Archive for the 'Vampires' Category

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

December 22nd, 2011

Harkness, Deborah. (2011) A Discovery of Witches. Vol. 1, All Souls Trilogy. Penguin, USA, NY.

Trade publication December 27th. The All Souls Trilogy’s second volume, Shadow of Night, comes out this summer of 2012. A Discovery has been optioned by Warner Bros. for a film treatment.

A copy of A Discovery of Witches paperback is available from Penguin.  Just comment below, I’ll organize a drawing of the commentators’ names, announce the winner here, and forward your contact info to the Penguin publicity department.

There are no spoilers in the following thoughts about A Discovery of Witches, or at least no more than what a reader finds in cover and jacket copy.

Cross-posted to Fox Home and Fox Hall.

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A Discovery of Witches is an engrossing science fiction & fantasy novel, as opposed to an engrossing science fiction or fantasy novel, because it is both science fiction and fantasy. Its only contemporary rival for excellence in this small science fiction and fantasy crossbreed is this year’s World Fantasy Award winner, Who Fears Death (2010, DAW) by Nnedi Okorafor.

Within A Discovery’s pages the reader will engage with the history of science, philosophical and alchemical treatises, Darwin and DNA, political and material history, medieval Romances and their nexis with fantastic literature, and the great Elizabethan playwrights.  The author’s day job is as professor of history at the University of Southern California. Her scholarly work includes The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution (2007, Yale University Press), which was the winner of the Pfizer Prize for Best Book in the History of Science from 2005-2007, presented by the History of Science Society. The reader doesn’t have to know this about the author, however, for A Discovery to emit all the allure of old jewels and the enticement of bright chemicals in combination with precious metals.

Diana Bishop is our protagonist, a young woman with whom an ancient vampire falls in love, in one of the reading rooms of Oxford’s Bodelian Library. So, it’s hard then, not to have Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight come to mind.

Sarah Seltzer at Alternet recently tried to get at aspects of Twilight that some adult readers find troubling:

“Violent Vampire Sex, Demon-Babies and Overwhelming Female Desire. Twilight is saturated with sexist tropes–to the point of being disturbing. But that disturbing element is compelling, too . . . . “

 . . . . But as for the substance of her wants, therein lies the perversely haunting twist. I’d argue that Bella’s desires are direct responses to the patriarchy we actually live in. In fact, Meyer has created for her heroine an inverted version of our unjust society. In this invented, inverted world, Bella is allowed to want sex, and vocalize it, and initiate it, while her partner is the gatekeeper who makes sure she is safe and married before she gets “hurt.” In her world, the men around her urge her to abort her fetus for her own safety, but she gets to “choose” to deliver it even though it kills her. In her world, her boyfriend can urge her to attend college and better herself while she can push for an early marriage–and be right! In her world, she can reject her body and trade it in for a new one that is agile, strong, lithe. Her choices are consistently to fall into the arms of the patriarchy and trust that it will catch her, and her faith is validated: she gets a perfect husband, angelic child, new body.

What if we could do this, the fantasy suggests? What if we could just will ourselves to accept the prescribed roles society gives us (damsel in distress, object of protection, vessel for childbearing) and make it okay through the power of our wills? And what if the men in our society were horrified by their power: physical, social, sexual, and curbed it themselves and we didn’t constantly have to be on our guard?

Some critics dismissed A Discovery of Witches when the ARCs and other promotion for the novel appeared, as more of the paranormal / urban fantasy / romance generic tropes: the special cipher a la Bella, helpless as can be but firming her feisty chin as her gorgeous vampire boyfriend indulges and protects her. Most of all the romantic male primary loves Bella because he can’t help himself — the smell of her special blood is just so enticing! His love object lacks any other qualities that tend to attract love, such as character and personality, curiosity, intelligence, education, knowledge of the world, interests or achievements, even a sense of humor. Bella is special because — other exceptional figures such as vampires and werewolves love her, and they love her because of how she smells. A Discovery’s romantic male lead is Matthew, a 1500 year old vampire of vast wealth, intellectual brilliance and military prowess. He adores how Diana smells, he protects her. All his family loves Diana. Not the least of his attractions, Matthew owns his own jet and helicopters — yes helicopters, plural. So, in the initial pages Ms. Harkness seems to have broken out the parts of the Twilightiad that are compelling wish fulfillment for the female adolescent reader.  Diana’s a witch who is special even among other witches, though in childhood, Diana chose to secede from her witch heritage, refusing even the minimum training in spells that all witches, however powerful or weak, are obligated to receive.

