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  • 3 SPOONER Last Night I Dreamt 17 August edit

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'Last night I dreamt I went to Collinwood again': Vampire adaptation and reincarnation romance in Dark Shadows

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/10/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Horror Studies
Issue number2
Volume8
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)205-222
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Tim Burton’s 2012 film adaptation of the television soap opera Dark Shadows (1966–71) was controversial with fans, who saw it as failing to capture what they loved about the original. This article explores the gothic properties of doubling and repetition in the 1966–71 series and the ways in which they both pre-empt the discourses of adaptation and destabilize the notion of an ‘original’ text from which the adaptation departs. It argues that the reincarnation romance plot, in which an immortal being seeks to find the reincarnation of his or her lost love, extends the vampire/adaptation metaphor in significant new ways. The reincarnation romance also offers a useful model for understanding the adaptation of cult texts, as fans enact their own ‘reincarnation romance’ with the object of their passion. As such, it illuminates the responses of critics and fans to Burton’s film and the broader problems of adapting cult texts. If the television vampire has, until very recently, been overlooked in favour of its cinematic variants, then the case of Dark Shadows reveals the value judgements informing this oversight and restores the television vampire to its full significance.

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©Intellect 2017