I love movies. I have loved movies all my life. I grew up on them. When I was eight years old, I managed to convince myself I would make movies when I grew up. Now I am in the process of getting a degree in Film Studies. I write about film more than ever before, partly because I have to for my classes, mostly because I enjoy it, because I have something to write about. Sometimes it helps me understand the film better; sometimes it helps me understand myself better.
I created this blog as a place to showcase my work, and also as an incentive to keep writing reviews, analyses, and essays over breaks, when there’s no one here to grade me.
I have tried many times, and failed, to explain in a coherent manner why it is that I love films. Here is my best—and most coherent—guess.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sex, Shadows, and Sin on Celluloid: The Femme Fatale and Silent Vamp as Threats to the Social Order

“The dark lady, the spider woman, the evil seductress who tempts man and brings about his destruction is among the oldest themes of art, literature, and mythology in Western culture. She is as old as Eve, and as current as today’s movies…” (Place 35). It is the movies that have given us some of the most memorable images of these women, modern Circes who trap men, use and ultimately destroy them. The beautiful and treacherous woman of classic film noir, the femme fatale, and the equally dangerous and deadly silent vamps are creations of threatened men’s imaginations; they are fantasies of destructive female sexuality as seen through male eyes, but they also become figures of female empowerment. They are strong, independent, self-serving and deceptive women removed from their “proper place” and submissive role in a patriarchal society, and thus challenge the social order. But while the silent film seductress, played most famously by Theda Bara, was a type, her cinematic descendant, the femme fatale, developed a fuller, sometimes ambivalent, more clearly drawn and individualistic personality. The women of films like The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice or The Lady from Shanghai were not caricatures of male fear projected unto the collective consciousness of the screen like the vamps, but fully blown, empowered women.

“In essence, the Vampire symbolized man’s objectification of his fear and hatred of woman and the power she exerted though her sexuality” (Higashi 58). In the virgin-vamp dichotomy of silent cinema, women were kept at a safe distance as a stereotypical Other, to be revered and reviled, sometimes at the same time. The term “vampire” implied the diabolical and the supernatural, the inhumanity of the characters’ unfeeling wickedness and the hypnotic fascination they exerted on men. Female sexuality is, then, regulated and repressed in these films not just for its own sake, but in deep need of control as a threat to patriarchal norms (Negra 379). Lewis A. Erenberg writes that “the pleasure-loving woman would also destroy male identity. For those who adhered to the nineteenth-century conception of masculinity contained in the self-made man, passionate women would lead men away from self-control toward a life of sexual expressiveness. Men’s concentration would be broken, their money lost, and their business affairs ruined” (Staiger 150).

Like the femmes fatales would after them, the vamps deprived men not only of their discipline, but of their home, financial security, and social status. Although she unleashed men’s sexuality, the vamp was always in control, with not enough feeling to lose herself and her cold calculations. She sought not pleasure in her interactions with hapless victims, but power, and the amusement and gratification of having power over another’s body and soul; the vamp was a woman gone astray, a parasite woman who could feed off the solid stock of America, destroying the vital future it should have” (Staiger 147).

Theda Bara’s sensuality and destructiveness as a siren would rival the Griffith image of imperiled white womanhood (Higashi 55). This virginal ideal of womanhood contained female sexuality within the institutional framework of marriage and the family. Pure, pious, submissive, and domestic, these characters posed no threat to masculinity. In contrast, the vamp was dark, sultry, dangerous; “she was a beautifully coiffed cave-girl. No matter how much lipstick she wore or how marcelled her hair, there was something essentially of nature about her, about her demands and devastation” (Burchill 15). The vamp was firmly placed on the other end of the spectrum from the soft-focused, back-lit, all-American virgin epitomized by actresses like Lilian Gish, Mary Pickford, and an onslaught of imitators of varying degrees of effectiveness.

