Ian Somerhalder Foundation Book Club discussion

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Vampires

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message 1: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (veronicabuhl) | 23 comments I figured being our host, Ian, is one of the best known vampires that this was an appropriate place to discuss this subject. Obviously a lot of us are fans of this genre so I thought it would be really nice to discuss why?

So to start with a little background on my fascination with vampires. For as long as I can remember I've liked any story that contained vampires and obviously Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' was probably my first introduction to them. I found that book interesting but my real fascination started when a friend introduced me to Anne Rice's 'Interview With A Vampire' and I fell in love with LeStat. I then proceeded to read every book she had in her series including the witch series and I loved it.

After that there was a dry spell for awhile until another friend of mine introduced me to the works of Christine Feehan's Dark series. This introduced me to the romance side of vampires. I still haven't read all the books in this series yet but I am working on them as you can see by my 'to read' list. (Just an aside these are adult books and probably not recommended for those under the age of 18 just so you are aware.)

Somewhere along the way I read the Twilight series because all the hubbub about it piqued my interest. I was hesitant at first because I knew they were a young adult books and I was embarrassed (I, unfortunately, am not a young adult any more...I hate to admit it...but it's true. LOL) but I found the series refreshing. Just enough drama and not too much gore like the historical 'Dracula' plus romance. Nice. The movies are okay but the books were really very good.

The Vampire Diaries I still have not read the books to be honest. For those of you that have read them, are they worth it or should I just stick to the show? I actually am new to this T.V. series. I've only watched the first two seasons as I just found the show about three months ago. I don't really watch a lot of T.V. I rent series from Netflix when I want to see them usually. I had heard a lot about it but I generally usually think that if there's a lot of talk it's hype and how good could it possibly be, right? But I am happy to say I love it and am hooked. I have to catch up with the third season before October 11th.

Anyway, my point of this new topic is to discuss all the symbolism and fascination with vampire lore. What is it about vampires that is so fascinating to the masses? What things do they symbolize in modern society? Why is it so intriguing to think about the possibility of living forever? What is so arousing to think about this forever young, beautiful being that can control anyone by looking into their eyes and compelling them? If vampires were real and you had the opportunity to become one would you? Why or why not? Do you think the resurgence of vampires in books, television, and movies is society trying to fill some need in some way? If so, what do you think that need is?

There really are so many aspects of the genre to be explored that go deeper. What do you think about it all? I would love to hear all of your input and ideas here and have a great discussion with you.


message 2: by Barnyard (last edited Sep 14, 2012 04:39AM) (new)

Barnyard ISF (barnyardisf) | 121 comments I read The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice when I was in my 3rd year of High School. I was in the dark room developing film while some drama boys were talking about her books & I thought I would check it out. I was working up at a horse ranch & would arrive there around 7am. My trainers didn't come out to the barn until 9, so I would sit on a porch of the facade Boom Town, where we did Wild West shows. The fog would be thick that early & eerily rise until around 11 as it would evaporate into the summer sun. This is where I read 'Interview with the Vampire' I was fully immersed.

I was obsessed with the movie & was sad that River Phoenix wasn't in it. I had a small tv/vcr combo in my room & would fall asleep to it playing, it was my lullaby. Had all of the lines memorized. I drew vampires, and of myself nearby empty, my heart in a box. Cupid & death walking hand in hand. Vampires bring mortality into perspective. Louis' character mourning his wife, child, life, humanity. "You who regrets nothing, you who feels nothing, if that's all I have left to learn, I can do that on my own." While Claudia is quite different. She is ready to tackle the world, without having the physical means (I swear she has the best lines, & such a brilliant little actress) "Who will take care of me my love, my dark angel, when you are gone?" Lestat, well, he gets the rest of the book series for his glory. "Evil is a point of view. God kills indiscriminately and so shall we. For no creatures under God are as we are, none so like him as ourselves" Armand, he is temptation. "The world changes, we do not, there lies the irony that finally kills us." Madeline, she is innocence. "Au contraire, Monsieur, I have." She is all of us looking in.

