Friday, March 19, 2010
In The Vampires Among Us by Thaddeus Romans fictitious vampire expert.
At the end of the 17th century, another vampire attacks Nessa, the female protagonist of my vampire novel, Unholy Embrace. Nessa easily defeats the female vampire who tries to kill her. However, Nessa, contemptuous of her attacker, fails to destroy her enemy. This mistake will haunt Nessa for over three hundred years. The other vampire knows she cannot kill Nessa, so she attacks people close to her hated enemy. When Nessa comes to America, she is sure her old nemesis could not possibly have followed her across the ocean. She underestimates the tenacity of her stalker who attempts to kill Frank, her lover. Nessa knows she must kill the creature and does so in a manner befitting the end of a three hundred-year-old battle.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Good Lady Ducayne by Mary E. Braddon is a story about what happens to the young ladies who work for the Good Lady. These young women start out in good health but soon become pale, one, and sickly. Strange bite marks appear on the bodies of these ladies. Are they victims on giant mosquitoes, or something much worse than a mosquito?
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
An Authenticated Vampire Story by Franz Hartman is about an occulist who sees a picture with moving eyes and has a table move toward him. He also has a strange woman come to his room and try to seduce him. Were these products of an overactive imagination or a very real peril to his life?
Sunday, March 14, 2010
The Mark of the Beast by Rudyard Kipling is a story about what happens in a time and place East of Suez where the veneer of civilization wears very thin. Strange religious ceremonies are held that turn a man into a beast much like a werewolf. A leper proves to be a formidable opponent. Can the narrator help his friend? Find out.
Various legends and myths make Lilith, Adam's first wife, the mother of all vampires or all succubi. According to the myth, Lilith refused to subjugate herself to Adam and demanded to be his equal. She might have been the first feminist. For her defiance, she paid an awful price. The Angels killed her children, and she in turn swore vengeance on the descendent of Adam. There are 4000-year-old stone carvings of Lilith. The presence of the carving does not necessarily make her real. However, for people to have taken the trouble to make carvings of her meant she was of more than minor significance. There are legends of vampires in many other cultures separated from the civilizations that arose in Mesopotamia and its neighboring areas.
I believe one way to look at the vampire is to see the creature as humanity disowning its own evil intent. We invent the creature and give it lust and other qualities we deny exist in ourselves. After millenniums passed, the vampire arrived in literature. First in John Polypore's The Vampyre, then in Carmilla" by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, and finally in Dracula by Bram Stoker. It is worth noting that Lord Ruthven in Vampire and Carmilla both appear as "normal" human beings. However, Dracula is described as thin, with a long white mustache, pointed ears and sharp teeth. He is dressed all in black and has hair on his palms. Jonathan Harker notes his "extraordinary" pallor.
I believe Dracula was depicted to make him an evil looking creature, not one of us. A hundred years pass, and vampires are once again indistinguishable from us. In many novels, they are creatures of great beauty and allure. In recent novels, they have been tamed, and were it not for their thirst for blood and immortality, they could probably join the Chamber of Commerce. But in 2007, continuing into 2008 and 2009, a worldwide financial catastrophe brings forth a different vampire. These vampires do not take in blood, nor are they immortal and have inhuman strength. Rather, these vampires sucked the financial blood of the nation that a second Great Depression was only narrowly averted. These vampires are bankers, brokers, heads of investment firms, mortgage agents, and a host of others who fed on society's greed for bigger, better houses.
Vampires will always be among us. For they are "us" in our worst aspects. Whether in the form of the myth or the reality of people so greedy they would destroy an economy, they are us.