The Cognitive Model of the Vampire and Its Accommodation in the Twentieth Century


The Cognitive Model of the Vampire and Its Accommodation in the Twentieth Century


Ivan Čipkár


By utilizing devices of cognitive science and psychology which can be found in the works of Bradd Shore, Jean Piaget, and Sigmund Freud this article strives to delineate the significance of the cognitive model of the vampire, which has found an outlet in all forms of artistic and popular expression, ranging from mainstream fiction to marginalized forms of self-expression. The article explains the ways in which the cognitive model of the vampire inhabits our cultural foundational schemas and interacts with our intersubjective realities and how it is accommodated within the changing socio-cultural context. The article briefly summarizes the history of the accommodation of the cognitive model of the vampire, starting from its early use in folklore and romantic literature and continuing on to twentieth-century pop culture. Two cultural/cognitive models are identified, each with its distinct cultural and literary tradition. One is the “antagonist” model of the vampire, with its roots in Eastern European folklore, utilized by writers such as Bram Stoker; the other, “sympathetic” model of the vampire, comes from Byronic and Victorian Gothic traditions and finds its expression in the contemporary works of writers such as Anne Rice.


antagonist vampire, cognitive model, cultural model, Dracula, foundational schema, sympathetic vampire, the uncanny, vampires, vampirism as metaphor, Anne Rice


Moravian Journal of Literature and Film 5, no. 1 (Spring 2014): 23–44. ISSN 1803-7720.


Ivan Čipkár
Department of English and American Studies
Philosophical Faculty
Palacký University, Olomouc
Křížkovského 10
771 48 Olomouc
Czech Republic

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