I love The Vampire Diaries' references to Anne Rice. My sisters have read the Twilight series, but I haven't made it through the films yet, & have no interest in the books. I do like seeing the northwest, our big tree forests & overcast skies on the big screen. I usually watch period films (ones with horses as the main means of transportation as it makes more sense to me than the modern way of life & human drama rather than survival) So The Vampire Diaries for me is a step outside the box a bit. I really liked the UK version of Being Human, which was a recent gateway of reopening to this genre. It was a quite funny series though, where TVD didn't make me laugh until season 2. I enjoy British comedy more than most U.S. humor. Can't help but smile with Ian's acting though. He's quite something other-worldly as it is. I understand that he ate his crow familiar, but whatever happened to his ability to control the mist???


message 3: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Dubois | 93 comments Veronica wrote: "I figured being our host, Ian, is one of the best known vampires that this was an appropriate place to discuss this subject. Obviously a lot of us are fans of this genre so I thought it would be re..."

You ask a lot of questions. Question 1 "What is it about vampires that is so fascinating to the masses?". For me, I love magic, I love the symbolism, it is part of the histoir and the evolution of man. Souvant vampires are the symbol of beauty, but also of good and evil. They represent, being inaccessible, dangerous. he attracts me and scares me. In books and movies, this is accentuated by the ability of humans to approach these mythical beings. Being, the being who tames the beast.
Blood is also a symbol, it is strength, the link. Losing blood, donate blood, it is an intimate act. So, a vampire who drinks your blood, how, I feel as a symbolic.


message 4: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (veronicabuhl) | 23 comments Yes, I definitely see the link between good and evil but also I think vampires can also symbolize the inner struggle of all humans to balance the light and dark, masculine and feminine energies within themselves. We all know the difference between good and bad but sometimes situations require us to do things that are considered bad just to survive (a.k.a. the need to drink blood to live) but those situations can cause us great internal struggle to decide if we are monsters or angels.

Also, I think that in a way vampires are the promise of eternal life that many are promised. Most people are afraid to die but if you're promised eternal life wouldn't that make it easier to face? Vampires give our brains an easier way to process the idea of death and eternal life. They are at once scary but hopeful in a way.

I really like what you said too Catherine. Very good symbolism there.


message 5: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (veronicabuhl) | 23 comments Barnyard, I too love the references to Anne Rice and other vampire lore like Twilight (that reference made me laugh out loud 'How come you don't sparkle?' 'Because this it the real world and I have a ring.') and even the mention of Dracula in one episode. It's a great way to tie them all in and address some of the conflicting lore surrounding vampires.

Yes, I also think Ian is brilliant in TVD. His dry humor and perfect delivery of the lines is wonderful. I find myself smiling a lot when I watch the show. Good stuff.


message 6: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Dubois | 93 comments Veronica wrote: "Yes, I definitely see the link between good and evil but also I think vampires can also symbolize the inner struggle of all humans to balance the light and dark, masculine and feminine energies wit..."

Bloodthirsty monster, it becomes guardian angel. Why? Perhaps a change in the society! or a desire for man to be safe!vampires, werewolves, witches become love beings. Maybe we evolve our legends?


message 7: by Kim (new)

Kim Falconer (kimfalconer) | 297 comments Catherine wrote: "Veronica wrote: "Yes, I definitely see the link between good and evil but also I think vampires can also symbolize the inner struggle of all humans to balance the light and dark, masculine and femi..."

I love where this thread is going. The evolutions of the vampire through film and literatur is a study of mine, one I'm turning into a PhD theses. I posted ideas about this recently on my blog. Here are some thoughts (and Veronica, your idea of a change in society nails it. Yes, we evolve our mythologies!)

From my 11th house Blog

If like attracts like, why do we like Vampires so much? Whatever the reasons, our attraction is not only increasing, it’s changing.

Take the 1930′s for example. Nobody dreamed of hot sex with Nosferatu, but Eric Northman? The Salvatore brothers? . . The curious thing is, aside from increased hotness, the basic tenets of these creatures are the same. Vampires are still a blood drinking, super strong, fast and intelligent predatory species who generally find humans beneath them. They have a hunger and lust that’s hard to control; and plenty of necks still snap. Bodies are drained of blood. Yet, we are swooning for them. Head over heels! What gives?

The claim is our art and stories have changed the image of the vampire over time, from ‘pure evil’ to dangerous erotic to heroic heartthrob. But is it really the media that is changing social concepts, or is it the other way around?

I vote for the other way around. To me, the evolution of the vampire is not simply a trend generated by contemporary literature and film. These new images aren’t responsible for the shifting views of society; rather they are a reflection of them. And here we get to the crux. As our perception of Self changes, our monsters must change as well.

Ultimately, the evolution of the vampire reflects the evolution of the human soul . . .


message 8: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Dubois | 93 comments Kim wrote: "Catherine wrote: "Veronica wrote: "Yes, I definitely see the link between good and evil but also I think vampires can also symbolize the inner struggle of all humans to balance the light and dark, ..."

