Monday, October 24, 2005

Mindbender of the Week: The Gospel of Anne Rice

Sources, see:
Newsweek: The Gospel According To Anne
NY Daily News: Rice's latest novel: Interview with a Messiah

The new issue of Newsweek reports that Anne Rice, famed author of sensual horror novels, has turned over a new leaf. Raised as a Catholic but long since lapsed, Ms. Rice has announced that she has been born again. Rice told Newseek that she has promised "that from now on I would write only for the Lord." and that her next novel is not about vampires or witches, but rather a tale of the early childhood of Jesus during the years his family spent in Egypt, following the outline of the Gospel of Luke.

There are plenty of cheap jokes to be made about Anne Rice's conversion, and other bloggers have made them. What interests me is the subculture that her earlier novels have helped spawn. The vampires Louis and Lestat are role models for a generation of Goth youth. Anne Rice is regarded as something of a prophet in those circles, and her New Orleans residence was a prime stop on the many pre-Katrina "vampire tours" of the city.

In 2005, we in the United States live in an era which increasingly frowns on any kind of deviance from the norms set by the anglo-saxon evangelical christian movement. The gothic subculture has provided an escape valve for many young people who don't fit into the WASP-defined norms of suburban America. It's a way for teens to define themselves, even if only by choosing to join a group that opposes many of the beliefs of their parents.

What happens to that Gothic vampire subculture now? Will the kids in the black eyeliner and combat boots declare Anne Rice a traitor to the cause and march on? Or will the November publication of Christ The Lord: Out of Egypt spark a mass conversion? Will we see a new Anne Rice-inspired post-goth christian subculture emerge?

Only time will tell.


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12:41 AM  
Blogger Wurm42 said...

Ah, my first comment spam. Lovely.

7:41 AM  
Blogger neophyte said...

*sprays PAM so the SPAM won't stick*

I have never wanted to read vampire books. (Too many childhood nightmares inspired by old B movies that I watched too young!) Yet I have heard about Anne Rice for years. This is finaly one of her books that I'd be interested to read!

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neo ~ I think I've read all her books. Or near enough. Some I've enjoyed, others not so much. I'll probably read the first one of this trilogy too, just to see how/if she's changed her style.
Her vamps aren't all that scarey IMHO, you'll get more nightmares from some of her erotic stuff. It wasn't all that good.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Wurm42 said...

Further thoughts: This books is supposed to be the first in a trilogy. For Anne Rice, trilogy seems to mean "I'll keep writing until the public stops buying," so if this book does well, Rice will wind up writing about adolescent and adult Jesus.

Given Rice's erotia background (Wolfie, I second your opinion of Rice's erotica phase), it will be very interesting to see if Mary Magdalene shows up her books.

BTW, if anyone wants to read a really thoughtful and funny alternate tale of Jesus growing up, I highly recommend:

"Lamb :The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" by Christopher Moore

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wurm!! I knew you had excellent taste. I own that book.
All of his books actually. I love his writing.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Wurm42 said...

Now hear this. Now hear this. The funnist take on the internet of the Anne Rice/Jesus conversion is a comic at Something Positive.

10:19 AM  

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