However, A Discovery of Witches isn’t what that description leads one to expect. Diana narrates in first person, providing only as much information about herself as we need, when we need it. Mostly she’s asking herself questions of history, of science, of families – all things outside herself, things that are bigger than she is, even though the author does make sure we know those around Diana regard her as special. Still, Diana’s specialness doesn’t overwhelm the narration since the author’s good judgment breaks up Diana’s voice with third person point of view of various other protagonists. There’s sly humor — every time Matthew picks up Diana, or thinks about how she smells, I swear Harkness is winking at Bella and Edward, and at us too. Whereas Bella wants to never grow up, Diana is living an adult’s life, though so far she’s been denying herself much of what she’s earned by her own efforts. Diana’s family and Matthew’s family bond through their mutual love of the two lovers. Merging families of creatures who are unlike and traditionally at odds is purposeful in terms the Great Mysteries we’re delving into. Diana’s specialness is because she’s a hardworking, disciplined scholar who delights in things scientific and historic, things beautiful, who is loyal, courageous, possesses integrity and her own sense of honor. That her smell happens to so appeal to Matthew is langniappe — he smells just as good to her. If you wish to get subtextual, you can say the way they smell to each other signifies that together they possesses the qualities they need for the great quest of the trilogy. They are equally matched lovers, who don’t waste their precious energies engaging in the contrivances of – “I hate you but I love you, O what will I /we do, separations and mis-communications.” That Diana and Matthew are matched agencies who are true lovers is essential to the plot of this novel, and will play an even greater role as the trilogy progresses. They are the Lovers of the Tarot and alchemy, whose conjucio could have a conceptio that might redeem the world. A Disovery of Witches is, among other things, a quest to discover the beginnings of all things in order to continue all things. One of the essential questions is, “Is immortality the same as never dying?” There are many ghosts in A Discovery, most of them Diana’s relatives. They speak to her, and she to them.  Are they persons then?

The four sentient species of A Discovery are called “creatures.” The creatures are divided among vampires, witches, daemons and humans. There is council called the Congregation that governs their dealings with each other, with places for three members each representing vampires, witches and daemons. As there are no human representatives seated with the Congregation there are no humans in A Discovery of Witches (at least in this first volume of the trilogy, other than spear carriers who, generally, are besottted with the individuals of the other creatures who are our protagonists and antagonists. This is the hierarchy of A Discovery’s world, a hierarchy like that of the world view that preceeded and remained in most places contemporaneous with alchemy’s groping toward the scientific method: God, angels, humans, animals. Or in terms of worldly power, the Pope and his Church, King and his warrior nobles, the merchants, finally serfs and peasants. In A Discovery, vampires are the aristocratic military rank of the creatures, witches the material intelligence, daemons the creative intelligence, and humans are the serfs. Humans are relegated to useful servants – or food — though the other three creature species conceal themselves from humans since humans have long outbred the other three divisions of creatures.

Eceptionalism is the potent point of much science fiction and fantasy. Whether YA or adult, the protagonist is part of that imaginary world’s 1%, or if not starting there, will end up in that bracket. Thus, if the science fiction field really is an American conceptio, i.e. U.S. invention, as is often claimed, this exceptionalism reflects our ingrained national self-regard. This can be troublesome when looked at closely. What else that can be disturbing within the context of novels like A Discovery, is that the exceptional achievements in history, the arts and sciences, all, or most, are the production of these supernatural creatures. Within A Discovery humans have nothing to do with even the ending WWII. Entertainments like A Discovery of Witches, or Seth Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, in which significant events of good or evil of our own recorded history are attributed to supernatual agency seem increasingly a given. Humans are not responsible for what, in fact, we know we are responsible, whether the plays of Shakespeare or slavery.

Food for thought indeed, and A Discovery of Witches provides us a banquet of ideas to consider. For instance, there are the questions of time. What is the past? Where is it? Perhaps fairyland is the past, the dimension that we can enter, if we know the right things? Diana – and we — have a guide into these unknown historic eras, Matthew, who assures Diana, that in the past she will yearn with a passion she cannot now in present time even imagine — hot water. This has me impatient for the next volume, Shadow of Night, to see where these questions lead Harkness and her characters.

