Sunday, August 30, 2009

Neil Gaiman Talks Vampires

also from Entertainment Weekly

Recently, EW's cover story looked at the resurgence of vampires in popular culture, including some thoughts from writer Neil Gaiman about why it's time for bloodsuckers to go back underground. He had a lot more to say on the topic, which we share here.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: In contemporary pop culture, we've seen vampires make that move from horror flick fear agents to more fallen or misunderstood social outcasts, who set moral limits on their nature or who see themselves as beyond morality. How did vampires go from being monsters to anti-heroes?
NEIL GAIMAN: I think mostly it has to do with what vampires get to represent. Because at the point where we begin vampire fiction, you're in Victorian days. And we're looking initially at the sort of antics of...that wonderful Victorian bestseller Dracula. And in each case you have characters who fundamentally represent sexuality. Dracula is a great novel of sexual seduction...and rape and sex. Vampirism is always an excellent way of talking about sex without talking about sex. So it makes complete sense that your solid Victorian vampires were fundamentally evil. And you can have that nice big stake hammered through them as a way of putting them to rest.

read on


Sylvia said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I love Neil Gaiman and it was interesting to read his thoughts on Vampires.

Diana Laurence said...

Big fan of Neil's too, and his Seth in "The Graveyard Book" is one of my favorite vampires in literature. He is so right that "Vampirism is always an excellent way of talking about sex without talking about sex." That's it in a nutshell: vampire fantasies are a safe place to explore and express desires that we don't exactly want to face in the light! (It helps that vampires prefer the darkness, LOL)

--Diana Laurence, author of "How to Catch and Keep a Vampire" (

Diana Laurence said...

Oops, I meant Silas! (My bad.) He was such a memorable character, it's just my lack of memory for names that's too blame. :-)