Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Localised Vampire Interest

Looks like there's other kindred spirits haunting the web.

Here's how Amy Gray - author of How to Be a Vampire: A Fangs-On Guide for the Newly Undead (2009) - is described by Candlewick Press:

Amy Gray is a writer, photographer, and amateur vampirologist who has been fascinated with vampires, spooky art and literature, and the supernatural stories.
I had no idea she was a fellow Aussie until I read the rest of the description.

It's great to see such contributions being made by my fellow countrymen. And women. Ahem.

You probably weren't even aware such writings came from here. After all, did you know that
Ken Gelder (Reading the Vampire, 1994) and Gordon David Keyworth (Troublesome Corpses: Vampires & Revenants from Antiquity to the Present, 2007) are fellow Australians?

And, just like many other parts of the world, we've been bitten by the Twilight bug.

Martin V. Riccardo forwarded me two interesting articles that discuss the rise of vampire interest in my country, largely off the back of the success of Stephenie Meyer's series and its subsequent movie(s).

The first article talks about its success knocking another popular franchise off its block:
VAMPIRES have killed off boy wizards in the battle for the imaginations of Aussie kids.

The popularity of supernatural bloodsuckers has eclipsed old favourite Harry Potter, with children eagerly awaiting the release next Thursday of the second movie in the wildly successful Twilight series, New Moon.
The second article he sent talks about the rise of "VAMPIRE clubs, covens and lairs".

Now, I'm not saying that vampires have completely taken over our society, but it's interesting to see how much they've caught on. We don't exactly have a huge horror fanbase here. Hallowe'en is still generally regarded as an "American holiday".

That said, I'm not operating under any grand illusions with vampires' current popularity. I know that it's nothing more than a trend that'll pass soon enough, but it's also interesting to see just how deeply vampires have embedded themselves in mainstream popular culture.

I don't think vampires have ever been this popular.

So, for better or worse, hats off to Mrs. Meyer and her sparkly undead.

I can only hope that this current popularity will generate more scholarly writings on vampires in general. After all, there's more to 'em than Edward Cullen!

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