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“Covered in Blood and Dirt”: Industrial, Capital, and Cultural Crisis in Red Rock and Dracula

“Covered in Blood and Dirt”: Industrial, Capital, and Cultural Crisis in Red Rock and Dracula “Covered in Blood and Dirt”: Industrial, Capital, and Cultural Crisis in Red Rock and Dracula by Christopher Bundrick Karl Marx, who was tremendously fond of the vampire as metaphor, famously wrote, “If money, according to [Marie] Augier, ‘comes into the world with a congenital blood-stain on one cheek,’ capital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt” (834). Suggestive of a newly risen corpse, this is, perhaps, a subtle allusion to Marx’s even more often quoted assertion that “capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks” (257). Either way, this is probably the only subject on which Marx and Th omas Nelson Page’s Old South planters might agree. For them, capital—especially paper money, whose value can shift independently of the more material values of practical commodities—is a kind of specter. Th is is especially important to the way we read Dracula and Red Rock. We know that ghosts and monsters—both repre- sentive of the gothic past—should be bound in history (real or imagined), but in both novels, the fi ght against blood-sucking monsters (Dracula and Jonadab Leech, respectively) stands in for another http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

“Covered in Blood and Dirt”: Industrial, Capital, and Cultural Crisis in Red Rock and Dracula

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 47 (1) – May 29, 2015

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

“Covered in Blood and Dirt”: Industrial, Capital, and Cultural Crisis in Red Rock and Dracula by Christopher Bundrick Karl Marx, who was tremendously fond of the vampire as metaphor, famously wrote, “If money, according to [Marie] Augier, ‘comes into the world with a congenital blood-stain on one cheek,’ capital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt” (834). Suggestive of a newly risen corpse, this is, perhaps, a subtle allusion to Marx’s even more often quoted assertion that “capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks” (257). Either way, this is probably the only subject on which Marx and Th omas Nelson Page’s Old South planters might agree. For them, capital—especially paper money, whose value can shift independently of the more material values of practical commodities—is a kind of specter. Th is is especially important to the way we read Dracula and Red Rock. We know that ghosts and monsters—both repre- sentive of the gothic past—should be bound in history (real or imagined), but in both novels, the fi ght against blood-sucking monsters (Dracula and Jonadab Leech, respectively) stands in for another

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: May 29, 2015

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