 

Forthcoming Vampire Films – London Times

August 17th, 2008

This article deals with vampires in the movie versions only, even if the movies mentioned were adapted from original novels.  It includes a brief chronology of vampires on film which can be a quickie refresher for those who have read any or all of the books published on this subject, and watched all the films.  Oddly, Buffy’s not mentioned.

This forthcoming film sounds interesting, so I’ll be watching out for it:

Meanwhile, although the vampire in Let the Right One In is altogether more dangerous, she symbolises as much the dark side of the human psyche as an external threat. “I was thinking about these two characters as though they are mirrors,” Alfredson, the director, says. “She is everything that he is not. She is awake when he is asleep: he is very afraid, she is very brave; she is strong, he is weak; she’s dark, he is blond. She is everything that he would need to be to survive. They are two sides of the same coin.”

The vampire craze shows no signs of abating. An English language remake of Let the Right One In has been announced. With three remaining books in the Twilight saga, there is potential for a vampire franchise. And although the Twilight books series is complete, Nash reveals that “Stephenie does have the bare bones of a chapter of a book provisionally titled Midnight Sun, which is the Twilight story but from the point of view of the vampire not the human girl”.

  Love, C.

For Love of A Vampire: Twilight & True Blood

July 30th, 2008

O noes!

Twilight’s got all the cooties: romance, girl and YA — no Harry Potter adulation for this series.   Shoot, it’s as bad as Sex and the City, except – it haz shoes? It should haz belly dancing.  Does it?  Myself does not know,  not being a romance fan nor generally a YA reader. (I am a fan of belly dancing, and for long time now.)

Salon dot com analyzes.

[   No wonder the media has heralded Twilight as the next Harry Potter and Meyer as the second coming of J.K. The similarities, however, are largely commercial. It’s hard to see how Twilight could ever approach Harry Potter as a cultural phenomenon for one simple reason: the series’ fan base is almost exclusively female. The gender imbalance is so pronounced that Kaleb Nation, an enterprising 19-year-old radio show host-cum-author, has launched a blog called Twilight Guy, chronicling his experiences reading the books. The project is marked by a spirit that’s equal parts self-promotion and scientific inquiry — “I am trying to find why nearly every girl in the world is obsessed with the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer” — and its premise relies on the fact that, in even attempting this experiment, Nation has made himself an exceptional guy indeed.    ]This is an interesting piece, though, because it attempts to track similarities, if there are any, and contrasts, which there certainly are many, among Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the Harry Potter series and the Twilight series, and their audiences.


Another quote:

[  If Harry Potter has a vampire-loving, adolescent female counterpart, it’s Buffy Summers. ]  Continue Reading »

Buffy’s New Romance (Season 8)

March 5th, 2008

[ Mr. Whedon has developed their liaison over several issues. In No. 3 Buffy is overcome by a “Sleeping Beauty” spell undone only by a kiss from someone who loves her. In No. 4 Buffy realizes that Satsu saved her. Last month the pair discussed Satsu’s feelings. Buffy, although flattered by Satsu’s attentions, said the risks of involvement were too great. “People who love me tend to … oh, die,” she said. Or, she added, they leave, because “sooner or later everybody realizes there’s something wrong … something wrong with me, or around me.”

The matter seemed resolved, but in the newest issue, No. 12 — written by Drew Goddard, the screenwriter of “Cloverfield” — Buffy and Satsu are in bed, naked under the sheets. “It puts the reader in this ‘Oh my God’ moment,” Mr. Whedon said during a telephone interview. “And it puts Buffy in an ‘Oh my God, what did I just do?’ moment.”

But before fans start blogging frantically, they should know that Mr. Whedon is clear where this is headed. “We’re not going to make her gay, nor are we going to take the next 50 issues explaining that she’s not. She’s young and experimenting, and did I mention open-minded?” ]

 More here.

 Love, C.

Put Poetry in Your Blog Day

February 2nd, 2008

Two Visions of Vampires by two enduringly popular poets:


“Oil and Blood
By William Butler Yeats

In tombs of gold and lapis lazuli
Bodies of holy men and women exude
Miraculous oil, odour of violet.

But under heavy loads of trampled clay
Lie bodies of the vampires full of blood;
Their shrouds are bloody and their lips are wet.

