Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Clark and the Cross

Fred Clark has some interesting speculations on the vampire's fear of the cross.

Not that I really agree with him, mind you. Especially when he prefaces his article thusly:
I should note here, before we go on, that I believe in vampire stories. I don't mean that I believe these stories are "literally" true -- they're not that kind of story. But I believe they are true stories -- stories by which we tell ourselves true things so that we do not forget them.
Make of that what you will.

But essentially, he argues that a vampire's fear of the cross stems not from a dread of something holy, but the confrontation with a symbol that evokes "powerlessness"...and being bewildered by it.

Mind you, the vampire's fear of the cross isn't all-pervasive in vampire folklore. David Keyworth even argues for their inefficacy (mainly against revenants) in the "Vampire-Slayers and Christian Paraphernalia" chapter of Troublesome Corpses: Vampires & Revenants, from Antiquity to the Present (Southend-on-Sea: Desert Island Books, 2007), pp. 142-48.

Let's say the lore is hardly consistent.

Oh, and just to give credit where it's due, I came across Clark's article via David Wong's "6 Popular Monsters Myths (That Prove Humanity Is Doomed)".

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