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Beau Wright
Beau Wright

Blood Kisses 2005l



Vampire fiction is rooted in the "vampire craze" of the 1720s and 1730s, which culminated in the somewhat bizarre official exhumations of suspected vampires Petar Blagojevich and Arnold Paole in Serbia under the Habsburg monarchy. One of the first works of art to touch upon the subject is the short German poem The Vampire (1748) by Heinrich August Ossenfelder, where the theme already has strong erotic overtones: a man whose love is rejected by a respectable and pious maiden threatens to pay her a nightly visit, drink her blood by giving her the seductive kiss of the vampire and thus prove to her that his teaching is better than her mother's Christianity. Furthermore, there have been a number of tales about a dead person returning from the grave to visit his/her beloved or spouse and bring them death in one way or another, the narrative poem Lenore (1773) by Gottfried August Bürger being a notable 18th-century example (though the apparently returned lover is actually revealed to be death himself in disguise). One of its lines, Denn die Todten reiten schnell ("For the dead ride fast"), was to be quoted in Bram Stoker's classic Dracula. A later German poem exploring the same subject with a prominent vampiric element was The Bride of Corinth (1797) by Goethe, a story about a young woman who returns from the grave to seek her betrothed:




Blood Kisses 2005l



The story is turned into an expression of the conflict between Heathendom and Christianity: the family of the dead girl are Christians, while the young man and his relatives are still pagans. It turns out that it was the girl's Christian mother who broke off her engagement and forced her to become a nun, eventually driving her to her death. The motive behind the girl's return as a "spectre" is that "e'en Earth can never cool down love". Goethe had been inspired by the story of Philinnion by Phlegon of Tralles, a tale from classical Greece. However, in that tale, the youth is not the girl's betrothed, no religious conflict is present, no actual sucking of blood occurs, and the girl's return from the dead is said to be sanctioned by the gods of the Underworld. She relapses into death upon being exposed, and the issue is settled by burning her body outside of the city walls and making an apotropaic sacrifice to the deities involved.


In a passage in his epic poem The Giaour (1813), Lord Byron alludes to the traditional folkloric conception of the vampire as a being damned to suck the blood and destroy the life of its nearest relations:


Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897) has been the definitive description of the vampire in popular fiction for the last century. Its portrayal of vampirism as a disease (contagious demonic possession), with its undertones of sex, blood, and death, struck a chord in a Victorian Britain where tuberculosis and syphilis were common.


Stoker likely drew inspiration from Irish myths of blood-sucking creatures. He was also influenced by Le Fanu's Carmilla. Le Fanu was Stoker's editor when Stoker was a theater critic in Dublin, Ireland. Like Le Fanu, Stoker created compelling female vampire characters such as Lucy Westenra and the Brides of Dracula.


Though Stoker's Count Dracula remained an iconic figure, especially in the new medium of cinema, as in the film Nosferatu, 20th-century vampire fiction went beyond traditional Gothic horror and explored new genres such as science fiction. An early example of this is Gustave Le Rouge's Le prisonnier de la planète Mars (1908) and its sequel La guerre des vampires (1909), in which a native race of bat-winged, blood-drinking humanoids is found on Mars. In the 1920 novella La Jeune Vampire (The Young Vampire), by J.-H. Rosny aîné, vampirism is explained as a form of possession by souls originating in another universe known simply as the Beyond.


Possibly the most influential example of modern vampire science fiction is Richard Matheson's I Am Legend (1954).[11] The novel is set in a future Los Angeles overrun with undead cannibalistic/bloodsucking beings. The protagonist is the sole survivor of a pandemic of a bacterium that causes vampirism. He must fight to survive attacks from the hordes of nocturnal creatures, discover the secrets of their biology, and develop effective countermeasures. The novel was adapted into three movies: The Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Price in 1964, The Omega Man starring Charlton Heston in 1971, and I am Legend (film) starring Will Smith in 2007.


The 1981 novel The Hunger (adapted as a film in 1983) continued the theme of open sexuality and examined the biology of vampires, suggesting that their special abilities were the result of physical properties of their blood. The novel suggested that not all vampires were undead humans, but some were a separate species that had evolved alongside humans. This interpretation of vampires has since then been used in several science-fiction stories dealing with vampires, most famously the Blade movie series. The 1982 novel Fevre Dream by notable author George R. R. Martin tells the tale of a race of living vampires, extremely human-like but obligate predators on humans, set in the Mississippi Riverboat era, where one of them has developed a dietary supplement to "cure" them, and is fighting for the right and opportunity to distribute it.