. . . y, otra . . .  from Byron’s The Giaour  . . . .

A turban carved in coarsest stone,
A pillar with rank weeds o’ergrown,
Whereon can now be scarcely read
The Koran verse that mourns the dead,
Point out the spot where Hassan fell
A victim in that lonely dell.
There sleeps as true an Osmanlie
As e’er at Mecca bent the knee;
As ever scorn’d forbidden wine,
Or pray’d with face towards the shrine,
In orisons resumed anew
At solemn sound of “Alla Hu!”
Yet died he by a stranger’s hand,
And stranger in his native land;
Yet died he as in arms he stood,
And unavenged, at least in blood.
But him the maids of Paradise
Impatient to their halls invite,
And the dark Heaven of Houris’ eyes
On him shall glance for ever bright;
They come—their kerchiefs green they wave,
And welcome with a kiss the brave!
Who falls in battle ‘gainst a Giaour
Is worthiest an immortal bower.

But thou, false Infidel! shall writhe
Beneath avenging Monkir’s scythe;
And from its torments ‘scape alone
To wander round lost Eblis’ throne;
And fire unquench’d, unquenchable,
Around, within, thy heart shall dwell;
Nor ear can hear nor tongue can tell
The tortures of that inward hell!
But first, on earth as Vampire sent,
Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent:
Then ghastly haunt thy native place,
And suck the blood of all thy race;
There from thy daughter, sister, wife,
At midnight drain the stream of life;
Yet loathe the banquet which perforce
Must feed thy livid living corse:
Thy victims ere they yet expire
Shall know the demon for their sire,
As cursing thee, thou cursing them,
Thy flowers are withered on the stem.
But one that for thy crime must fall,
The youngest, most beloved of all,
Shall bless thee with a father’s name—
That word shall wrap thy heart in flame!
Yet must thou end thy task, and mark
Her cheek’s last tinge, her eye’s last spark,
And the last glassy glance must view
Which freezes o’er its lifeless blue;
Then with unhallow’d hand shalt tear
The tresses of her yellow hair,
Of which in life a lock when shorn
Affection’s fondest pledge was worn,
But now is borne away by thee,
Memorial of thine agony!
Wet with thine own best blood shall drip
Thy gnashing tooth and haggard lip;
Then stalking to thy sullen grave,
Go—and with Gouls and Afrits rave;
Till these in horror shrink away
From Spectre more accursed than they!

   

Joss Whedon – Season 8

August 4th, 2007

The Onion’s AV Club section of  August 2, 2007 issue has Joss Whedon as its cover feature.

The intereview talks extensively about Buffy, Season 8, the probable Season 9 — and the very probable Angel – After the Fall, Brian Lynch doing the outline. 

Which, of course, explains why Angel was always b and c level when compared to Buffy, coz the guy just doesn’t have the imagination, the emotional penetration or sense of rhythm that Whedon’s got.  It would all be great — except there was Buffy … and they dragged all the secondaries in, and that showed why they were the secondaries on Buffy, and not the primary.

He also speaks about the Wonder Woman project, as to why it didn’t work out, and very graciously too.

I checked on The Onion’s website, but though other articles included in this “AV Club” section are there, this isn’t listed.  It is in the paper edition though.  Vaquero very kindly picked it up and brought it home because he thought I’d be interested.  Wasn’t that sweet?

Love, C.

Christmas Story

December 24th, 2006

I meant to post this yesterday, on the solstice.

Consider it a sort of Christmas card to the blog.

“The Longest, Darkest Night”
by Lois Tilton

The little white lights, like stars.

There is a thin crust of icy snow on the ground. I hear it crunch under my feet. The air is still, crisp and silent. This is my favorite season of the year, the longest night. Somehow I almost feel … there only seems to be one word to describe it – alive.

In this weather I can pull my hood up over my head and wrap a scarf around my face without looking suspicious. To walk like this, out in the open street, is liberating, exhilarating. My step quickens without urgency. I have hours, the whole long night ahead of me.

I enjoy looking at the lights. Almost every house has a tree in the window, and most of the shrubbery outside is illuminated, too. On the corner – a magnificent spruce at least twenty feet high. There must be a thousand white lights.

