Vampyr

munchI går ble Edvard Munchs maleri Vampyr (fra 1893-94) solgt i New York for 38 millioner dollar (se, Aftenposten, Dagbladet, VG). Det er salgsrekord for et Munch-bilde. Nå er det visstnok finanskrise, men så sammenlignet da også Karl Marx i Das Kapital kapitalen med en vampyr. Som Nina Auerbach skriver i Our Vampires, Ourselves: “During Varney‘s serialization, Karl Marx was in London preparing his Communist Manifesto (1848). His Capital (1868) sealed the vampire’s class descent from mobile aristocrat to exploitative employer: ‘Capital is dead labour which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks'” (side 31f.) Særlig liker jeg hennes beskrivelse av bevegelsen fra aristokrat til arbeidsgiver. Men Auerbach kan gjerne siteres videre også: “In the self-conscious 1890s, females would dominate vampire iconography, but their horrible hunger is not Carmilla’s: fin-de-siècle literary vampires like Dracula’s three sister-brides, theatrical vampires from Mrs. Pat Campbell to Theda Bara, or pictorial vampires like Edvard Munch’s Vampire – whose face virtually disappears as she chews on her man – are horrible because heterosexual, dreadful because they feast on men” (side 41). Så, med andre ord, her går store deler av den moderne verden – og den moderne angst – opp i en høyere enhet. Men det er nå et flott bilde også.

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