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ElizabethWatasin

'Tis Nyte! by Elizabeth Watasin

Gothic Steampunk, Noir Sci-Fi, Diesel Fantasy. Bringing You Uncanny Heroines in Adventuress Tales.

Currently reading

The Bombshell Manual of Style
Laren Stover, Ruben Toledo
The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence
Gavin de Becker
Xenolinguistics: Psychedelics, Language, and the Evolution of Consciousness
Allyson Grey, Diana Reed Slattery
In The Eye of The Beholder: A Novel of The Phantom of the Opera
Sharon E. Cathcart

Le Fanu's Carmilla, scholarly version!

Carmilla [Scholarly Edition with New Introduction, Annotations, Illustrations, and Appendices] (Valancourt Classics) - Sheridan LeFanu, Sheridan Le Fanu, Jamieson Ridenhour

I am really looking forward to this. I just read the free Gutenberg version and boy, is this a great Gothic and romantic ;), if you will, female vampire tale. And heck, it's rather sensual in a proper, Victorian fashion. Though Stoker's Dracula launched a thousand vampire tales 'cross time, space, and mediums, it wouldn't have happened without Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla (published 1871).

 

I've piles of non-fiction books set aside to research old revenant lore, because I like going all the way back to when these creatures of superstition were either more insidious (capable of returning to villages after rising from the grave and marrying and having children, yet responsible for horrible deaths at night), or grotesquely dead, like the Norse draugr. But Carmilla describes something about vampires that makes me wonder where Le Fanu's particular tradition of interpretation comes from---if he originated it, this interesting, sensual aspect of vampiric 'romantic' obsession. It's that aspect that influences Stoker's vampire, and of course gives us sensual vampires from Anne Rice's to Joss Whedon's to Stephenie Meyer's. I'm certain there's a scholarly (I'd hope) book out there already having traced this question!

 

From Carmilla :

 

"The vampire is prone to be fascinated with an engrossing vehemence,
resembling the passion of love, by particular persons. In pursuit of
these it will exercise inexhaustible patience and stratagem, for access
to a particular object may be obstructed in a hundred ways. It will
never desist until it has satiated its passion, and drained the very
life of its coveted victim. But it will, in these cases, husband and
protract its murderous enjoyment with the refinement of an epicure, and
heighten it by the gradual approaches of an artful courtship. In these
cases it seems to yearn for something like sympathy and consent. In
ordinary ones it goes direct to its object, overpowers with violence,
and strangles and exhausts often at a single feast."

 

~Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla

 

It yearns for something like sympathy and consent. *That* is evil, fascinating, and hot. :D