March 20, 2011 by Kuma
From the almost corrupt count Dracula to the almost perfect Edward Cullen
Vampires have changed many times in the history of world literature and art – many times they were given new features, powers; new ideas were thought up for ways to dispose of them or, on the contrary, help them survive in the human world.
At the very beginning, some hundreds of years ago, vampires were shown as monsters, which we should be afraid of – they symbolized Satan, bad powers, there were people cursed in their lifes of sin, away from God. This image has been changing for many years but it was only in recent years that it changed diametriccaly, showing us a new, more human vampire.
The present fascination with vampires, and the rebirth of this theme, was launched by Anne Rice, who in 1976 published the first part of the ten–part long ‘Vampire’s chronicles’ – ‘Interviev with the vampire’. She showed vampires as perfect characters – handsome, attractive men and beautiful women. Although they’ve got a lot of negative features, though they were still abstracted from the humanity, deprived of positive, human emotions, however they seem be more ‘palpable’ than vampires from old stories. Anne Rice’s vampires are tragic characters, who can’t cope with their existence – however, some of them are fascinated by this new, eternal life, while to others their life seems a curse, eternal exile, looking for some goal – other than killing everyone, something deeper and more sensible.
Where Rice presents vampires as men of the night, Stephanie Meyer, in ‘Twilight’, shows us their completely human side. Yes, they can’t stay in the sun but not because they combust – as we all know – but because sunlight makes their skin shine like thousands of diamonds. It’s a big convenience for Meyer’s vampire characters but ‘a little bit’ far – fetched, however such falling to taste! While unless every vampire which we know are fuzing, Edward’s skin is sparkling!
Lisa Jane Smith, author of ‘Vampire’s Diaries’ (btw. books about vampires have got such originals titles, havent’s they?), came up with them in in 1991 (btw. again – who copied?), and went a step further. She gave her vampires amaizing annuluses, thanks to which vampires can face the sun and stay safe.
In reality authors who present books and films about bloodsuckers, will do anything to make vampires closer to us, people. they’re trying make them more human, more palpable, and show us that vampires can live with people and not do them anything wrong.
But, where has this vampire phenomenon come from? Why have shelves in the bookshops become filled with books with sinister titles and dark, bloody binders?
Basically we can’t expressly ascertain what the reason is, because there are many reasons. Let’s begin from this, we have been interested in vampires for many centuries, since the first legends about them appeared. Humans have always looked for answers for vexed questions.Yet it seems that for some times vampires were ‘abated’ and revived only in 1976. But it still wasn’t this what is happening now. ‘Twilight’ was the beginning of the new vampire era, a vogue for everything that is vampire. It brought about that almost every book for teenagers has to have either a vampire hero or assume an alike scheme. Unfortunately, it makes the value of books released in recent time plummet down. All the time the same schemes, titles, characters, plot – really nothing original happens but… the fashion looks like it’s here to stay!
One of the primary reasons, which people present, when I ask them about the vampire phenomenom, is fact, that vampires are beautiful, sexy, oozing around themselves a wonderful aura; almost indestructible, so amazingly eye–chatching, that no–one can resists them. They have no boundaries – only enternal life. And we, in the present times, in times almost totaly attached to material things, looks, career and satisfaction in the world as important and recognisable person. And being vampire can help in this, enable for this.
‘Cause what kind of people is well thought of now? Beautiful, handsome, self–confident, goal–oriented and – most of all – “haves”. We don’t need ‘average’ anymore. Now, in the XXI century, when we’ve got a ‘cult of individual entities’, being a vampire can enable us for this everything.
We, reading and listening about vampires, strike the conclusion, that this is it, what we need. And that’s why we’re reading this, what is – in some way – an epitome of our dreams and wants.
To boot, every series, every book, every film about vampires, is serving us handsome heros, extremely important for women, because – to be honest – mainly the fair sex reads this. In every one there appears a vampire, who is careful, amazingly handsome and almost perfect – no, not almost – he is totaly perfect! He is the embodiment all of the properties which women look for in men (btw. later men are scratched, because they aren’t like Edward). Of course, we’ve got bad characters too – for example Damon Salvatore from ‘Vampire’s diaries’ – predatory, mysterious, bad guys, who, of course, can love and consecrate for their lady. Of course all the time they are outrun and so alluring that no–one can resist them.
Besides, the vampire’s world is amazing and unreachable – so this is it, what we like the most. Who wouldn’t want to never feel at risk, have some special powers? Because usually vampires have got this: they can read minds, they see the future, they master someone else’s emotions and feelings; hypnotise or erase memories. And this everything just to facilitate and make better vampire’s life.
In the past, vampires were limited by sunlights – now they don’t know what the limit is. And even their appetite for blood is nothing because they can destroy this in themselves and live with people.
As long as we don’t meet a real vampire and don’t realize that they don’t drink our blood we’ll be impossible for him, we’ll be still making stories about careful bloodsuckers, sitting in the health service not for free blood but to… heal us.