Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

To All the Vampires I’ve Loved Before

with one comment

 

With the increase of vampire related media in an already saturated world, one begins to wonder if the idea of the vampire has been overused. Has the vampire been overdone? This is a question that I constantly ask myself with each new vampire book and movie that appears in the mainstream. Why is this saturation of vampire paraphernalia so astronomical?

I believe that it deals with the appeal of being a vampire. In most modern vampire stories, the characters of the vampires are romanticised to a point that makes them seem like less of what they are. I mean come on people they drink the blood of living, breathing creatures to survive (whether they be animal or human). If you look at the Twilight series, I feel that you get a good representation of this. In the books/movies, you have a vampire “family” trying to be normal. They live in a place with cloud cover (Washington State) to prevent their “sparkling” in the sun (pretty dumb if you ask me) and feed off animals to survive…The Cullen family is seen as a group of “good” vampires because they don’t feed on humans…However, this idea of a “good” vampire is problematic. Stephanie Meyer who wrote the books seems to want to purely humanize the creatures and fails as a result because vampires are as much humans as a chair is a refrigerator. I believe she sacrificed the ideas behind the vampire folklore/mythos to try to create a Romeo and Juliet story between species….and doing so, her story becomes weird. It seems to lose sight of the creatures that vampires are which really irks me.

I like the stance that Anne Rice takes with writing her vampire chronicles. She seems to take the stance that she is writing about a supernatural creature in a real world. She also portrays her characters very well-roundedly by making each of them sympathetic in their own right but keeping us aware all the time that these are creatures that are monsters…they are not human and thereby are not bound by the rules that humanity sets. Anne wonderfully develops her characters and sets them into actual places…she also seems to have a great deal of respect for the folkloric creature the vampire is (instead of flippantly using them).

Charlaine Harris also does this same thing (to a lesser degree but still intriguingly so) in her Sookie Stackhouse novels. Harris creates a world where vampires and other supernatural creatures exist side by side. She develops nuances and continually keeps up with her mythology that she creates which keeps the coherent flow of her novels (given that in later books things do get a little crazy when fairies, werewolves, witches and other supernaturals come into play).

I think my main point that I have been rambling on about is this: vampires (while they may be visually appealing creatures) are not beautiful creatures to be admired or admonished. Meyer and others have set them up to almost be angels in their own right. In my opinion, this glazing over of their true nature isn’t being true to the original concept of vampirism. I like the models of Rice and Harris better because they allow us to see these vampires as beautiful creatures, but through scenes of violence and heartlessness, they allow us to see the true creature at heart. Afterall, who says that you can’t have sympathy for the devil?

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One Response

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  1. I am really enjoying what you have to say about Vampires. I too write about them on my blog. It’s nice to hear from someone who can see the flaws in Twilight, and respects The Southern Vampire Tales. Thank you for your blogs.

    heatherhapa

    August 20, 2010 at 6:09 am


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