Guide Paul Vs. The Vampire - A Short Novella

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However, in that tale, the youth is not the girl's betrothed, no religious conflict is present, no actual sucking of blood occurs, and the girl's return from the dead is said to be sanctioned by the gods of the Underworld. She relapses into death upon being exposed, and the issue is settled by burning her body outside of the city walls and making an apotropaic sacrifice to the deities involved.

The first mention of vampires in English literature appears in Robert Southey 's monumental oriental epic poem Thalaba the Destroyer , where the main character Thalaba's deceased beloved Oneiza turns into a vampire, although that occurrence is actually marginal to the story. It has been argued that Samuel Taylor Coleridge 's poem Christabel written between and , but not published until has influenced the development of vampire fiction: the heroine Christabel is seduced by a female supernatural being called Geraldine who tricks her way into her residence and eventually tries to marry her after having assumed the appearance of an old beloved of hers.

In a passage in his epic poem The Giaour , Lord Byron alludes to the traditional folkloric conception of the vampire as a being damned to suck the blood and destroy the life of its nearest relations:. Byron also composed an enigmatic fragmentary story, published as " A Fragment " in as part of the Mazeppa collection, concerning the mysterious fate of an aristocrat named Augustus Darvell whilst journeying in the Orient—as his contribution to the famous ghost story competition at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva in the summer of , between him, Percy Bysshe Shelley , Mary Shelley and John William Polidori who was Byron's personal physician.

This story provided the basis for The Vampyre by Polidori. Byron's own wild life became the model for Polidori's undead protagonist Lord Ruthven. According to A.

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Asbjorn Jon 'the choice of name [for Polidori's Lord Ruthven] is presumably linked to Lady Caroline Lamb's earlier novel Glenarvon, where it was used for a rather ill disguised Byronesque character'. Nodier himself adapted "The Vampyre" into the first vampire stage melodrama, Le Vampire. Unlike Polidori's original story Nodier's play was set in Scotland. Nodier's play was also the basis of an opera called Der Vampyr by the German composer Heinrich Marschner who set the story in a more plausible Wallachia.

Another theatrical vampire of this period was 'Sir Alan Raby' who is the lead character of The Vampire , a play by Dion Boucicault. Boucicault himself played the lead role to great effect, though the play itself had mixed reviews.

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Queen Victoria, who saw the play, described it in her diary as "very trashy". An important later example of 19th-century vampire fiction is the penny dreadful epic Varney the Vampire featuring Sir Francis Varney as the Vampire. In this story we have the first example of the standard trope in which the vampire comes through the window at night and attacks a maiden as she lies sleeping.


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Fascinating erotic fixations are evident in Sheridan le Fanu 's classic novella Carmilla which features a female vampire with lesbian inclinations who seduces the heroine Laura whilst draining her of her vital fluids. Le Fanu's story is set in the Duchy of Styria.

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Such central European locations became a standard feature of vampire fiction. In German literature one of the most popular novels was Hans Wachenhusen's Der Vampyr — Novelle aus Bulgarien , which, on account of the author's first-hand experience of Ottoman society, includes a detailed description of the multicultural society of Bulgaria, and which contains an atmosphere that is "in some parts comparable to Dracula ".

Bram Stoker's Dracula has been the definitive description of the vampire in popular fiction for the last century. Its portrayal of vampirism as a disease contagious demonic possession , with its undertones of sex, blood, and death, struck a chord in a Victorian Britain where tuberculosis and syphilis were common. Unlike the historical personage, however, Stoker located his Count Dracula in a castle near the Borgo Pass in Transylvania , and ascribed to that area the supernatural aura it retains to this day in the popular imagination. Stoker likely drew inspiration from Irish myths of blood-sucking creatures.

He was also influenced by Le Fanu's Carmilla. Stoker's vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing was a strong influence on subsequent vampire literature. Though Stoker's Count Dracula remained an iconic figure, especially in the new medium of cinema , as in the film Nosferatu , 20th-century vampire fiction went beyond traditional Gothic horror and explored new genres such as science fiction. Possibly the most influential example of modern vampire science fiction is Richard Matheson 's I Am Legend The protagonist is the sole survivor of a pandemic of a bacterium that causes vampirism.


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He must fight to survive attacks from the hordes of nocturnal creatures, discover the secrets of their biology, and develop effective countermeasures. The latter part of the 20th century saw the rise of multi-volume vampire epics. It also set the trend for seeing vampires as poetic, tragic heroes rather than as the traditional embodiment of evil. Ross, Rice and Yarbro set the trend for multi-volume vampire sagas which are now a stock feature of mass-market fiction see below for list.

Rice's work also saw the beginning of the convergence of traditional Gothic ideas with the modern Gothic subculture and a more explicit exploration of the transgressive sexualities which had always been implicit in vampire fiction. The novel The Hunger adapted as a film in continued the theme of open sexuality and examined the biology of vampires, suggesting that their special abilities were the result of physical properties of their blood.

