Miss Massingberd & the Vampire

October 11, 2010 at 12:34 am (Uncategorized)

The short story Miss Massingberd and the Vampire is an interesting, much more modern vampire tale compared to old works, such as Dracula. It is ironic to see the main character, the strong-willed, kind teacher Miss Massingberd, fall beneath the spell and in love with the dreaded, blood-sucking vampire. It seems that in the beginning of the short story, there is a breakdown of Miss Massingberd’s personality and simple disbelief in the non-sense that is the vampire myth. Once she encounters said-myth, she becomes infatuated and ‘helplessly in love’ with him. The author, Tina Rath, wrote this in a somewhat satyrical manner, with a bit of dry humor and sarcasm inserted as well. Also unlike the conventional, old-school vampiric tales, the story leaves the reader with a somewhat happy ending, where even though Miss Massingberd is a vampire, she is living her life like any other living person would.

“And her husband would sigh a little, and remind her to take her iron tonic” (Rath 96).

 

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What function did the character Dracula serve for Victorian’s?

September 25, 2010 at 2:31 am (Uncategorized)

When thinking of the Victorian era and its people, a few words that may describe the period include “old fashioned” and “prudish”. The people in this time period were a predominantly collected, cordial and calculated people. Emotions were better left repressed or at least, not rapidly and openly expressed, as that would have been considered taboo. In addition to the previously-released penny dreadful’s and small novellas, the novel Dracula was an important trailblazer for Gothic and vampiric novels. To say the least, it was a surprising, new kind of novel for all. The main character, Dracula, brought a new light (or darkness, if you will) to the Victorian’s, in a way that impacted more than the world of literature.

His dark, brooding character, laced with mysterious and evil intentions for the characters he terrorized, created a frightening intrigue and interest in what this blood-lusting creature of the night was. His written existence put a name to a terror that may have been the plague during such a period, creating another answer to the loss of many people, whether or not it was really true. The fear was planted in the minds of many after reading such a novel, and yet, no matter how afraid the reader’s were of this Dracula being, an appeal of equal importance was created. Because his existence embodied the opposite of many Victorian values, we find that many people were drawn to such obvious differences because there is usually a primal attraction to the unexplainable evil we are taught to say “no” to. Dracula essentially opened a door of a monster that arose a curiosity in many Victorians, and the appeal continues to live on today, as modern literature and culture has shown.

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Essay #1 Prompt & Ideas…!

September 22, 2010 at 10:03 pm (Uncategorized)

Regarding the 1st paper of the semester, I have chosen prompt 3:

“Consider a non-vampire significant character or group of characters found in more than one of our vampire stories so far (examples might include the vampire hunter/slayer, the vampire victim/damsel in distress, the peasant figure, the aristocrat, the gentry or middle class figure, or the vampire scholar) and develop a theory concerning the importance  and/or frequent appearance of this character in vampire narratives.”

While reading Dracula and discussing the roles found throughout the book, I became fascinated by the underlying clash of the urbanized male (i.e. Jonathan Harker) versus the aristocratic male (i.e. Dracula). This particular contrast of character nature reoccurs in many ways throughout the novel. I was additionally intrigued by the modernized female, paving a sort of prelude to feminism in her thoughts and sometimes, behaviors (i.e. Mina & Lucy). I am unsure as to which exact approach I will take on at this moment but those are very important structures of the book that I had noted and wanted to write about.

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Reveal My “Nickname”

September 10, 2010 at 3:16 am (Uncategorized)

“Anitablake22”

I am a very big Anita Blake fan, a series written by Laurell K. Hamilton. The first Blake story was published in 1993 and although I wasn’t reading them until some time later, I think it’s safe to say that she has influenced the writers of  TrueBlood, Twilight, and some of the other stories that came out more recently.

Anita Blake is a vampire hunter, set in modern times, where vampires are trying to be citizens and exist among the living. She is also a necromancer (can raise and then communicate with the dead) and works among various police units, including the preternatural department (created for things not human). Basically, she is a force to be reckoned with, always kicking ass and taking names. I admire her in many ways…in about as many ways as I do not like her character, but her many adventures make for interesting reads. Witnessing the damsel-in-distress characters today (such as Bella from Twilight), it’s no wonder that I cannot respect them compared to Ms. Blake. Please, try reading book 1 and see for yourself…

But don’t get upset at me for sharing, once you are as addicted to LKH’s writing as I am! 🙂

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Curious…

September 7, 2010 at 5:46 am (Uncategorized)

Why is it that, with so many vampires in pop culture, these extremely old men (said vampire) are attracted to the ever moody high school girl? One would think with hundreds of years of life experience (or lack of), the iconic preppy or brooding “scene” high school girl would be the last place a vampire would look for a romantic relationship. Perhaps he is envious of her youth and can somehow relive that youth again through her…but you’d still think a beautiful, fit, 30-something year old woman, with her shit together (unlike the melodrama that is high school, specifically high school girls), would be more appealing. Something I’ve been curious about for sometime now…feel free to comment!

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