Close
Close

Andrew Delbanco

Andrew Delbanco is Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. His most recent book is The Death of Satan: How Americans Have Lost Their Sense of Evil.

Liberated by His Bite

Andrew Delbanco, 19 September 1996

In the early Sixties, when I was ten and first saw Tod Browning’s classic vampire film Dracula (1931) on television, I was impressed that the Count could walk past a mirror and cast no reflection. This optical trick seemed more than just another peculiarity, like his revulsion at sunlight or garlic or crucifixes, marking him as a member of the vampire species. There was a hint of otherworldliness in that blank mirror, a confirmation that he belonged to the ‘un-dead’ (a phrase I later encountered in Bram Stoker’s novel). It was the one thing in the movie that struck me as truly frightening.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences