Saturday, I attend the Fresh Fiction sponsored panel at our local Barnes and Noble. The topic discussed: getting fresh with vampires. No, not that fresh (although Robert Pattinson’s name did come up more than once). Instead, the panel explored the sensuality of the vampire, the appeal of the bad boy and the evolution of the trope that began with vampires as the villains.
Fresh Looks, Fresh Thoughts
Some of the questions asked included why do vampires appeal? Particularly as romantic leads? Does your first experience with vampires color the rest? For example, if you watched the Lugosi vampire films or Langella, would you have a different perspective from the person who may have read Anne Rice’s angst ridden gothic vampires?
Potentially, the answer is yes. In the 80s, vampires were still very much powerful, creatures of the night. It was rare to trust one and rarer still that the vampire would be worthy of the trust. No matter how good their intentions, their blood lust was a biological imperative – they had to have blood. Grief could send them into a tailspin or make them go dormant. Many vampires went to ground or to the sun when they could no longer bear their existence. Yet the bane in those days was not the drinking of blood or taking of lives – the bane was their longevity.
It was the endless nights without the kiss of the sun to mark time and watching civilizations decay while they remained ever the same. It was living as observers in a world where ever-mercurial humans changed in fashion, music, the arts and even religion on whims. Time was the bane of the vampire’s existence. This angst ate away at his or her sanity, driving them to connect with other vampires to assuage the loneliness within and finding that even that was not enough.