I can remember the Christmas trees in our parlor when I was a child: those few minutes on Christmas Eve while the candles were lit, the glorious blaze of light. Oh, it was beautiful. And so painstaking to achieve, fastening each little holder, making sure the flame couldn’t touch another branch …

I hear voices up ahead, and I instinctively seek the shadows. It’s a group of children, boys heading home with skates and hockey sticks over their shoulders, strong and vital. I let them pass. Too many of them, and it’s early yet. Besides, I’m enjoying my walk.

A solitary jogger comes past me, stripes flashing silver on her sweatsuit’s arms and legs. The warm fog of her breath hangs in the crisp air, and I can sense the heat and sweat of her exertion, the strong, healthy pulse of blood through her body. I think, if she keeps going into the park, I’ll follow. But instead she turns onto another street, lit by the headlights as she runs against the traffic. I shrug and keep walking. There’ll be another, later on.

I think I hear a radio somewhere ahead, playing Christmas carols. Then I turn around a corner and see them – about two dozen people standing in a rough semicircle in front of a house on the next block, all wearing coats and boots and gloves. Singing.

I’m amazed. A caroling party! I can remember doing this, so long ago. Before …

I watch them, curious, as they finish the carol and move on to the next house, laughing as they get into position. There is a pause, then a woman’s voice begins to sing, and in a moment the rest are joining in: Silent night, holy night …

They go from house to house, closer to where I stand watching, listening. I’m not sure just what I’m doing here. There are twenty of them, at least. It’s late enough now that I’m starting to feel my hunger coming to life. I should be heading back to the shadows of the park, waiting for a solitary man out walking his dog, or a kid taking the shortcut home.

Instead, I’m standing here. It’s not that the singing is all that good. But it isn’t so bad, either, and most of them seem to know all the words to the verses. They’ve obviously rehearsed this, at least once or twice. I find it astonishing, in today’s world, that people would still do this simple sort of thing.

The stars in the sky looked down where he lay …

I glance upward, into the deep black of the sky. They still do.

But now the carolers are crossing the street, coming my way, and I know I’ve waited here too long, I can’t afford to draw attention to myself, let myself be seen. But I still don’t move as they assemble again in front of the brick colonial on the corner, not fifty feet from the tree where I’m standing in the shadow, and the leader begins the first notes of “O Holy Night.” The key she’s chosen is a little too high for most of the singers, and the song is a little ragged. I find myself silently forming the words along with her: the stars are brightly shining …

The thing that I’ve become has lost the capacity for tears. Yet I feel a deep melancholy welling up in my chest, the more painful because it has no means of release. My throat aches. A few yards from me the voices are falling away on the higher notes. The leader’s soprano is almost alone as she reaches the line: O hear the angel voices …

Then, without willing it, I hear my own tenor joining in, supporting her. O night divine!

Her eyes dart in delighted surprise toward the parkway where I’m standing in the tree’s shadow. Most of the others turn around to stare, but a few join in on the final notes. I can see the leader hesitate, but then she begins the more obscure second verse, and I’m with her, I still remember the words.

But it’s my voice that I can barely believe, even as I hear myself. Not in over a hundred years.

But the song comes to an end, and the leader turns around and hurries in my direction. I suddenly realize the tremendous reckless foolishness of what I’m doing, exposing myself this way. I’ve pulled my scarf down from my face so the words won’t be muffled, and now I pull it up again, shivering as if I were cold. I’ve schooled myself over the years not to flinch away from their eyes, but I’m still not ready for this encounter.

The woman is smiling – friendly, welcoming. I can sense the warmth of brandy on her breath and a suggestion of nutmeg – eggnog. Her cheeks are slightly flushed with it, and the cold, and the happiness of what we’ve just done, but the flush is blood, and the closeness of her is flooding my senses.

“That was lovely! We’d be so glad to have you join us,” she’s saying, but I back away a step, from the others surrounding her, the bloodwarmth of their presence, almost overwhelming.

“No,” I say, trying to keep my face in the shadow, “no, it’s already too late, I have to go …”

I hurry away, back toward the darkness and safety of the park. My hunger is aroused now, my senses are acute, but deep inside I’m shaken. The echo of the song, the thrill of the high, clear notes ringing in the air – had I really done that? I try to clear my throat, but all I manage is a constricted croak. After so many years …

It doesn’t matter. Nothing has changed. The night is silent. The loudest sound comes from the slow heartbeats of a nest of squirrels dormant in the branches of a nearby locust tree. I cross slowly to the other side of the park beyond the frozen lake. The floodlights where the hockey players had been skating are dark now. Everyone has gone home.