Being a vampire is a paradoxical condition, it shows a life after death. In recent years, I remember "Moonlight". This mythical being, becomes an ideal! more human than human, with the strength and beauty of the hero. He wants to look and live like a man. Perhaps it is our own quest for perfection, but also our fear of passing time! Fear not to do. He lives in the shadows, but wanted light. It is in search of lost time! but he has eternity before him! (Currently, the image of the collective unconscious)Today, the vampire sulfur, he has feelings , he fights against these instincts, to access a special kind of happiness, human representation, and individual .


message 9: by Barnyard (last edited Sep 16, 2012 11:31PM) (new)

Barnyard ISF (barnyardisf) | 121 comments Catherine wrote: "Catherine wrote: ...He lives in the shadows, but wanted light. It is in search of lost time! but he has eternity before him!... he has feelings , he fights against these instincts, to access a special kind of happiness, human representation, and individual . "


Yes. It is a trend of the odd vampire, the weak human-type who somehow has residual emotions. Like a vegan vamp. 'Being Human' (UK or US) has the lost vampire who is struggling everyday to not drink live blood, like Stefan, trying to keep it cool. As Louis had, they tend to turn on their own kind. It represents an addiction, choose your poison. It deals with depression. And then with Damon, reaching out to those others to perhaps change. He is really going through a lot of transition. I love seeing the flashbacks, because it shows his previous vulnerable side. In Buffy it is interesting how the majority of the vampires are completely hollow, except for a few. Not sure if maybe we just don't get to know them, like in Anne Rice's covens. Angel: the kick ass protector. And then there is Spike. Catherine this is a video en français that I made for Spike called Crépuscule this represents his vulnerable side. My sister hated Spike & said she didn't recognize that side of him. I posted a video response of the asshole side of him & his conditioning away from the dark side (kind of violent) Rock 'n' Roll Star song is also en français by: Damien Saez.

Werewolves seem to be fairly internally conflicted as well. Like a coming of age symbolism or something. Split life. I grew up watching Michael J.Fox. I like how there is often the pack or individuals who prefer the wolf side. 'Blood & Chocolate' is a beautiful film. Here's a fan vid I made about werewolves: All I Need (the ending sounds like my house at night. I have a hybrid/pyrenees & he gets everyone else going.) I like the werewolves because I like animal behavior. My plan 'when I grew up' was to "Study large predators" In college I realized that I no longer lived in the age where you could just go out in the bush & study behavior because it all just needs to actually exist, & so preservation it is. A book I fully recommend is The Sight. It is from the wolves perspective, they don't morph, but it follows superstitions, curses, & prophecy just the same.


message 10: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Dubois | 93 comments Barnyard wrote: "Catherine wrote: "Catherine wrote: ...He lives in the shadows, but wanted light. It is in search of lost time! but he has eternity before him!... he has feelings , he fights against these instincts..."

I just watched "Crépuscule" , it makes me uncomfortable, it reflects one tourmet a continual struggle, to be or not to be!


message 11: by Paola (new)

Paola (paoletta76) I love this tread!

When I was a child, I already liked horror movies and books.

In particular, I found Stephen King's "'Salem's Lot" extremely frightening. I don't know if you ever read it, but, should I meet Danny (the vampire child of that novel) I wouldn't be exactly happy!

Even though in 1993 Francis Ford Coppola's romantic version of Dracula came out, I think that Bram Stoker's novel is still a bit scaring. I remember that passage when Mina is looking out of the window and sees the fog approaching. Then, she goes to sleep, but, when she wakes up, she finds that fog in her bedroom, and the vampire appears in it. Well, sometimes, when I look at the fog, I think of it and I still got impressed! Anyway, Stoker's "Dracula" is very dear to me also because, since I'm not an English native speaker, it was the first novel I was able to read completely in English until the end.

In 1994, when I was a teenager, finally I 'met' the charming vampires, of course thanks to Anne Rice and her "Interview with the Vampire". I loved it, and she became my favourite writer. After that, I went on reading all the books written by her. Besides Lestat, I loved Marius very much as well. He was supposed to hide Enkil and Akasha in an unprecised place on the mountains north of Venice, and since I live just here, I used to think: "Oh yeah... under my house!". Whenever I found a new character, I started imaging which actor could fit him best... for instance, I thought Keanu Reeves would have been perfect to play David, or Leo DiCaprio as Vittorio.

