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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Online Artifact--- The Vampire Mythos

For my online artifact I chose a blog posting entitled Women and the New Vampire Mythos by S.E Smith. I chose this blog because I found it interesting and relevant to our discussions of not only Carmilla, but also relevant to many of the stories we have read or will read during this class.
            In short the blog discusses the role of women in a vampire novel, and how it has changed greatly from the times when The Vampyre and Carmilla were written. In the blog it discusses how women have taken on a much stronger role within the stories of today’s age compared to the frail innocent creatures that women were depicted as in older vampire stories. The author discusses many different stories including Carmilla and True Blood.
            What truly grabbed my attention to this blog wasn’t the discussions in the blog as much as the diction used in the blog. Although the author of this blog only uses their initials, from the word choices I can tell that the blog was written by a woman. For example when the author is discussing the difference in 19th century vampire literature to today’s she states;
            You want to talk about a vampire trend which was harmful to women, let’s talk 19th century Gothic vampire literature, people, because this shit gets ugly, and the difference between Gothic and Modern works is pretty radical, yet at the same time, a lot of things stay the same.”
            Just by reading this tiny sentence in this blog I can discern that the author is female. Since she defends women so strongly in this sentence it almost radiates her gender.
            Another point of interest to me in this blog is that the author connected how sexuality and the ideas of it in a vampire novel have changed, yet stayed the same. The author points out how the idea of a man’s sexuality has changed somewhat since the earlier writings, but how the women’s role still has not yet changed completely. To support her theory she uses the example of Carmilla and how it is assumed that she was a lesbian, and because of that she was made to be an evil creature, and she is in the end punished for her sexuality. The author then goes on to give an example from the modern age and uses True Blood.
            I believe this piece is well written for a blog. Once I read the piece once over I knew right away from the diction and tone of the piece that it was written specifically for a blog. The piece is not scholarly, and does not cite references. The piece is more toned down, and to me it seems the audience is more likely to be a normal person who is browsing for information about vampires. The author uses slang and curse words in her piece which makes the piece more down to earth as well.
            I found the piece in whole entertaining. The ideas the author touches on are very large ideas, especially in the world of vampires, and to be honest the piece could have touched on more details, however because the piece seems to be more of an opinion than a educational blog it works well for its purpose.
            The reason I chose this piece and its relevance to Carmilla is because of its discussion of sexuality. The novella deals with sexuality, not only sexuality, but lesbianism. For this time period when this story was written it was something very radical to write about. When I first read this story I was honestly shocked that it was even allowed to be written during that time period. I have always noticed a line between sexuality and the vampire, as many of the stories I have read are of the modern era, and have found the whole idea of it positively interesting, especially in Anne Rice’s stories, however I will wait to discuss that until the right time.
            Overall I thought this blog was very good, and brings up a lot of different points for discussion. It’s one of those pieces that you read, and then try to google more information about.


1 comment:

  1. I really liked this blog. I think the author was spot on in that many of the women in Gothic novels seem to be just waiting around for a big strong man to come and save their helpless selves from the scary monster, be it actual or metaphorical. I think she is right in that even in so called feminist shows like Buffy, there is still a big strong man character. It seems that we really can't have an actual self-rescuing princess and we're doomed to have women who need a man to save them in the end.