“Girls changed their names to Blanche Sweet, Arline Pretty and even Louise Lovely in a bid to become the kind of kindergarten cutie in whose mouth money wouldn’t melt. But somewhere in Hollywood, another extra from the mid-West… was changing, with the help of a team of power-mad publicity boys, into another kind of girl altogether—a girl literally and purposely the exact opposite of the Pickford posse. A girl to be the female equivalent of the anti-Christ; the anti-Madonna. For the first time since Fatima had shimmied silently in Chicago, sex raised its head on screen. And what an ugly head it was!—Theda Bara, who looked like the Loch Ness Monster in a ton of mascara… She represented the dirty Old World of sex and, like DeMille’s disaster epics, her function was to make America’s future look even brighter” (Burchill 13-14). The vamps of the teens and twenties, played by Bara, Nita Naldi, Lya de Putti, and Pola Negri either emanated from Southern or Eastern European countries or were given biographies that suggested their foreignness. The vamp, as ethnic and cultural Other, was a personification of fear not only over female sexuality, but also the economic and social anxieties of increasing immigration. A charged figure, the vamp was capable of upsetting gendered relations of power as well as articulating social tensions in early twentieth-century America (Negra 379).

Born Theodora Goodman in Cincinnati, Ohio, Theda Bara was the first movie star to have her personality wholly manufactured by Hollywood moguls, her name an anagram for “Arab Death.” According to the studios, Bara was born on the sands of Sahara or in the shadows of the pyramids to a French painter or Italian artist, or a desert sheik and an Egyptian princess, Arab mistress, or French actress—they could never keep their stories straight. The publicity surrounding the young actress stressed the sinister and the macabre, spinning tales of suicidal lovers, reincarnation, a diet of raw beef and serpent’s blood. She happily complied and took to wearing Arabian robes, pretended she didn’t speak English and was attended by Nubian footmen, posed next to skeletons and victims and gave interviews in black velvet rooms with incense burning.

A Fool There Was, the first Fox hit, released a month before the premiere of Birth of a Nation, introduced the world to Theda Bara. The film was based on the Porter Emerson Browne play, in turn based on Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The Vampire,” which had been inspired by a Philip Burne-Jones painting  (Higashi 55). A husband, ensnared, paralyzed, and ultimately ruined by a temptress, abandons his wife and child, wreaking the social order based on marriage and family. The vamp becomes a symbol of chaos, destruction, and death. “In the end, the virtuous wife was left with little besides her virtue and the erring husband completely devastated” (Higashi 71). The vamp of the 1910s was triumphant to the very end, unlike the femme fatale. “Fallen women might have fallen morally, but they might also have risen financially, carried to a higher monetary status through their alliance with their lover… One of the aims of the post-1934 censors was to lessen the narrative disjunctions between the pleasures of the successful rise and the requisite punishment… Had the 1930s censors regulated the 1916 A Fool There Was, the movie might have never been released—for the vamp pays no penalties for her crimes” (Staiger 147).

Bad women meant good business. Theda Bara went on to make over 40 films for Fox, with titles like The Eternal Sin, The Blue Flame, The Soul of Buddha, Purgatory’s Ivory Angel, Carmen, Destruction, Cleopatra, Salome, The Forbidden Path, Gold and the Woman, The Eternal Sappho, The Tiger Woman, Madame Du Barry, Her Double Life, The She-Devil, Her Greatest Love, The Rose of Blood, and The Serpent. Needless to say, she never transcended the limitations of a caricature of overpowering sexuality, and the public loved to hate her. Moviegoers could live vicariously and voyeuristically through the adventurousness and wickedness of the vamp and still feign righteous indignation and moralize, reinforcing the stereotypical equation of woman with sex and sin (Higashi 62).

A Fool There Was locates the vamp’s behavior in psychological terms, but only superficially. Although the film is subtitled “A Psychological Drama,” the financial motivation behind the woman’s acts is not enough to justify her need for destruction. In the first scene we see her, she smells and then crushes some roses, her irrational cruelty on full display. Her black-and-white vertically striped, tightly fitting gown spells entrapment, and when the dutiful wife, Kate (Mabel Frenyear), ignores her and pulls her child away, she swears, “Some day you will regret that.” Her entrance into John Schuyler’s (Victor Benoit) life is accompanied by lightning storms, darkness, accidents, and bad omens, including her lover committing suicide when he is cast aside for John. With every fallen woman in silent film, as in noir, there had to be a fallen man, a male character who could not resist her temptations. Like a spider sucking out its prey’s blood, Bara’s vamp takes away John’s strength, his hair turning white and his body becoming frail. His friends and business associates abandon him one by one, and he descends into alcoholism. He loses his family, and eventually the woman who seduced him as well. As Kipling poem states, “Some of him lived, but most of him died.”

