Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Vampyre

After reading The Vampyre I was impressed with how interesting of a read it was. Short stories usually don't appeal to me but it was intriguing to the very end.  I enjoy the old school vampire appearance and behavior of Lord Ruthven.  He seems much more real and above all, Hollywood hasn't touched him.  Lord Ruthven brings back a more mysterious type of vampire, unlike the vampires of "Team Edward" and other characters in today’s popular media.  Lord Ruthven’s constant companion Aubrey has to fill in the blanks himself as he studies and learns Lord Ruthven's habits and life style.
"He watched him; and the very impossibility of forming an idea of the character of a man entirely absorbed in himself, who gave few other signs of his observation of external objects, than the tacit assent to their existence, implied by the avoidance of their contact: allowing his imagination to picture everything that flattered its propensity to extravagant ideas, he soon formed this object into the hero of a romance, and determined to observe the offspring of his fancy, rather than the person before him.". (The Vampyre, Polidori)

Once again the writing here is superb.  This kind of writing takes me a little longer to get through, but ultimately it makes me appreciate the great quality of the short story. One of the lines that I love from this story just serves to show that no one really knows what is going on in Lord Ruthven's head, "his eye spoke less than his lip". (The Vampyre, Polidori) 

In some roles of today’s vampires, they are portrayed as blood hungry monsters that think of nothing but feeding their inner hunger.  One example of this is in the Blade movies where the normal vampires only care about killing humans and harvesting their blood.  Lord Ruthven is a more delicate creature.  He is entirely more selective of his prey and does not just lust for random blood. After all Ruthven traveled everywhere with Aubrey and even took care of him when he was ill, never thinking of feeding on him. His intelligent, more thought out plans of feeding really bring out a more sophisticated vampire than some in today’s media.  I feel like movies that only focus on killing for satisfaction, (blade, Van Helsing-hollywood movie) are starting to dumb down the image of the vampire. Vampires are starting to become less intelligent and more violent in origin, which does not serve their roots very well.
Overall I really enjoyed The Vampyre short story.  It shows a deep, interesting vampire that has many levels of personality in which to explore.  Lord Ruthven can be compassionate and ruthless at the same time; I suspect this is the allure that draws people to him.  The overall mystery that enshrouds him is intriguing, complex, and shows how original vampires were more than blood lusting, brain-dead monsters.

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