Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lindsay Lohan, Vampire

I don't know why I'm even bothering to share the following image. Maybe it's because I've been reading about her in the last coupla days. Nonetheless, it's certainly an indication of how mainstream vamps have become.

Yep, that's Lindsay Lohan straddling The vampire diaries' Michael Trevino. Even though she's wielding a stake, she's actually the vampire in the piece. But it does get weirder.

According to Radar Online, A. J. McLean of Backstreet Boys fame, 'paid between $30,000 and $40,000 for the large print'. For the picture's context and 'meaning', we turn to photographer Tyler Shields' blog. Here's the scoop: 'Lindsay and I had been wanting to do this vampire shoot for a while and it came together in perfect time for my gallery, Trevino just happened to be in town it was all meant to be!' Ok then.

Upcoming Books on Vampires 2: The New Batch

Been a while since I've done this segment. Time to share some forthcoming vampire books I've stumbled across via the the American, British, German and French versions of Amazon.

I've also translated the non-English titles with this baby. So, forgive me if they're a lil wonky. Without further ado and in chronological and alphabetical order by release date...
Title: Bringing light to Twilight: perspectives on a pop culture phenomenon
Author: Giselle Liza Anatol (ed.)
Release date: 24 May 2011
Worth the wait? The Twilight bandwagon keeps on a-rollin', as shown by this latest collection of essays devoted to Meyer's astoundingly successful saga. If you're not a fan, I'm sure something on vamps, in general, could be gleaned from its pages. I do like the idea of examining the works from the perspective of a pop culture phenomenon, though.

Title: V is for vampire: an illustrated alphabet of the undead
Author: Adam-Troy Castro; illustrated by Johnny Atomic
Release date: 7 June 2011
Worth the wait? When I first came across this book, I thought it'd be another entry in my beloved vampire reference book genre, like J. Gordon Melton's The vampire book: encyclopedia of the undead (1994; 1999; 2011). Its title even echoes David J. Skal's V is for vampire: the a-z guide to everything undead (1996). Alas, it appears to be little more than a portfolio, going by its product description. I know I'm cheating by including an under-100-pages book in this segment, but damn, it's got a pretty sweet cover.

Title: Der sympathische Vampir: Visualisierungen von Männlichkeiten in der TV-Serie Buffy (The sympathetic vampire: visualizations of masculinity in the TV series Buffy)
Author: Marcus Recht
Release date: 11 July 2011
Worth the wait? The title pretty much speaks for itself, doesn't it? Talk about specific, too! Recht's set himself up with quite a challenge by devoting 340 pages to that oblique topic, so kudos for effort!

Title: Vampires: the twilight world
Author: Simon Marsden
Release date: 6 October 2011
Worth the wait? I was pleasantly surprised to see Marsden's gonna be contributing a volume on vamps, even if his title's an obvious riff on Stephenie Meyer's well-known saga. He's my favourite photographer and I grew up on his other works like Phantom of the Isles: further tales from the Haunted Realm (1990) and The journal of a ghosthunter: in search of the undead from Ireland to Transylvania (1994). That said, don't expect too much scholarship from his work. You buy (or borrow) the books for the stories and awesome pics. Have a browse through his stuff. You'll see what I mean. Hopefully this book's packed with new stuff and not just a 'compilation' of sorts.

Title: Blut ist ein besonderer Saft: Eine Kulturgeschichte der Vampire (Blood is a special liquid: a cultural history of vampires)
Author: Leah Levine
Release date: 15 November 2011
Worth the wait? Yes, blood certainly is a 'special liquid'. I like the 'cultural history of vampires' angle, but I wonder how much justice it'd be given over the course of 180 pages. I'm not familiar with any of Ms. Levine's other works, so I've got no context to give ya. However, Niels does, not only noting that the book will actually be published in May (the November copy's the only one I saw on, but that 'Amazon describes the author as a well-known German witch and a founder of a school for witches in Hannover!' I'm guessing he's worried about an occultic angle potentially 'ruining' the scholarly potential of the subject matter.

