Werewolf Fiction. You’re doing it wrong.

Werewolf fiction lacks the confidence of Vampire fiction. Vampire
fiction is novel, reflexive, indexical, and complete. It is novel
because vampirism is unprecendented in both the social and personal
realities of its characters. It is reflexive because it is about the
condition of vampirism qua vampirism as its subject. It is indexical
because the condition of vampirism is used allegorically or
metaphorically to animate contemporary concerns and to illustrate the
human condition. And it is complete because no other themes or
macguffins are used to make up for the perceived deficiencies of the

“Dracula” and “Interview With The Vampire” are the two high points of
popular vampire fiction. The former takes the stuff of penny dreadfuls
and distant folk superstition as the absent core of a clash between
modernity and superstition that animates the hypocrisy and shear of
Victorian society. The latter ironises the displaced catholic theatrics
of an exhausted cinematic form into a tale of the betrayal of promise
and an illustration of the price of the impossible that does not require
its reader to have an immortal soul to lose in order for it to terrify them.

There is very little werewolf fiction that is novel, reflexive,
indexical, and
complete. I do not know why this is. Werewolfery can be an ironic symbol of
many key elements of the human condition and of their postmodern
situation. Take out the witches and faeries, the police procedural and
the pack dynamics, the hunters and the soap opera and lycanthropy can be a
prism rather than ballast.

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