By the twenties, however, the industry was gaining increasing sophistication, and the portrayals could not be as crude. The vamp’s allure was starting to show signs of wear, as men either resisted it or, having fallen prey to it, eluded her in the end. The vamp was slowly becoming less dangerous, if not less deadly. In Blood and Sand (1922), Nita Naldi seduces Rudolph Valentino. The first encounter between the characters, Valentino’s acclaimed bullfighter and Naldi’s widow, appropriately takes place in the ring, where she throws him a snake ring wrapped in her handkerchief. Gallardo begins to visit Dona Sol (Naldi) in her luxurious apartment furnished in an opulent Moorish décor of drapes and divans, but at first resists her attraction. Injured in the ring, after having given in to his desire, he dies, but addresses his last words to his dutiful wife, swearing he loves only her, and tosses the snake ring away. If only in death, he escapes from the vamp’s clutches. (Higashi 72). In DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1923), the husband character not only escapes Naldi’s temptress, but kills her in the process.

There were more nuanced, less caricatured portrayals of the vamp in films like Murnau’s famous Sunrise and Flesh and the Devil (both 1927), starring John Gilbert and Greta Garbo. “Although there is an affinity between Theda Bara’s Vampire and Greta Garbo as temptress, the bad woman ceased to be depicted in the blackest colors in the intervening decade between A Fool There Was and Flesh and the Devil. Filmmakers showed an increasing sophistication in portraying her psychological motivation… Sex continued to be illicit but lost its sinister aspect and became more pleasurable… The sensual woman still posed a dangerous temptation for man and she had to be anesthetized to prevent the repeated collapse of male ethics, if not supremacy” (Higashi 78).

“The vamp was a beacon and a blessing in the cinema, the apex of what a woman on the screen can be. The vamp was beautiful and strong; she made helplessness, which previously had been the desirable norm for girls on film, look insipid and uninspiring. She came from nowhere and walked alone. The vamp was a rhapsody and a revolution” (Burchill 15). But if the vamps of silent film were fundamentally inhuman, caricatured types of threatening female sexuality, by the 1940s the addition of sound, as well as a changing social climate and shifting views of female sexuality allowed for more complex and sophisticated visions of the spider woman. Silent cinema, through its very nature, denied women a voice, the right to be heard as well as seen. Women could not be intelligent, witty, funny, or good conversationalists—not through title cards—so the vamp announced herself through images, dressed in satin and inhaling a cigarette, rather than vocally. While the vamps looked daring without actually doing anything, the femmes fatales developed more fully drawn, individualistic personalities.

Film noir appeared at a historical moment of crisis, brought about by post-WWII feelings of disillusionment, the influence of German expressionism and the hardboiled tradition of writing of the twenties and thirties. The dominant world view expressed in noir is one of paranoia, claustrophobia, hopelessness, doom, a sense of predetermination, and a lack of clear moral or personal identity. “Man has been inexplicably uprooted from those values, beliefs and endeavors that offer him meaning and stability, and in the almost exclusively urban landscape… he is struggling for a foothold in a maze of right and wrong. He has no reference points, no moral base… Nothing—especially woman—is stable, nothing is dependable” (Place 41). Everything is relative, and values, like identities, are constantly shifting and redefining themselves. The classic noir era (for the purposes of this paper, the period between 1941 and 1947) is of direct significance to the female characters of these movies: the fear of loss of identity, stability, and security reflect the dark and pessimistic post-war social climate. Like the vamp, the femme fatale appeared at a time when masculinity was being challenged—this time not by a relinquishing of Victorian values, but by mass entry of women into the workforce during the war. 

