Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sink teeth into vampire lit

Bearing little resemblance to Bram Stoker’s classic portrayal of the undead, the vampires of the “Twilight” series have infiltrated pop culture, stealing young girls’ hearts rather than inciting fear while they sparkle in the sunlight where their predecessors would have perished.
Sporting a “Team Dracula” T-shirt in playful protest of the “Team Edward” vs. “Team Jacob” debate between “Twilight” fans, LuAnn Salz, along with fellow Princeton Public Library staff member Lark Fisher, outlined the evolution of vampires in literature during a special program Tuesday related to the library’s summer reading program “Scare Up a Good Book.”
Vampire lore reaches further through history than Stoker’s “Dracula” in 1897, all the way back to the 1400s and Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia in present-day Romania, Salz said. Called Vlad the Impaler, Vlad Tepes Dracula — Dracula meant “son of the dragon,” in reference to Satan — was known for his extreme methods of torture, including impaling, roasting, burning, skinning, feeding people the flesh of their friends and relatives and cutting off limbs.
“Of course, legend has it he drank their blood. Legend has it he ate their flesh. If he did all those other things, he very likely might have done that as well,” Salz said.

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