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Vampire legends in contemporary American culture : what becomes a legend most /

Main Author: Day, William Patrick.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, 2002
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Review by Choice Review

Day (Oberlin College) offers a cogent exploration of an important area within gothicism. His main contention--that vampirism has been inverted from its original implication in Bram Stoker's Dracula (where Christian morality triumphed over the demonic power lust of the count) and that the slayer now is seated among the minimized and often scorned--is borne out in the examples in fiction and film he cites for evidence. He offers a great wealth of such examples, the most striking among them, perhaps, being the film The Night Stalker, Stephen King's novel Salem's Lot, and the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer--and these are just the tip of an iceberg of contemporary vampire creations. These projects reveal identity crises among the slayers that mirror complexities in contemporary life and show how today's culture often bypasses truth; how "the celebrity has crowded the traditional hero from our view"; and thus how morality, sexuality, self-help books, etc. have shifted from traditions of connections and community toward fragmentation, toward blurrings between reality and fantasy (witness Kim Newman's novel Anno Dracula, 1992). As Day convincingly argues, vampirism thus becomes symbolic of much in the present world and continues to be popular. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Extensive collections only; upper-division undergraduate through faculty. B. F. Fisher University of Mississippi

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.