Why are Vampires So Intriguing?

10 06 2009

Stories of blood drinking demons and deities have been around for many centuries. Although slightly different, vampiric like creatures can be found in the myths and legends of many cultures and civilizations around the world.

Different than many of the ancient blood-drinking creatures, the modern vampire is often more sensual, with human feelings and emotions. Although modern vampires resemble humans and often have human feelings and emotions, they also have super strength and the ability to heal. To me, the most intriguing aspect of the vampire is immortality. What would I do with immortality? What would it be like to watch everyone I love die? What would it be like to live 400 years from now?

The first vampire that caught my interest was Louie in Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice. Louie struggles to keep his humanity while dealing with the “needs” of the vampire way of life and later, with the changes in society through the long decades of his lonely life.

Another popular vampire series (which I love) is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy is a young girl who is the “chosen one.” She must be a vampire slayer while dealing with everyday issues such as love, family, and high school. She even falls in love with a vampire “Angel”, who has a soul.

In most modern vampire stories, the vampires are thought of as creatures without a soul. In Twilight, the main character Edward (my latest obsession), is a vampire who believes he has no soul. Although he is in love with a human, he feels like a monster and does not want to damn her to a soulless existence.

Indeed, I prefer modern vampires who are more human than barbaric . Vampires dealing with the questions of their existence, the possibility of a soul, and the agony of loosing their humanity are philosophical creatures.  Perhaps this is why vampire stories continue to intrigue us. Even Angelina Jolie has been quoted (unsourced) as saying that while other kids wanted to be ballerinas, she sort of wanted to be a vampire.




2 responses

11 06 2009
Inanna Arthen

Believe it or not, the “angsting vampire” wrestling with his evil nature is at least as old as the 1847 “penny dreadful,” *Varney the Vampyre.* As soon as English-speaking writers started playing with the vampire trope, they were exploring the implications of immortality, power, and all that good stuff that keeps this genre so vital.

You might enjoy Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s Saint-Germain series, if the question of immortality and its attendant disadvantages intrigues you!

12 06 2009

Hummmm…..that is interesting. Thanks for the reading suggestion. I have been looking for something to fill the hole left behind when I finished the Twilight series.

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