Friday, August 13, 2010
This summer, how many times have you been asked: Are you Team Jacob or Team Edward? Team Bill or Team Eric? Honestly, I'm Team Dracula.
At the risk of alienating the female population of the world, I still think the original Dracula -- the broody, moody, mysterious titular character of Bram Stoker's literary classic -- is the quintessential vampire. He may be a distillation of European folklore and the sadistic 15th Century Romanian prince Vlad Tepes, but as pop culture anti-heroes go, Dracula set the standard. Think of Bella Lugosi in 1931's Dracula or Gary Oldman when he reprised the role in 1992.
Ever wanted to go to Harvard and study vampire literature?: The Vampire in Literature and Film ENGL E-212 The Vampire in Literature and Film
The vampire is everywhere in popular culture—in novels such as the Anita Blake and Sookie Stackhouse series, young adult literature like The Twilight Saga, television series such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, True Blood, Ultraviolet, and The Vampire Diaries, as well as short fiction, comic books, graphic novels, and films. Yet the vampire myth has existed for thousands of years, and has been widely used by writers as a vehicle for addressing a host of provocative topics. How can we account for the popularity, adaptability, and unique appeal of the vampire figure? With what fears and fantasies in the human psyche does it resonate? In terms of the literary genre, how do we classify these increasingly diverse works? The course explores the many aspects of this phenomenon, from its origins in the gothic tradition to its recent incarnation as urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Readings include the early vampire stories of John Polidori, Lord Byron, Bram Stoker, and Sheridan LeFanu; and the more recent fiction of Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Elizabeth Kostova, Stephenie Meyer, and Seth Grahame-Smith. Films are viewed after class, and theoretical works by Freud, Auerbach, and others assist us in our investigations. (4 credits)
Watch video here
Two people recently posted on Charlaines board
...I can't put down the Southern Vampire novels. I am addicted! I watched the first few episodes of True Blood at the urging of my best friend and mother, and let me tell ya, Sundays can't come quick enough!! I then realized there was a whole series of books as well! I love them all, I especially like how the TV show and books are just different enough to keep me interested in both. I am more a fan of reading, out of habit, I can pick a book up and get lost for hours. But the show is so good too! I am always a fan of mystery/supernatural/detective novels, and I look forward to picking up Ms. Harris's other novels as well!
Charlaine posted her response this morning :
That's my plan, it's easy to be a fan of both the tv show and the books, though sometimes it can be a bit confusing.
A few weeks ago I got on the phone with The Passage author Justin Cronin to talk about his 766 page (first of three volumes!) contribution to the vampire cannon. Despite the current obsession with blood suckers, Cronin insists the draw of the genre is old as bones. The Passage is no Twilight or True Blood. Cronin's vampires (or virals, as he calls them) don't sparkle in the sun or fall in love; they hide in the dark and rip their victims in half. Makes for a lively conversation.
One of the most haunting aspects of the book is how plausible the doomsday scenario is, from the military's involvement in creating the virals, to the way the civilian world collapses after the creatures escape from the compound and take over. What kind of research did you do?
Every writer needs a lawyer and a doctor, and I don't mean just to write your will and give you drugs when you have a cold. But as research, people you can ask questions to who can steer you even further down the road to get more help. I did every kind of research for this book, and I also traveled every mile of the book. I made sure that I physically occupied all the spaces that my characters occupied. I really made sure that it was all very authentic American landscape because that's the kind of writer I am, and because the book was also very much about the North American continent in this depopulated state that's being experienced by people for the first time -- in some ways like the first settlers almost. One of the great subjects of American literature is the initial encounter with the wild openness of the continent. And my characters were going to have that experience so I wanted to be as authentic with it as I could.
Health workers have given rabies vaccine to more than 500 people who have also been attacked.
Some experts have linked mass vampire bat attacks on people in the Amazon to deforestation.
BBC-The rabies outbreak is focused on the community of Urakusa in the north-eastern Peruvian Amazon, close to the border with Ecuador.
The indigenous community appealed for help after being unable to explain the illness that had killed the children.
The health ministry said it had sent three medical teams to treat and vaccinate people who had been bitten.
Most of the affected population had now been vaccinated, it said, although a few had refused treatment.
Vampire bats usually feed on wildlife or livestock, but are sometimes known to turn to humans for food, particularly in areas where their rainforest habitat has been destroyed.
Some local people have suggested this latest outbreak of attacks may be linked to the unusually low temperatures the Peruvian Amazon in recent years.