The vampire is one of the nineteenth century's most powerful surviving archetypes, owing largely to Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula, the Bram Stoker creation. Yet the figure of the vampire has undergone many transformations in recent years, thanks to Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and other works, and many young people now identify with vampires in complex ways.
Blood Read explores these transformations and shows how they reflect and illuminate ongoing changes in postmodern culture. It focuses on the metaphorical roles played by vampires in contemporary fiction and film, revealing what they can tell us about sexuality and power, power and alienation, attitudes toward illness, and the definition of evil in a secular age.
Scholars and writers from the United States, Canada, England, and Japan examine how today's vampire has evolved from that of the last century, consider the vampire as a metaphor for consumption within the context of social concerns, and discuss the vampire figure in terms of contemporary literary theory. In addition, three writers of vampire fiction--Suzy McKee Charnas (author of the now-classic Vampire Tapestry), Brian Stableford (writer of the lively and erudite novels Empire of Fear and Young Blood), and Jewelle Gomez (creator of the dazzling Gilda stories)--discuss their own uses of the vampire, focusing on race and gender politics, eroticism, and the nature of evil.
The first book to examine a wide range of vampire narratives from the perspective of both writers and scholars, Blood Read offers a variety of styles that will keep readers thoroughly engaged, inviting them to participate in a dialogue between fiction and analysis that shows the vampire to be a cultural necessity of our age. For, contrary to legends in which Dracula has no reflection, we can see reflections of ourselves in the vampire as it stands before us cloaked not in black but in metaphor.
This text exaimines the medical, historical and folklore literature on the subject of being buried alive and explores why fears of premature burial arose and whether they were warranted.
What lurks out there in the fog?
What was that eerie sound in the dead of night?
What flitted by at the end of the street, just beyond the farthest street lamp?
For centuries, people across the world have had a fascination with monsters and strange creatures. They marvel at the tales and legends of the Bigfoot of the Pacific Northwest; of the Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas; of the infamous and diabolical Moth-Man of West Virginia; of fire-breathing dragons; and of those dark denizens of the deep: lake monsters and sea serpents. But do such creatures really exist? Can it be true that our planet is home to fantastic beasts that lurk deep within its forests and waters? Memoirs of a Monster Hunter proves the answer is a resounding yes
In this follow-up to his wildly successful Three Men Chasing Monsters, paranormal investigator and author Nick Redfern chronicles his surreal road-trip through the United States and beyond in search of all-things monstrous. His strange adventures lasted five years and saw him doggedly pursuing a menagerie of creatures, including gargoyles, giant birds, and what some believe are living dinosaurs.
Follow Redfern as he:
- Explores the El Yunque rainforest of Puerto Rico in search of the terrifying Chupacabras: a razor-clawed, glowing-eyed beast that is part giant bat and part vampire.
- Seeks out the Goat Man: a menacing creature that evokes imagery of both demons and the fabled cloven-hoofed Centaurs of ancient mythology, and is said to inhabit the forests of East Texas.
- Chases after what many people believe are real-life, flesh-and-blood werewolves that surface from hidden lairs and prowl the countryside when the Moon is full.
Part X-Files, part Crocodile Hunter with a mix of Jurassic Park and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Memoirs of a Monster Hunter takes you on a roller-coaster ride into the unknown. Read personal accounts of the monsters that inhabit your wildest imagination and your worst nightmares. The creatures you were told couldn't possibly exist, really do.
Of course that monster hiding under your bed when you were little didn't really exist. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons--they're simply figments of our imagination, right? After all, their existence has never been scientifically proven. But there is one giant problem with such an easy dismissal of these creepy creatures: people keep encountering them.
Join occult scholar John Michael Greer for a harrowing journey into the reality of the impossible. Combining folklore, Western magical philosophy, and actual field experience, Monsters: An Investigator's Guide to Magical Beings is required reading for both active and armchair monster hunters. Between these covers you'll find a chilling collection of fiendish facts and folklore, including:
- Why true vampires are the least attractive--and most destructive--of all monsters
- The five different kinds of ghosts
- Magical origins of the werewolf legends
- How to survive a chimera encounter (Jersey Devil, chupacabra, Mothman)
- The hidden connections between faery lore and UFOs
- Where dragons are found today
- How to investigate a monster sighting
- Natural and ritual magic techniques for dealing with hostile monsters
This 10th anniversary edition of the quintessential guide to magical beings features a new preface, new chapters on chimeras and zombies, and updates on werewolves, dragons, and the fae.
Nina Auerbach shows how every age embraces the vampire it needs, and gets the vampire it deserves. Working with a wide range of texts, as well as movies and television, Auerbach locates vampires at the heart of our national experience and uses them as a lens for viewing the last two hundred years of Anglo-American cultural history.Auerbach] has seen more Hammer movies than I (or the monsters) have had steaming hot diners, encountered more bloodsuckers than you could shake a stick at, even a pair of crossed sticks, such as might deter a very sophisticated ogre, a hick from the Moldavian boonies....Auerbach has dissected and deconstructed them with the tender ruthlessness of a hungry chef, with cogency and wit.--Eric Korn, Times Literary Supplement This seductive work offers profound insights into many of the urgent concerns of our time and forces us to confront the serious meanings that we invest, and seek, in even the shadiest manifestations of the eroticism of death.--Wendy Doniger, The Nation A vigorous, witty look at the undead as cultural icons.--Kirkus Review In case anyone should think this book is merely a boring lit-crit exposition...Auerbach sets matters straight in her very first paragraph. 'What vampires are in any given generation, ' she writes, 'is a part of what I am and what my times have become. This book is a history of Anglo-American culture through its mutating vampires.'...Her book really takes off.--Maureen Duffy, New York Times Book Review
EASTER 1976 - Two young girls playing in the churchyard of Mawnan Old Church in southern Cornwall were frightened by what they described as a "nasty bird-man" flying over the church tower. A few months later it was seen again, and the witness said: "It was like a big owl with pointed ears, as big as a man. The eyes were red and glowing. At first I thought that it someone dressed-up, playing a joke, trying to scare us. I laughed at it. We both did. Then it went up in the air and we both screamed. When it went up you could see its feet were like pincers " Her friend added some details of her own: "It's true. It was horrible, a nasty owl-face with big ears and big red eyes. It was covered in grey feathers. The claws on its feet were black. It just flew up and disappeared in the trees." These were the first of a series of sightings of what has become known as 'The Owlman of Mawnan' - a series of sightings that has continued to the present day. These grotesque and frightening episodes have fascinated researchers for three decades now, and one man has spent years collecting all the available evidence into a book. To mark the 30th anniversary of these sightings, Jonathan Downes, the Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology - the world's largest mystery animal research group - has published a special edition of his book 'The Owlman and Others' which was first published in 1997. A witness who saw the creature in 1995 likened it to"a vision from hell", and another witness (identified only as Gavin ) describes how his Owlman sighting in 1989 has blighted his life ever since. The book also tells the story of Morgawr - the Cornish Sea Serpent, and the summer of 1976, which was not only the hottest on record, but was the year that the whole of southern Cornwall went crazy "I have explored various explanations for the events in the book" says Jon, "and I am not completely sure which one is true. But I know one thing for sure. I wouldn't let my children play alone in those woods...."