Just bought my first e-book…Out for Blood, by friend Margot Adler. She describes it as her “wild essay on why vampires have such traction in our culture and the relationship of all those things to power, morality and the fate of the planet.
Starting as a meditation on mortality after the illness and death of her husband, Margot read more than 260 vampire novels, from teen to adult, from gothic to modern, from detective to comic. She began wonder why vampires have such appeal in our society now? Why is Hollywood spending billions on vampire films and television series every year? It led her to explore issues of power, politics, morality, identity, and even the fate of the planet.“Every society creates the vampire it needs,” wrote the scholar Nina Auerbach. Dracula was written in 19th century England when there was fear of outsiders and of disease coming in through England’s large ports. Dracula – An Eastern European monster bringing direct from a foreign land – was the perfect vehicle for those fears. But who are the vampires we need now? In the last four decades, going back to Dark Shadows, we have created a very different vampire: the conflicted, struggling-to-be-moral-despite-being-predators vampire. Spike and Angel, Stefan and Damon, Bill and Eric, the Cullens – they are all struggling to be moral despite being predators, as are we. Perhaps our blood is oil, perhaps our prey is the planet. Perhaps Vampires are us.
Margot , a great friend from NYC days and also my Harvard Nieman Fellowship, is a long time NPR news correspondent, and the author of Drawing Down the Moon, the classic book on Contemporary Paganism, Wicca and Goddess Spirituality. She is also the author of Heretic’s Heart, a 1960’s memoir–recently republished as an e-book.
—Anita M. Harris
Anita Harris is the author of
Broken Patterns, Professional Women and the Quest for a New Feminine Identity, and of the forthcoming
Ithaca Diaries. New Cambridge Observer is a publication of the Harris Communications Group, an award-winning public relations and digital marketing firm she founded in Cambridge, MA.