The novel suggested that not all vampires were undead humans, but some were a separate species that had evolved alongside humans. This interpretation of vampires has since then been used in several science-fiction stories dealing with vampires, most famously the Blade movie series. The novel Fevre Dream by notable author George R. Martin tells the tale of a race of living vampires, extremely human-like but obligate predators on humans, set in the Mississippi Riverboat era, where one of them has developed a dietary supplement to "cure" them, and is fighting for the right and opportunity to distribute it.


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Kim Newman 's Anno Dracula series — returns to Stoker's Count Dracula, looking at an alternate world where Dracula defeated Van Helsing's group and conquered Britain, and gives the genre a somewhat post-modern spin. The television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer , created and largely written by Joss Whedon , also explored vampire folklore in the light of postmodern and feminist theory, defining the 'condition' as humans who were made to drink vampire blood after the vampire drinks from them, with turned vampires being essentially demons possessing human corpses; Buffy and its spin-off, Angel , also feature the character of Angel in a prominent role, with Angel being a vampire who was cursed with his soul , restoring his capacity for compassion but also forcing him to live with the guilt of what he did as a regular vampire.

One of the more traditional vampire works of the 20th century is Stephen King 's 'Salem's Lot , which reimagines the archetypal Dracula -type story in a modern American small town setting. King acknowledged the influence of Dracula on the work, as well as the violent, pre- Comics Code vampires portrayed in horror comics such as those released by E. In a comprehensive bibliography of vampire literature was published - Margaret L Carter's The Vampire in Literature.

A Critical Bibliography. Ann Arbor, Michigan, U. Many books based on vampires are still being published, including several continuing series. Paranormal romance , inspired by Anne Rice, but mostly dropping the open sexuality of her characters in favour of more conventional sexual roles, is a remarkable contemporary publishing phenomenon.

The top 10 vampire books

However, Laurell K. Hamilton 's Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series has again shifted the genre boundaries from romance back toward the territory of erotica. In the field of juvenile and young adult literature, Darren Shan wrote a book series The Saga of Darren Shan about a boy who becomes a vampire's assistant, beginning with Cirque Du Freak and ending with Sons of Destiny A film adaptation has been made of the first three books called Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant He is also currently writing a prequel to the Saga , a series of four books all about Larten Crepsley one of the main characters starting with Birth of a Killer and finishing with Brothers to the Death Ellen Schreiber created a young-adult series about Raven Madison and her vampire boyfriend Alexander Sterling, starting with Vampire Kisses In Scott Westerfeld 's young-adult novel Peeps , the protagonist carries a contagious parasite that causes vampire-like behavior.

The king of vampires, Count Dracula, also continues to inspire novelists, for example Elizabeth Kostova in The Historian The story takes place in Blackeberg , a suburb of Stockholm. This particular novel does not follow the modern romantic trend, and instead focuses on a human-vampire friendship. Crucially, it retains many of the vampire traits popularized by Dracula.

Dimitris Lyacos 's second book of the Poena Damni trilogy With the People from the Bridge handles the vampire legend in the context of a ritualistic post-theatrical drama performance. Peter Watts ' novel Blindsight has explored a scientific basis for vampires, depicting them as an evolutionary offshoot from humanity who were not the dominant species on the planet solely due to an evolutionary glitch making them averse to Euclidean geometry. In recent years, vampire fiction has been one of many supernatural fiction genres used in the creation of mashups.

These works combine either a pre-existing text or a historic figure with elements of genre fiction. One of the best-known of these works is Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith , in which the historic Abraham Lincoln has a fictional secret identity as a hunter of evil vampires.

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The traits of the literary vampire have evolved from the often repulsive figures of folklore. Fictional vampires can be romantic figures, often described as elegant and sexy compare demons such as succubi and incubi.

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This is in stark contrast to the vampire of Eastern European folklore, which was a horrifying animated corpse. However, as in folklore, the literary vampire is sustained by drinking blood. They do not need other food, water, or even oxygen. They are sometimes portrayed as being unable to eat human food at all, forcing them to either avoid public dining or mime chewing and eating to deceive their mortal victims.

The fictional vampire, however, often has a pale appearance rather than the dark or ruddy skin of folkloric vampires and their skin is cool to the touch. As in folklore, literary vampires can usually be warded off with garlic and symbols of Christian faith such as holy water , the crucifix , or a rosary.

According to literary scholar Nina Auerbach in Our Vampires Ourselves , the influence of the moon was seen as dominant in the earliest examples of vampire literature:. For at least fifty years after Planche's Vampire, the moon was the central ingredient of vampire iconography; vampire's solitary and repetitive lives consisted of incessant deaths and — when the moon shone down on them — quivering rebirths.

Ruthven, Varney and Raby need marriage and blood to replenish their vitality but they turn for renewed life to the moon Bram Stoker's Dracula was hugely influential in its depiction of vampire traits, some of which are described by the novel's vampire expert Abraham Van Helsing. Dracula has the ability to change his shape at will, his featured forms in the novel being that of a wolf, bat, dust and fog.