Then, I read Twilight. Though I like it, I'm more interested in the werewolves. Maybe it's because I find the Cullens too similar to Rice's Louis... the "Bambi eaters", as Damon probably would define them, but, again, as far as this series is concerned, I really prefer the werewolves.

In the meanwhile, I read also "Let me In" by John A. Lindvquist and I appreciated it. Compared to all the others, it's a bit different. Splatter style and far more sad. I haven't seen the movie yet. Is it worth it?

Finally, two years ago, 30 seconds of advertisement were enough for me to fall in love with The Vampire Diaries. I like the books and I find Damon's description "a child hidden behind a rock" very touching, but, of course, I love the TV show better. I think I never liked a TV show so much. Thay are really my second family, and thanks to Ian and his colleagues, may beautiful things happened in my life after the beginning of TVD!


message 12: by Kendra (new)

Kendra (ravenacres) | 30 comments Funny enough, I've always been a werewolf fan, at least with movies. Definitely with Twilight and the older stuff, but even Underworld and the newer stuff. However, TVD with both Damon and Stefan are far more appealing to me, at least for this show.

Books, I'm more in the middle, and my romance section runs heavily to a whole paranormal theme. I wasn't able to do TVD in the books, however, as I just found the whininess irritating. And I didn't get so much of that with the books of Twilight, though the movies can be a bit irritating.


message 13: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (veronicabuhl) | 23 comments I know that originally vampires were not a romantic ideal at all. They were murderous and vile but I find it interesting and I much prefer the Damon type vampire, angry about past hurts and unrequited love (we can all relate to that) but also if you're brave enough to stay with him you find that he really is a good soul, a man who just wants nothing more than to be loved deeply (probably more deeply than humans would be able to comprehend because of the whole vampire 'feeling more intensely' thing).

I also find it extremely interesting that in this day and age of computers, video games, and decreased personal contact (i.e. texting rather than a personal phone call, etc) that society seems to be opening their arms wide and inviting vampires into their homes. It almost seems to me to be a signal that people are really yearning to feel more deeply in their lives, to experience more excitement and deeper relationships (all things that you would be forced to experience if you were a vampire). I know that when I watch vampire movies and shows (and especially TVD) I feel a strange yearning to have more relationships that are that deep and intertwined and that really matter deeply. I think it's that sense of tight knit family that vampires represent that may be ringing a chord with society.

Another symbolism that keeps popping into my head around the vampire lore, and please don't anyone get angry at this. It's not meant to be offensive in anyway to anybody, is the religious symbolism. We are talking a 'human' that is dead but eternal; drinks the blood of another in order to live forever; who must make the decision to 'turn/live forever' or 'die'. Whereas some might think that this genre of vampires to be anti-religious in some way I don't. There is a strange sense of spirituality for me in this genre and I know I am not the only one who feels this way. Just ask Anne Rice! :-)

BTW, I am so juiced that so many of you find this thread exciting. Please keep your comments and thoughts on symbolism coming. I am really enjoying this dialogue with you all.


message 14: by Leah (new)

Leah Soucy | 19 comments Veronica wrote: "I figured being our host, Ian, is one of the best known vampires that this was an appropriate place to discuss this subject. Obviously a lot of us are fans of this genre so I thought it would be re..."(The Vampire Diaries I still have not read the books to be honest. For those of you that have read them, are they worth it or should I just stick to the show?)

I also love this thread, I just read through it & I'm happy to see I'm not the only one fascinated with vampires. As far as the TVD books.. they are nothing at all like the show. I read them with the show in mind of course because I absolutely LOVE it & LOVE Ian/Damon's character but was very disappointed. I had to disconnect it from the show entirely & read it as a separate story to enjoy it and even then, the story is very bizarre. You definitively have to be in the right mind set. That is just my opinion of course. There were things about them that I did enjoy & I did read them all so I do plan on reading the next one when it comes out next month.


message 15: by Kim (new)

Kim Falconer (kimfalconer) | 297 comments Veronica wrote: "I know that originally vampires were not a romantic ideal at all. They were murderous and vile but I find it interesting and I much prefer the Damon type vampire, angry about past hurts and unrequi..."

Veronica, I love your point about the vampires symbolizing, and reflecting, our desire to feel more intensely, to love more deeply. The passion level is off the scale and I think we humans relate to that, want that, especially when we may have less contact, as you say, with our 'tribe'. Evolutionary biologists say that humans are hardwired to relate deeply and bond with 150 other individuals! 150!!! No wonder we find that something is 'lacking' in our lives and seek to fill it through art, literature and film. Shows like TVD, as Paola said, become a second family. The characters in such series, books or film, become 'our people'. We long for that deep connection.