Just as their silent counterparts had been, these strong women were brazenly sexual and aggressive; “the decade’s New Woman became the femme fatale in whose presence no man was safe” (Hirsch 154). The noir world, unlike the gangster or western ones, is one in which women are central to the intrigue, and not placed safely into categories prevalent in other genres—wives, mothers, daughters, lovers, mistresses, etc. “Women are an essential part of the noir world; their depiction as harbingers of destructive passion or heartless self-interest combines all too well with the weaknesses of their male counterparts to form an explosive and often corrosive dynamic” (Dickos 156). Defined by their desirable but dangerous sexuality like the vamp, noir women are always a part of the action, never a part of the décor. The femme fatale is often a threat and an obstacle in the male quest, and sometimes the reason for it. Noir gives us “one of the few periods of film in which women are active, not static symbols, are intelligent and powerful, if destructively so, and derive power, not weakness, from their sexuality” (Place 35).

The steely, beautiful woman of noir, her voice honed to a sexy, low cutting edge, is independent, ambitious, in search of wealth and freedom, and oftentimes confined to a marriage or relationship form which she wants to break free, with violent results. But it is not the demise of the femme fatale that we remember after the end credits roll, but her strong, dangerous, exciting sensuality. The style of these films thus “overwhelms their conventional narrative content, or interacts with it to produce a remarkably potent image of woman” (Place 36).

The world of the noir is one filled with darkness, both physical and psychological, in which silhouettes, shadows, mirrors and reflections indicate the lack of unity and control, and the duplicity of the characters. Nothing is ever quite what it seems: “Murder can sometimes smell like honeysuckle,” and a routine visit to a client’s house on a sunny afternoon can have the darkest consequences. “Life is built on quicksand” in the noir, Foster Hirsch writes, denoting the duplicity and instability characteristic of the genre, and taken to an extreme in Welles’ The Lady from Shanghai through the spectacular, hypnotic maze-like hall of mirror sequence at the end of the film, significantly shot in an amusement park room of warped mirrors; in some shots we can make out a bold outline that vaguely resembles reality, but the image, like any inkling of objective truth, has been distorted almost beyond recognition. Mirrors feature prominently in other noirs as well. In both Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, the heroes look at the women as they arrange their makeup and/or clothes in the mirror at their first meeting. The femme fatale then becomes a self-absorbed narcissist.

These women are dislocated from their ‘proper place’ in a patriarchal society, a fact which is frequently represented visually. They dominate the men in many of the frames, reflecting the danger and threat they pose because of their overpowering sexuality (Kaplan 3). Often, the femme fatales are introduced in occasionally disquieting low angle shots, placed above the heroes, their power over men apparent from the first glimpses of the characters. They occupy the center of the image and/or the foreground, and even when in the background generally pull the focus to themselves. They direct the hero’s gaze, as well as our own through the camera as they move. As the film progresses, and they are beginning to feel symbolically or actually imprisoned, the compositions become static and lean towards closeups more often than medium or long shots. The composition exerts control over the femme fatale in the third act, and their strong sexuality in contained within these shots, often behind bars (The Maltese Falcon), in the protection of a relationship with the male hero (The Big Sleep), or dead (Double Indemnity, The Lady from Shanghai).

The femme fatale emerges from deep shadows, her face turned a harsh white by the high-contrast lighting, and filmed in ways that will emphasize her sexuality, often being introduced as a pair of long, elegant legs (Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice). Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) wears a golden bracelet around her ankle that becomes a much discussed recurring subject of conversation. Fittingly, it is her own name she has engraved on the jewelry, a sign of her self-centeredness and self-serving interest. The femme fatale either wears provocative dresses or simple, square, padded-shouldered suits with bold patterns which further underline her independence and aggression (The Big Sleep’s heroine switches constantly between the two extremes). A symbol of man’s fear of female sexuality and his need to repress it, the dark woman of noir is not far removed from the silent vamp. She becomes, to a lesser degree than the predatory and not fully human vamp, a mask, a symbolic idea, often trailing wisps of cigarette smoke behind her, the cue of a dark and immoral sensuality. In Lady from Shanghai, a cigarette is the pretense for the lovers’ meeting, and, appropriately, a habit Elsa Bannister (Rita Hayworth) picks up only later in the film, after she has planned her manipulation of Michael (Orson Welles).

As with the silent vamps, it is always the femmes fatales that are in control in the noir, while the men are passive, bland individuals living regular, self-contained lives. By becoming infatuated with these luscious, deceitful women, giving way to violence and obsession, the noir heroes unleash their own sexuality and become capable of fierce crimes of passion, which plunges them into irreversible calamity (Hirsch 2). For the women, “sex is only a means to an end. The end is money. Greedy and selfish, knowingly using their bodies as destructive weapons,” these spider women emerge somehow less harmed than the men, because they were always in it of their own accord (Hirsch 3).

