Though not an original idea by any means, this coffee-table book attempts to show the much older origins of the legend and bring readers up to date with the genre. The structure of the book is pretty straightforward, beginning with the background history of the legend and bringing it up to the present.
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The book is divided into five chapters, with subsections. Chapter One deals with the vampire myth and how the original idea has been recorded in history. Chapter Two shows how the legend has evolved from peasant to nobleman, looking at elements as diverse as vampire babies and vampire immortality. Although we're arguably just as obsessed with sex as the Victorians, we're generally nowhere near as repressed, so modern-day vampires are more beautiful than their Victorian counterparts but much less seductive. Well, it's an interesting theory.
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Although from what little I know of Stephenie Meyer I find it hard to believe that smack is a major preoccupation of hers. Sex, however, clearly is. Even if they preach abstinence, her books are as much about the beast with two backs as the one that sucks you dry of blood.
Vampires: From Dracula to Twilight: The Complete Guide to Vampire Mythology by Charlotte Montague
So too is Bram Stoker's Dracula. And so too are Carmilla , Interview with the Vampire and just about every other story I've read featuring the undead blood-suckers, except possibly I Am Legend. Vampires are positively Freudian —as the great Austrian himself pointed out : "All human experiences of morbid dread signify the presence of repressed sexual and aggressive wishes, and in vampirism we see these repressed wishes becoming plainly visible.
It's hard to argue with that. While I'm calling on famous dead intellectuals, it's also worth noting Voltaire's line on vampires.
Vampires: From Dracula to Twilight: The Complete Guide to Vampire Mythology
In , he noted that they may have been fading from folklore, but were now "stock-jobbers, brokers, and men of business, who sucked the blood of the people in broad daylight but they were not dead, though corrupted. These true suckers lived not in cemeteries, but in very agreeable palaces.
Manyeyedhydra also suggested that it "seems a really obvious next step for the vampire myth — have the CEO of a Goldman Sachs-type company be an actual vampire squid". A fine idea. But perhaps, if we're pursuing the line that vampires must tell us something about ourselves, it's more appropriate to look back to Meyer.
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Perhaps part of her talent lies in the way she was able to realign her vampires to contemporary morality — or at least a pre-Great Recession morality. As she described it, there was considerable virtue in the fact that the Cullen family was stinking rich, wore designer clothes and drove gleaming, expensive cars. In the older stories, blood-sucking parasites were staked through the heart and burned. In modern America, they became aspirational role models.
View all copies of this ISBN edition:. About the Author : Charlotte Montague is a freelance writer who specializes in history. Buy New View Book. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Search for all books with this author and title. Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image.
Vampires – From Dracula to Twilight by Charlotte Montague
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