You have a point about the spiritual side of the vampire mythos. Because they are eternal, they reflect a part of us that is energy everlasting. Yes, just ask Anne Rice! Indeed!


message 16: by Barnyard (last edited Sep 18, 2012 01:15AM) (new)

Barnyard ISF (barnyardisf) | 121 comments Marjolein @pcpowercat & I have been loving a band called 'Steam Powered Giraffe'. They are singing robot automatons. Okay, I'm slightly obsessed. Anyway, they have this great song called Scary World (starts about 4min;) Totally brilliant. I think it should be played on TVD, on the radio or on the square with Gabby & Devon in the audience. Or at the opening event of the ISF Animal Sanctuary! It makes me think of Raynar/Kay in Path of the Stray. This thread reminds me of the song...

"...It's a scary scary world
and there are scary scary things
werewolves in the night
and vampires with fangs

I want to live in a peaceful world
But I can't seem to find another world
that's not scary

It's a scary scary world
and there are scary scary things
zombies in the way
eating their own brains

There are she-devils and sucubi that just want their way
And bruteful demons that just want to have all the reins
it's so scary..."


Another SPG song I always think of you Kim & Path of the Stray is called: Electricity is in My Soul The silver one (The Spine) reminds me of JARROD. =)


message 17: by Zoe (new)

Zoe (areia) | 9 comments Who would of thought necrophilia and beastiality would become sexy because thats what it would be if it was real. But then because it isnt real we are allowed to twist and manipulate it to our own fantasies and enjoy it.

When you look up through history the tales of Vlad the impaler, Elizabeth Bathory, its pretty horrific stuff.
Its the link between what is real and what is fanstasy that keeps these tales on the safe side of whats right and wrong.
People used to drink blood beliveing to bring them long life, beauty etc. the fact we wouldnt really do and that there is no scientific evidence to prove it. keeps it on the 'WHAT IF ' safe side of the fantasy.
Curiosity is the bane romantic people, its mainly female authors of today that romantacised vampires keeping that element of dark and mystery. the stuff you just want to know more about and the more you want to know the more the mind plays tricks and changes to suit the individual. Todays vampires you are to pity and feel sorry for their hardships, again pulling the heartstrings, wanting to take one by the hand and letting them know it will be alright. Bella, Elena for eg.

Look at whom these modern tales are aimed at highly charged easily influenced teens,(inc the X rated ones ) some of which will really fall for the whole vampire thing joining occult etc become goths emos, some will research in the depths of their rooms, study various areas of history and go on teach in history sciences or study various mythical practices or become writters )
The likes of Bram Stoker, Anne Rice being one of the most popular about vampires, Mary Shelley writting about Frankenstein these are books written about something hideous, dark, scarey, yet useing magic, ( many assosiate as myth) science ( fact ) , and adding emotions such as empathy, desire, sympathy,horror,fear. Also newer authors such as meyer, caine, smith, blake, hamilton,harris to name a few, use these as referance to fuel their own tales, Im not a huge fan of the twilight series in fact it put me off reading anything to do with vampires, till someone handed me a LJ smith book and said it was better, needless to say I read the first 3 books in 3 days and hunted down first series which I have enjoyed so far

Plus these tales are often a refreshing break from reality even more so in todays rushed world away from technology, war,cruelty etc. these are the reason I often read fantasy books to be honest.

My feeling on the whole vampire,werewolf thing :S feel free to pick that apart


message 18: by Kim (new)

Kim Falconer (kimfalconer) | 297 comments Zoe wrote: "Who would of thought necrophilia and beastiality would become sexy because thats what it would be if it was real. But then because it isnt real we are allowed to twist and manipulate it to our own ..."

What jumps out for me, Zoe, is the 'refreshing break from 'reality'. I like that point. Good stories take up into another world where we can experience and explore feelings that might be repressed or denied in 'real life'. It is a break from the mundane, but it's also an exploration of consciousness. We feel what the characters feel when immersed. We forget about our worries and become part of a different hero's journey. When we come back, we bring something with us, a bit more of ourselves, perhaps. It's all part of become whole, complete.


message 19: by Kim (new)

Kim Falconer (kimfalconer) | 297 comments Barnyard wrote: "Marjolein @pcpowercat & I have been loving a band called 'Steam Powered Giraffe'. They are singing robot automatons. Okay, I'm slightly obsessed. Anyway, they have this great song called Scary Wor..."

