Phallus and Void in Kiplings The Vampire and Its Progeny Academic Article uri icon


  • On one level, Rudyard Kiplings The Vampire (1897) and the works inspired by it, particularly Porter Emerson Brownes A Fool There Was (1909) and its 1915 film adaptation, dramatize anxieties surrounding the womans superiority to male attempts at sexual domination. Freuds contemporaneous theories on fetishism provide insight into the imagery of female void and male depletion central to these texts; poem, novel, and film all emphasize symbolic castration. As phallic woman, the vamp wreaks her revenge through actual or parodic maternity, giving men the option either of death through detumescence or survival by being turned into ersatz mothers.

published proceedings

  • Frame Journal of Literary Studies

author list (cited authors)

  • Morey, A. M., & Nelson, C.

complete list of authors

  • Morey, AM||Nelson, C

publication date

  • 2011