Author Topic: Vampire lit  (Read 2676 times)

Offline Nigel Wilson

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Re: Vampire lit
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2015, 08:19:26 PM »
There are also those who argue that serpents in tombs are a sign of an older matriarchal religion. You pays your money and takes your choice.

It seems to me that you are pitching around to identify any possibility that might justify vampires of being anything other than a literary artifice made up to horrify readers. There is nothing wrong with that so long as it is understood. I find vampire stories tedious and `samey'. As for zombies - well, pass the sick bucket as there can only ever be one plot.

These have their roots in traditional superstitions of the disorder that follows on from an `unnatural' death. It is now being argued that because archaeologists have found Roman and Saxon graves where the head is cut off then this means that the skeleton was deemed to be the walking undead thus`proving' a ritual significance. Cart before the horse, methinks.

The trouble with vampire lore and even zombies is that they are devices to frighten an increasingly secular society which has endowed being among the undead as the worst fate possible. If you have a body but no soul, you are not free but forced to follow the same dread routine. It is the reversal of the ghost story in which there are souls that are not free despite the absence of bodies. The very solid western ghost story tradition has an origin in the crass behaviour of my puritan forebears which opened the gates to all sorts of misbehaviours and excitements.

Given that I view culture as a reflection of what is going on in the minds of people at any time I see vampires and zombies as a statement of public fear of corporate behaviour that has diminished and crushed the hopes and visions of ordinary people. After the credit crunch vampires and zombies are needed to explain why life had become so difficult. A touch Michael Moore but to my mind the concept stands up.

Perhaps we have reached the point at which we need to construct another vision in order to move on culturally. Might I suggest ideas of rebellion to assert the end of our collective fears!

Nothing wrong with northern universities. Once upon a time I knew one very well.

Offline TanyaJ

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Re: Vampire lit
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2015, 01:37:31 AM »
A literary artifice made up to horrify readers? i would not deny that they are for a moment, whether they were made up in 500BC or the 1890s, I still think it true.
I would never deny that supernatural monsters have found a new context and a new meaning. the fact that they are "off the peg" arrchetypes notwithstanding.
I would personally take the view that in today's  secular society the supernatural monster is a cypher for the enemy amongst us, particularly with reference to post 9/11 and the panic about Moslems. Stoker's Dracula was, of course, a knight who crusaded against Moslems and went into the "darkness" one time to many.

Interesting discussion Nigel. Which northern university were you at? Manchester, I am going to bet. I went to the "yuppie factory", ie York.

Best wishes

Tanya


Offline Nigel Wilson

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Re: Vampire lit
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2015, 01:43:59 PM »
Tanya

Enjoyed the chat. We are coming at the same thing from two different directions. I was trained at what used to be called social science. My guess is that you are more literary in inclination. One of my little amusements at the moment is trying to write a thesis on intergalactic economics.

York wasn't a yuppy factory when I went there a long, long time ago. A niece thought of going there but decided Bristol was more her scene. By all accounts she was right.

Offline edcowling

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Re: Vampire lit
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2016, 11:00:21 PM »
I think sparkly vampires did distort the genre. Blame Twilight.

Next year I'm going to write a book on London Vampires. All red of tooth and claw and not a sparkle in sight.

Personally I think the Vampire book still has legs and plenty of potential readers.

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Vampire lit
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2016, 07:56:27 AM »
I really liked New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear (guest of honour at this year's FantasyCon), which mixes vampires with alternate history in a series of novella-length stories, and I've got a soft spot for Brian Lumley's Necroscope books.

Offline joshua rainbird

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Re: Vampire lit
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2016, 11:42:22 AM »
it seems as if the undead have broken into three factions: the film classic tradition of the search for residual humanity in the soulless - echoes of Orpheus's quest for Eurydice (warm bodies, Frankenstein, the mummy), the damned for all time monsters like medusa the gorgon and latterly, the enlightened psychopathic dead that have come to terms with their undeath and are make the most of it - themes explored by Charlaine Harris

I think it goes beyond politics and is more internal ... it's less about death and oppression and more about coming to terms with loss, especially potency, self control and dignity - the success of longevity bringing increased risks of dementia and loneliness - while maturing into adulthood brings liberties at the cost of asserting personal boundaries and risks of ostracism

these themes seem to rattle people most when they through periods of physical change - growth and decay - hence teens and younger kids being quite morbid at times - some plunge right in immersing themselves in gore, others laugh it off while others want to mask it with bling and pretend that life can be a cosy yet thrilling adventure ... as the tension mounts to seize all the benefits that being older offers while retaining the securities of parental support and a manageable change to their environment
If wishes were horses then we'd all be eating steak.
Jayne Cobb, Firefly.

But ... if fishes were courses then we'd all be eating hake ...

Offline Horrorwriter66

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Re: Vampire lit
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2017, 12:37:16 PM »
You made a good point there. You see, that's the trouble with most vampire novels now: they emphasise the slushy, romantic factor to the exclusion of the horror element. Give me a good old PROPER SCARY vampire story, like Dracula, any day. I despise all this pinup-hero-vamp trash.

Alan Toner
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