Catastrophic Transculturation in Dracula, The Strain and The Historian
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The article notes that what Paul Brantlinger has referred to as the Imperial Gothic insists that the encounter between cultures results not in a transcultural merger, but in an apocalyptic struggle for survival. As this struggle is often tied to past and present-day imperial sentiment, the article suggests that both late-Victorian and contemporary fiction can effectively be discussed with the help of Marie Louise Pratt's concept transculturation. Through a reading of three vampire narratives, Stokers's Dracula (1897), Del Toro and Hogan's The Strain (2009) and Kostova's The Historian (2005), the article demonstrates how past and present imperial gothic texts describe the derailment of European modernity and insists that cultural encounter produce monstrous hybrids that threaten an ontological and/or epistemological apocalypse. In this way, the cultural encounter that these gothic novels imagine result in catastrophic transculturation and the article argues that this is a common way of understanding the transnational meeting in American neo-imperial discourse.