The men—when not played by Bogart, it seems—are helpless to the woman’s attraction as she strings them along to their destruction. “I didn’t get the woman and I didn’t get the money,” Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) announces in the beginning of Double Indemnity, and the heroes of The Postman Always Rings Twice and The Lady from Shanghai could say the same. Noir is the product of men, and the recurrent image of women as “ravenous, castrating, demonic bitches” is nothing more than a fantasy, a figment of male anxiety. Femmes fatales are created and seen through the eyes of men, and the power they wield is of “disorienting the male object” (Dickos 156).These films are part of a male dominated genre, in which a hero, generally through voiceover or flashback (or both) tries to tell the story from his perspective, in the process searching the truth about an event that has already happened or is on its way to completion. In a way, the story is over before it begins, amplifying the pervasive sense of hopelessness. 

The female character can produce a fractured image, as seen from different perspectives or the same point of view at different moments in time. Her identity is never whole, instead shifting with each new discovery of the plot. In The Postman Always Rings Twice, Cora (Lana Turner) changes and transforms, according to Christine Gledhill, at least eight times: she goes from sex-bomb, through hardworking, ambitious woman, loving adulteress, fearful girl in need of protection, victim of male power, hard, ruthless killer, mother-to-be, to rightful sacrifice to law (Gledhill 18).

Women in this detective/thriller narrative fit into one of two categories: the femmes fatales, spider-women who work “on the fringes of the underworld”—bar-flies, nightclub singers, mistresses, gold-diggers, murderesses, who sometimes help (as in The Big Sleep) the hero, but mostly bring about harm and destruction, and the marrying type, the good women the (anti) heroine is contrasted with, those who have no place in this world—wives, long-suffering girlfriends, would-be-fiancées, young girls who are vulnerable and in need of protection (Gledhill14). In detective noirs like The Maltese Falcon or The Big Sleep, the women become central to the hero’s investigation, its object and often the central problem in unraveling the truth. But the investigation need not be carried out through the agency of police or private eye; it can take the form of confession (Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice). All of these stories are dominated by questions about female sexuality and relationships involving patterns of seduction, deception, and revelation.

Both men and women seek sexual satisfaction outside of marriage, and the husbands’ impotence is sometimes suggested through the use of crutches or wheelchairs (Double Indemnity, The Lady from Shanghai). Marriage is portrayed as stifling, because long before the heroes of The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, or The Lady from Shanghai step into the long bars of shadows cast by the Venetian blinds, the visual representation of entrapment, the women are shown in the same confining shadows. Women like Cora from The Postman Always Rings Twice or Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity cannot be allowed to go unpunished—in this case by death—because they have crossed the boundaries of marriage, fidelity, and the family. They “breathe the mythic rages of trapped women and consequently respond in radical denial of their social destiny” (Dickos 158-159). The doomed lovers are undermined by mutual distrust more than they are by the crimes they’ve committed in both The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity. After committing murder, the lovers’ passion becomes stained and corrupted beyond repair, turning from attraction to hatred (Hirsch 38). Like Walter Neff says, the illicit lovers and criminals of noir are almost always “on a trolley ride together and the last stop is the cemetery.”

The shift form the studio-bound, cynical, romantic private eye bound by a strict code of honor, who travels into the heart of darkness, murder, gambling, or blackmail (or all of the above) and emerges unscathed to more realistic, feverish criminals hopelessly entangled in the webs of their crimes signals a transformation in the noir (anti)heroine as well. Bogart’s investigators needed a woman that would tempt them but one which they could ultimately elude (The Maltese Falcon)—or, the opposite, redeem from their corrupt, chaotic world through a relationship (The Big Sleep). The Maltese Falcon, directed by Huston in a more sedate manner, with minimal use of visual pyrotechnics and only occasional use of expressionistic lighting or low/slanted angles is more romantic, and less psychotic in nature, the closest noir could come to an objective account of the action. Sam Spade (Bogart) never fully gives in to Brigid O’Shaughnessy’s beautiful, dangerous liar. Similarly to the plot, Mary Astor’s femme fatale poses less of a threat; she is less psychotic and more sedate herself. Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep does not constitute a typical femme fatale in that she actually ends up helping the hero, but along the way, still exhibits the same independent and rebellious will, and remains closed-off and dishonest, if only to save Marlowe (Bogart) –sometimes from himself—and love him. Their relationship, a low-key mutual baiting based on wisecracking and innuendo as a metaphor for both sexual attraction and romantic feelings, is one of the healthiest and happiest relationships of the genre.

