontology figured through a creature that is neither dead nor alive. As Nina Auerbach has stated: 'Vampires are neither inhuman nor nonhuman nor all-too-human; they are simply more alive than they should be' (1995: 6). Like his fictional ancestors, Spike blurs boundaries and raises ambiguities, but he does so in a manner firmly located in today's cultural landscape. Spike joins Buffy the Vampire Slayer in Season 2 with a swagger and a vulnerability which alludes to the many oppositions that he will come to unsettle. Spike is polymorphous: he is both man and monster, both masculine and feminine; and his increasingly fractured self undermines the Manichaean struggle which is central to so much of today's popular culture.

European Journal of Cultural Studies: Volume 8, Issue 3

Publication date31/08/2005