Title: True blood: vampires and Southern Gothic
Author: Brigid Cherry
Release date: May 2012
Worth the wait? A contribution to the 'Investigating cult TV series' series, which I know nothing about, this looks like it might be one of those philosophy books dedicated to mainstream pop culture franchises. Two, off the top of my head, which focus on HBO's True blood are True blood and philosophy: we wanna think bad things with you and A taste of true blood: the fangbanger's guide (both 2010).

Title: Screening the undead: vampires and zombies in film and television
Author: Leon Hunt, Sharon Lockyer & Milly Williamson
Release date: December 2012
Worth the Wait? It's amazing how 'advanced''s publishing schedule is, isn't it? As to the book itself, I don't immediately recognise Leon and Sharon from anywhere, but I am familiar with Milly's The lure of the vampire: gender, fiction and fandom from Bram Stoker to Buffy (2005). Whether it'll focus on these relatively narrow facets, I can't say. Going by the title - which is about all I can do right now - it sounds like a fairly generic (albeit academic) run-through of the undead genre. However, due to Milly's participation, it could have some merit.
And that concludes this segment. Now, I know I've limited my scope just by focusing on the stuff featured on Amazon, especially when works like Daniel J. Wood's Realm of the vampire (2011) aren't featured in its contents. So, if any of you other publishers out there want to 'broadcast' your books, feel free to e-mail me. But remember, they've gotta be non-fiction works on vampires.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Catch-Up Time

It's been a bit quiet since my previous rant, so time to fill the void with a few random updates on what's been happening since.

Finished reading Daniel J. Wood's Realm of the vampire: history and the undead (2011), which I'll be reviewing soon enough. The extent of the sources used for his book certainly made my rant worthwhile. Strangely, it appears to be available from only one source. Hopefully, it'll receive wider distribution, as it covers a largely neglected aspect of vampire folklore.


Speaking of vampire folklore, it's great to see Niels went ahead and purchased Daniela Soloviova-Horvilla's Les vampires : Du folklore slave à la littérature occidentale after I drew his attention to it. Better yet, he described it as looking 'very, very promising'. From him, that's high praise indeed. Hopefully, it pays off.

He also notes 'Soloviova-Horvilla herself has a background in Bulgaria which provides her with a working knowledge of the languages pertinent to the Slavic vampire' and 'her work obviously draws on a number of sources otherwise not easily available to Western scholars', which touches on the basis of my rant: we're seriously deprived in terms of non-English resources on the undead. This is especially pertinent considering that the vampire myth essentially has its basis in Slavic regions. Notably few English language authors tap into these resources, barring, of course, guys like Jan L. Perkowski and Bruce A. McClelland.


Came across an interview with Theresa Cheung, author of The Element encyclopedia of vampires (2009) which I've discussed before. She expresses a remarkably open-minded view on the existence of vampires which, if I might be snarky for a moment, could explain her susceptibility to the FVZA's claims.


I dunno if it's apparent in my blog, but I'm a fan of the vampire's 'modernity' in terms of its depiction in folklore and don't really buy into the 'universality' of the vampire mythos. So, it's great to see Niels giving this angle some coverage, also including Toby Lichtig well-researched review. Indeed, the discussion of Roger Luckhurst's notes to the Oxford World's Classics' edition of Dracula is seriously tempting me to buy a copy.


Yesterday, my eBay-purchased copy of Vampiri: miti, leggende, letteratura, cinema, fumetti, multimedialità (1998) arrived in the mail (bought on the 22nd). Can't say much about its contents, as my Italian is piss-weak, but I was surprised to discover it's actually a non-fiction vampire anthology. That makes it a bit of a rarity in its own right. Lots of pretty pictures, too.


I like the formatting and layout of my WordPress blog so much, that I'm thinking of creating an offshoot to this one. But never fear: I won't be shutting down this one. Either way, it's just a thought. Nothing set in stone. Yet. We'll see how it goes.
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