But while Astor and Bacall’s female characters didn’t bring about the destruction of the heroes, the seemingly mundane, “innocent” hapless victims of films like Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, seduced by the promise of sex and money, needed the coldest of all femmes fatales. Phyllis Dietrichson of Double Indemnity is “a figure of Machiavellian evil, chilling and reptilian,” who’s made a career of killing people who get in her way; she is “a castrating Eve in a nightmare inversion of the Garden of Eden myth…, a contemporary Circe luring unsuspecting men with her siren’s song” and the poisonous sexuality of a character “conceived by men who hate and fear strong women” (Hirsch 4, 152). Stanwyck’s performance makes for the quintessential femme fatale of the forties, her face frozen as her mind calculates coldly, her expressions and movements icy and rigid, “like a painting of a recognizably real scene in which nature, on closer inspection, looks too neat and still and poised” (Hirsch 7).

The Lady from Shanghai, by far the most stylized—and most psychotic and least romantic—of the films mentioned, gives in to baroque theatricality, a looming, restless, hyperactive camera, a barrage of titled, disfiguring angles, complex patterns of shadows and oblique patches of light forming shapes that convey chaos, and surreal, exotic settings like the Chinese theater and the funhouse. Rita Hayworth’s character, a woman of ambiguous origin and impenetrable motives, is characterized not by menace as much as mystery. The vagueness of the plot and, indeed, the film’s title, runs throughout the movie, rubbing off on Hayworth’s femme fatale. The actress lacks the hardness and authority of Stanwyck, but her character, if more feminine, is no less dangerous or duplicitous. We are not sure until the end just quite how to read Elsa.

While the vamps of silent cinema played out their stories as cautionary tales set in a cinematic landscape resembling the cultural, social, and physical reality of their time, the noir is a closed world of the imagination from which all sense of “reality,” of the everyday flow of life has been rigorously excluded, “a sealed-off environment of airless rooms, and of threatening, lonely streets” (Hirsch 6). The femme fatale becomes, then, like the vamp, an unreal, stylized, mythical archetype. But in her world, she is fully and utterly alive, realistic, belonging. Because the vamp stands out in films’ recreation of reality, she cannot become more than a type. The femme fatale, on the other hand, as a product of and agent in the noir environment, transcends the limitation of a stereotype and becomes a person.

“There is misogynistic intent, to be sure, in many portrayals of such women… But the search for female identity in noir extends beyond simply [mystery and temptation predicated upon sexual desire], and it delineates the emerging female character as she struggles to hear her voice in a rupture of the role women have conventionally played” (Dickos 156) The femme fatale is a bad woman, a desperate, wicked woman, but she is also fascinating, because she does not fit into the “traditionally imposed travails of her subordinated function” as a woman in a  male-dominated society (Dickos 156). Even though the femme fatale is filtered completely through male imagination, her female consciousness is a form to be reckoned with when it escapes the suppression of a patriarchal order. The femme fatale must pay for her disruption of the status quo, her biggest crime being against the healthy image of society’s female; the femme fatale almost always dies, gets arrested for her crimes—the implication in the arrest as much a moral as a legal one—or is brought back to her proper place in society.

Perhaps the best way to summarize the vamp and femme fatale’s enduring power as independent, strong female characters comes in the words of Theda Bara herself: “Believe me, for every woman vamp there are ten men of the same… men who take everything form women—love, devotion, beauty, youth and give nothing in return! V stands for Vampire and it stands for Vengeance, too. The vampire that I play is the vengeance of my sex upon its exploiters. You see,… I have the face of a vampire, perhaps, but the heart of a ‘feministe’” (Higashi 61, Staiger 160).



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