Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Breaking news...

...ok, not really breaking news since most twihards will know already, but I'm working on my Twilight paper for the 'Open graves, Open Minds' conference at the University of Hertfordshire in April, I thought a blog about vampire fiction in general and Stephenie Meyer's surprise publication specifically was relevant.

The cover art is in keeping with the rest of the series and I for one like that I'll be able to add it to my collection. The image on the right is taken from http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/ where you can read about the new publication.

I have read anything by Meyer I could get my hands on, yes even the illegally leaked Midnight Sun. I know that it is a) extremely sad for someone my age and b) slightly hypocritical from someone who insists on paying for books. Nonetheless, the literary vampire is my secret vice and after the mountain load of sub-standard teen-vamp-fiction. Many things have been written and said about the Twilight books and film franchise, and in many cases the criticisims are valid. Howerver I don't think that these are worth reading, particularly for Vamp Fic fans. We are by now used to hearing that the good thing about these books is that they 'get kids reading', especially kids who wouldn't normally pick up a book. This feels like a flawed and slightly patronising argument, mostly because it is. Many teachers and critics disagree with this stsements, however I know that my sister is almost at the end of a series with over 2.400 pages and is determined to continue reading once she's done. The Other Half has also read them. Two instances of unheard of phenomena related to one book series. Many think that the series is unimaginitive and pporly written, but somtehing has to be said for literature which has captured the imaginations of so many. 

I'm slightly obsessed with Vampire fiction (a little less so with Vampire films) and am incredibly psyched about the Open Graves conference at the end of the month. It has been said that this conference is an excuse for grow-ups to get together for an emo fest (naming no names, but it was the Other Half). I understand why he thinks so, but I do believe that the vampire has stalked the edges of our society, acting as a litmus test for our fears, anxieties and desires. The literary vampire is idealy suited to this task of both policing and transgressing the boundaries of society becasue of his ability to metamorphosise. Into each generation a new vampire is born, one which acts as a mirror to its society. In Poloidori's 'The Vampyre', for example, the vampire is a rogue aristocrat, supposedly based on Polidori's friend Lord Byron, Le Fanu's Camilla explores the anxiety around female sexuality, the postmedern Vampire belongs to Anne Rice, the rise of the Southern American Vampire can bee seen in Charlane Harris' Sookie Stckhouse series. A mixture of dangerous sexuality, insatiable appetite and ambiguous ethics, the Vampire is compelling in part because he is so human. 

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer will be released on the 5th June 2010 and can be read for free from 7th June to 5th July at www.breetanner.com.

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