Reuters: The Impact of Vampires on Pop Culture

Starting the day off with what should be a good discussion, Reuters takes a look at how vampire books and movies have impacted our culture, especially for teens today.  The discussion started after a man broke into a woman’s house this weekend and claimed to be a 500 year old vampire.  Reuters talks to Anne Rice, who gave us my first vampire crush, Lestat, and even mentions the RPG Vampire, the Masquerade.

But no look at vampires in pop culture would be complete without a mention of Twilight.  Dr. Thomas Garza, who teaches what sounds like a fascinating class on vampire lore at the University of Texas, had this to say about our favorite vampires:

“I would say that it is the Twilight saga in particular that has brought out the younger teen fans. In that connection, Edward is a very ‘safe’ vampire, a kind of ‘starter vamp’ for beginners, if you will,” Garza said.

“He’s pretty, yes, so the seduction’s there, but he’s more than reluctant to act on his and Bella’s sexual desires. He can go out in daylight – and even ‘sparkles’ in the sun, giving him a completely non-threatening character. He drives a Volvo, for goodness sake.”

So what do you think?  How do you think vampires have effected pop culture and the lives of teens today?  Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Read the whole story at Reuters.

Comments

  1. I’ve read negative comments by die-hard vampire lovers that Edward isn’t a “real vampire”. That “real vampires” don’t sparkle. To that lunacy, I say: UH…PEOPLE….VAMPIRES AREN’T REAL…PERIOD!!! None of them are!!! Not Lestat, not Dracula and not Edward. These are fictional characterizations and each author has the liberty to twist around so-called “classic” vampire mythology all they want. To look down on Twilight and Edward as just a “starter vamp” is condescending.

    • It is condescending, and just plain silly! If you really think about Stephenie Meyer’s vampires, they are a lot scarier than most others, because there’s no way for a human to fight back. You’d have to hope that you either had a Cullen or a Quileute around to protect you!

      • CullenCoven says:

        And instead of two clean little holes in the neck, Twivamps rip your whole freaking throat out! And we aren’t a danger to them at all. Humans are comletely at Twivamps mercy. So they are scarrier. Than Dracula and Nosferatu in a way

  2. It’s interesting that Stephenie Meyer recreated some aspects of the vampires of late 18th c and early 19th c literature. Beautiful but pale and cold to the touch. No fangs, talons, pointy ears etc. Has human lovers (usually exploitative or lethal, but so were the Denali sisters before becoming ‘vegetarians’). No burning in sunlight (an invention of the 1922 film Nosferatu). See Polidori’s The Vampyre, Goethe’s Bride of Corinth.

    Description of Clarimonde in Gautier’s La Morte Amoureuse (1836):

    “She was so white that the colour of the drapery blended with that of her flesh under the pallid rays of the lamp. Enveloped with this subtle tissue which betrayed all the contour of her body, she seemed rather the marble statue of some fair antique bather than a woman endowed with life. But dead or living, statue or woman, shadow or body, her beauty was still the same, only that the green light of her eyes was less brilliant, and her mouth, once so warmly crimson, was only tinted with a faint tender rosiness, like that of her cheeks.

    … The fresh coolness of Clarimonde’s skin penetrated my own, and I felt voluptuous tremors pass over my whole body.”

    (In later appearances in the dreamworld shared with her lover, Clarimonde appears as she did in life.)

  3. “The discussion started after a man broke into a woman’s house this weekend and claimed to be a 500 year old vampire. ” *facepalm*
    Anyone familiar with Memebase? Insert the “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore” meme here. LOL

  4. smitten_by_twilight says:

    Yeah, that guy’s got some serious psychosis potential.

    Ok, so describing Edward as pretty is a slam – but it’s true. Edward is described in rather feminine terms, but he can’t help how he looks. People tend to overlook Emmett and Jasper, who have been described as insanely attractive, but never fem. And people always seem to overlook (and I did at first, too) how similar Rice’s and Meyer’s vampires really are – Rice’s vampires may not sparkle, but they do luminesce, or something. And Edward could kick Lestat’s behind.

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