The traits of the literary vampire have evolved from the often repulsive figures of folklore. Fictional vampires can be romantic figures, often described as elegant and sexy (compare demons such as succubi and incubi). This is in stark contrast to the vampire of Eastern European folklore, which was a horrifying animated corpse. However, as in folklore, the literary vampire is sustained by drinking blood. They do not need other food, water, or even oxygen. They are sometimes portrayed as being unable to eat human food at all, forcing them to either avoid public dining or mime chewing and eating to deceive their mortal victims. The fictional vampire, however, often has a pale appearance rather than the dark or ruddy skin of folkloric vampires and their skin is cool to the touch. As in folklore, literary vampires can usually be warded off with garlic and symbols of the Christian faith, such as holy water, a crucifix, or a rosary.


Some tales maintain that vampires must return to a coffin or to their "native soil" before sunrise to take their rest safely. Others place native soil in their coffins, especially if they have relocated. Still other vampire stories, such as Le Fanu's Carmilla, maintain that vampires must return to their coffins, but sleep in several inches of blood as opposed to soil. Vampires are generally held to be unable to bear children, though the concept of a "half vampire" and similar creatures does exist in folklore and in some modern fiction. Some fictional vampires are fascinated with counting, an idea derived from folk stories about vampires being compelled to stop and count any spilled grain that they find in their path. The most famous fictional counting vampire is likely the Muppet character Count von Count on television's Sesame Street. Other examples include a fifth season episode of the X-Files titled Bad Blood, and the Discworld novel, Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett. Some modern fictional vampires are portrayed as having magical powers beyond those originally assigned by myth, typically also possessing the powers of a witch or seer. Such examples include Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Drusilla was a seer before she was a vampire, and carried those powers into her undeath), and Olivia Nightshade from The Nightshade Chronicles. Also, vampires from the Vampire Academy books, also known as the moroi, are skilled in elemental magic. Also, in the Twilight series, certain vampires appear to have special gifts like Edward (telepathy), Alice (visions), Bella (shielding), that are either supernatural or evolved from their own personalities like Victoria (survival instinct).


Proinsias Cassidy, the supporting lead male in Garth Ennis' comic book series Preacher (DC/Vertigo, 1995), is a vampire of Irish origin. In addition, many major superheroes have faced vampire supervillains at some point. In the Belgo-French comic Le Bal du rat mort,[37] police inspector Jean Lamorgue is a hybrid vampire and he is a king of rats. He is guiding an invasion of rats in Ostend and he sucks the blood of his human victims.


More importantly, buried in Ateba's unconscious, is the fearand hatred she has developed for the opposite sex because of thelatter's oppressive tendencies vis-a-vis women. Each time she has anencounter with a male, the fear and hatred she feels for the latter come tothe surface. For example, her first encounter with Jean Zepp makes herimagine she is being raped by the former even without him touching her and> (Suddenly, ... she starts howling, she is afraid, she isdizzy, she hurts) (Soleil, p.16).. Ateba's reaction to her physicalcontact with Jean Zepp resonates that of an individual suffering fromposttraumatic stress disorder and confirms the fact that she suffers fromanthrophobia. Even though Jean Zepp only kisses her in the end, she burstsinto tears and begins to recount man's sins against her and women ingeneral.


The treatment of quasi-homoeroticism in Soleil through massagingand caressing suggests that female victims of oppression may opt forhomosexuality. However, before this phenomenon occurs in the life of anindividual, there must have been events that predispose her to that type ofsexuality. It is necessary to consider that homoeroticism suggests thatpatients suffer from a sexuality disorder which according to Freud stems frominappropriate identification with the opposite-sex parent during thepsychosexual stage of development (R.S. Feldman, 1996). While Adesanmi (2006)accuses Beyala of phallu-phobia, a more objective look would rather suggestthat Beyala's writing is an act of subversion tilted towards saying theformerly unspeakable in order to realistically reflect the reality ofoppressed women/female children. J.F. Ndongo's observation in C.Sale's (2005) Calixthe Beyala: Analyse semiotique de Tut'appelleras Tanga confirms the fact that with Beyala, feminist writingescaped from the box of modest and classic tradition of African feministprecursors to brilliantly outpour sentences that bear libidinous and lewdthemes. Beyala's era is therefore that of an era where emergingFrancophone feminist writers decide to choose a language that is apt inportraying the psychologically debilitating conditions of women and femaleadolescents in patriarchal African societies like the one described inSoleil. It is a path Ateba embarks upon to revalorise the female genderridding her of the masculine waste deposited into her body by man andpurifying woman of man's > (unpleasantblood) (Soleil, p.90) which in Ateba's view corresponds to dirt andmiasma.


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