The Silken Thorn

Vampires in Modern Literature

With the dawn of a new era in technology and science, Vampires and how we explore them changed as well. Tales of Vampires being lost by time became a focal point as authors delved deeper into the heart and soul of the undead. What's the true toll of being inhuman among humans? Anne Rice and Matheson are just two authors who delved into the difficulties of living in a world where Vampires are a reality. This awareness and shift gave way to a modern version of the pining vampire both powerful and emotionally wounded.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

I Am Legend - - Richard Matheson

I Am Legend, published in 1954, follows the difficult and shocking circumstances that a man named Neville faces when his wife and numerous others are overcome by a vampire pandemic which isn't solely spread vampire-to-human has most lore embraces. This story explores the push-and-pull of "warfare" as it is experienced by both sides, each seeing the other as an enemy to destroy and overcome.

This story spawned numerous spin-offs and adaptations all of which endeavor to explore vampirism through the lens of science fiction. Appealing widely to both vampire lore lovers and science fiction dystopian fans, this piece has carved out a lasting niche.

The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice

The Vampire Chronicles - - Anne Rice

Anne Rice's famous Vampire Chronicles with it's first book Interview with the Vampire, publised in 1975, explored the twisted conundrum of "the old ways butting up against an ever modernizing and changing world" through the life and times of Louis de Pointe du Lac. Subsequent books such as Queen of the Damned explored what might happen when a headstrong vampire discovers that a vampire's alluring qualities can be used to gain favoritism and ultimately fandom in today's modern society.

In this series Rice explore a vast array of problems and concepts, everything from a conflict of cultural values and the difficulties young vampires. The infamous pairing of Lestat and Louis with their created 'daugther' Claudia has left an indellible mark on the history of Vampire Lore.

Salem's Lot by Stephen King

Salem's Lot - - Stephen King

Published in 1975, this story taps into the horror flavors of vampirism that initial struck a dark cord centuries earlier.

In this story Ben Mears returns to his childhood home, falls in love, and ultimately become the target of a vampire who's bent on turning him. Engaging in a number of tactics to do so, soon the citizens of the town are caught up in the battle for bloodrights.

Yet, contrasting with the horror elements, King infused this story with a longing for childhood towns, sentimental journeys, and a love for a person's past.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Twilight - - Stephanie Meyer

Twilight, published in 2005, went on to become a hefty 4-book series with 5 movies and a number of fanbased (or parody) books, tv shows, and movies. Exploring a dichotomy of beliefs between blood-bent vampires and a modern viewpoint of vampirism which sees human-bloodlust as a thing to resist, this series digs into what it would take for a family of vampires to exist in the modern world and (attempt to) blend in.

While often criticized for rippling the vampire waters with too much leeway (teenage romance, vampires who sparkle in the sunlight, armies of the undead), it's worthwhile to note that other vampires from lore history such as Dracula could also venture out in the day, a fair number have suffered an extreme distaste for taking human life, and humans turned into vampires in order to target man has been writtng about numerous times.

The way I see this series is that it simply fits in with a long and tangled history of blended story concepts and daring creativity.