Sunday, February 05, 2006

What else I am reading

For light entertainment I am reading two anthologies I acquired at the Hockessin Library annual book sale: The Many Faces of Van Helsing: Original Stories Featuring the Original Vampire Hunter, edited by Jeanne Cavelos, and Rivals of Dracula, edited by Robert Weinberg, Stefan Dziemianowicz and Martin Greenberg.

Both anthologies have stories by Tanith Lee, whose novel The Silver Metal Lover is a lifetime favorite of mine.

Last night I watched three episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Two: Innocence, Phases, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, and Passion. These are the first four episodes of the Angel Goes Bad arc that made Season Two arguably the best season of that excellent television series.

I'm not sure why the vampire myth appeals to me as no other horror fiction motif. It must have to do with the inside-out echoes of Catholicism, where the Blood is also the Life.

But the vampire as the negative- or anti- Christ is not the crux of it. I think the crux of it is that the vampire myth of all horror motifs exposes the anguish of damnation. The horror of being human with all human passions, but stripped of warmth and love.

Joss Whedon's vampires are not all damned and his tinkering with tradition makes for a world where creatures hunger not just for the blood of innocents but for redemption.

Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.

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