Vampires of the Sea


The Los Angeles Review of Books features a gorgeous review by Colin Dickey on Vampyroteuthis Infernalis: A Treatise.

In other words, a book on the search for the elusive and alien vampire squid (a search which may or may not include stakes and garlic).

Flusser wants to create a dialogue between human and vampire squid, knowing full well what kind of unease we’re likely to feel when faced with the uncanny presence of a thing with 75,000 teeth but no spine — a thing that may, in its own way, be as intelligent as we are. There is a sense of the horrific in the octopoda — the most identifiable feature of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu, after all, are the squid-like tentacles emerging from its mouth. Flusser is keyed in to this innate revulsion; to face ourselves, he suggests, is to face this horrible monster floating several thousand feet beneath us in pitch-black waters.

What better way to enter Halloween night than with a better understanding of the relationship between a very toothy squid and ourselves.

Nikita Schoen is an intern at The Rumpus, and a Writing & Literature student at California College of the Arts. She lives in San Francisco. More from this author →