I shared a cabin with Margot Adler and some other presenters at the Florida Pagan Gathering four years ago. At that point she had read about seventy vampire novels and was still going strong, looking for the answer to the question, “Why do literary vampires fascinate us?”
Now she thinks she knows:
Every age embraces the vampires it needs, writes feminist author Nina Auerbach in her book, Our Vampires, Ourselves. Every age uses vampires to express their fears and concerns, writes Eric Nuzum, in his book, The Dead Travel Fast.
In 1897 when Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, England had the largest ports in the world. There was fear of incoming disease, of foreigners, of immigration. And Stoker created the perfect monster, Eastern European, bringing dirt from a foreign land. You can do this for every period that has had a wave of interest in vampires. In the 80’s, with Aids, vampires were often described in novels as parasites. You became infected by vampirism, like a disease.
Here is the whole text and video of her recent presentation. Read it, and the title of this post will make sense.