No. I hear them now, the sound of running shoes – crunch, crunch, hitting the snow-crusted pavement. Coming closer, the breath pumping in and out of his lungs, the warmth of it. A man in strong condition, his breathing is regular as he jogs, even in this cold. Plain gray sweatsuit, no reflective stripes, a navy watch cap pulled down over his ears.

I see where the path goes past a stand of trees, a good place for shadows. My hunger is working in me now. I pull the scarf away. By the time he sees my face, it will be too late.

A midnight clear. The stars in the sky look down, silent and bright and cold.

Where he lies. In the bloodstained snow.

Sleep in heavenly peace.

copyright 1991 by Lois Tilton

(6) Collecting Vampires

July 13th, 2006

 Deep Genre; Introduction; Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5;

Part 6

“Vampires” is a populous subgenre.  Perhaps you would like to create a work featuring a vampire or vampires, but, you wonder, being the professional genre writer that you are, “Will anybody be interested in another novel, another movie, another television program or a non-fiction study dealing with vampires? There have been so many since Stoker’s classic Dracula.“ 

Continue Reading »

(5) Virgin’s Diary: The Immigrant Seducer-Thief-Rapist

July 1st, 2006

Deep Genre; Introduction; Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 6;

Part 5

“It’s a seductive story: a mysterious foreigner, a beautiful young woman, blood and passion.” No wonder Lucy went pole dancing after Dracula jabbed her. Since this is also a ballet, in which the characters are played by beautiful faces and bodies,  this is a very different  vampiric ‘eastern’ threat than the hideously non-romantic dark force of Nosferatu, the cinematic model, who brings the Black Death to Europe.

Though the immigration theme is the weakest part of Virgin’s Diary it still is of interest in the concluding scenes.

“Stealing the substance of the west,” says the title card as Dracula steals Mina (danced by CindyMarie Small) away from the convent through a mysterious crack in the wall that leads to his castle realm.

Dracula’s coffin is stuffed with glowing green cash.  “Money stolen from England!” the title card informs us.

Immigrants steal our heart’s blood and our money, which in aggressive capitalist cultures, are interchangeable.  Stab Count Dracula, as Van Helsing does in the Diary and cold gold coins burst out of him, not hot blood.  The money scenes are the most colored of this mostly black and white film – green for money, gold for coins, red, of course, for the blood.  Stoker’s novel is permeated with references to cash and capital and the value of things.

The Outsider, the immigrant, also steals our women, our rightful possessions, and changes our women into the Other.  They lure our women with the promises of what we do not have –more hair, more exciting love-making (for being primitive they are less repressed, and more, um, endowed, so goes the mythology), a more open life.  They also steal the life force from True Men, if you wish to do a freudian reading in which the neck can stand in for the phallus.  These primitive forces rise against us, attempting to turn us into weaklings, female ourselves. Continue Reading »

(4) Virgin’s Diary: Mina the Authentic Virgin

June 30th, 2006

Deep Genre; Introduction; Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 5; Part 6;

Part 4

In Stoker’s era a woman who had sexually sinned was infectious, a contagious miasma. She who violated the sexual rule that she never submit but to her husband’s sexual appetite needed to be quarantined from all other respectable persons, especially other women, for they too might catch her evil taint. Therefore, as in Stoker’s novel, Mina (danced by CindyMarie Small) is not present during Dracula’s seduction of Lucy. In the film Mina’s at the nebulously located convent where her financé, Jonathan Harker, has taken refuge, ill from the erotic fog Dracula’s vampire harem cast over him.

The ballet enacts this via Mina’s reading of his journal.

In Stoker’s novel Mina’s letters, journals, her cutup of information out of newspapers and other sources (very modern structural technique here, as critics have noticed with joy), her skills with typewriter and stenography and knowledge of train schedules and all the other technical tools of Victorian capital administration are utilized by her. She tries to defeat Dracula by exercising the powers of her formidible mind – the mind that Van Helsing so admires that he elevates it to the status of her soul. Mina is active in her work to save Jonathan and herself, to track the monster, Dracula. Lucy merely submits. Writhing in voluptuous acquiescence, Lucy invites him in.

Continue Reading »

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