Love the 'Electricity in my Soul!' Amazing group. Thank you!


message 20: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Dubois | 93 comments And if we could even approach this fantasy, a desire to return to real values​​? relations of friendship and love between people profondéments different. that would, without cheating, without selfishness. between vampire and human, there is a world of darkness, a world that nothing closer. the blood to be the symbol of sharing. The raprochement seamlessly between individuals keep. Do we not say : 'blood brother. "In our society, unknown, to impersonal. This link between two worlds, opens the door to dream, fantasy, yes, but also the need for relationship vraix between humans.

Monsters sanginaires the middle ages, loved beings of today, there has been the evolution of a society, the evolution of human relationship


message 21: by Emily (new)

Emily | 21 comments What I think most people find alluring in the concept of a vampire is that it is this 'thing' which scares the wits out of us, yet there is something so dark and tortured about it. People also often talk about the ultimate male species as being 'tall, dark and handsome' and a lot of the time this applies to the image of a male 'vampire'.
What fascinates me is the origin of the legends. Surely all folk lore originates from a true tale somewhere along the line? Be it Vlad Tepes or the insane man who lived on the outskirts of town and was once seen drinking blood. The amazing thing about this genre is how it has developed overtime from the gore of Dracula to sparkles and fairy dust found in Twilight (no offense against the books, but the movies...eh). Perhaps it is just that the 'target market' for the genre has changed from adults to teeny-boppers.
I loved Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire and thought that it had a perfect balance of gore as well as mystery, sorrow and love story which was fantastic and I am glad to see that slowly through all these new TV shows popping up that the genre is moving back to a little more drama and gore and not completely
romanticizing the ideas of vampires.
And to Veronica: the Vampire Diaries TV shows are great, as for the books ... well it depends on what you like. I found them a little far-fetched in terms of the supernatural and fantasy whereas the TV show tries to combine them into the real world a lot more.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

I think I would become a vampire because...well... who doesn't want to live forever,look gorgeous, have super strength, look gorgeous, run faster than the wind, look gorgeous, and be perfect at everything! But then I would constantly want blood soooo...that's a low.....but I guess it would be worth it!:D:D:D:D


message 23: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Dubois | 93 comments Veronica wrote: "I figured being our host, Ian, is one of the best known vampires that this was an appropriate place to discuss this subject. Obviously a lot of us are fans of this genre so I thought it would be re..."

Why is it so intriguing to think about the possibility of living forever? Live forever! immortality for all, or immortality for some individuals. in the first case, the fig world, no future prospects, since nothing moves. no new generation. no of the season, no year!
in the second case, the loss the people loved round you, a life alone, without, we attach future. Loss of temporal markers and place because the world changes, but not you!


message 24: by Kim (new)

Kim Falconer (kimfalconer) | 297 comments Catherine wrote: "Veronica wrote: "I figured being our host, Ian, is one of the best known vampires that this was an appropriate place to discuss this subject. Obviously a lot of us are fans of this genre so I thoug..."

Ian said in an interview (I'm paraphrasing) "Being a vampire means watching everyone and everything you love die."

I don't think immortality is what we want. I think we want the way we think immortality would make us feel. It's a symbol for something, possibly quite unique in each of us. Understand the symbol and we get closer to understanding the desire.


message 25: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Dubois | 93 comments Kim wrote: "Catherine wrote: "Veronica wrote: "I figured being our host, Ian, is one of the best known vampires that this was an appropriate place to discuss this subject. Obviously a lot of us are fans of thi..."

Inheritance, the memory of the actions that have been posed, things which is done is a form of immortality. the memory is left to others. The fear of forgetting, of nothingness. We are part of a chain, vertical and horizontal, we have to find our place! and we will become immortal!


message 26: by Barnyard (last edited Sep 20, 2012 06:48PM) (new)

Barnyard ISF (barnyardisf) | 121 comments But who is truly immortal? Perhaps there are only different lifespans. To a rodent the tortoise must seem immortal. To a Salmon the Shark will live forever. The Redwoods would laugh at our monsters of flesh groveling on for a thousand years. In all horror stories it seems among those immortals they do have the ability to die, or at least hide away for long periods of time before becoming resurrected. TVD, Anne Rice, (U.S.)Being Human, they all have 'originals' who somehow came about & have populated demons across the globe. I am partial to Peter S. Beagle's story The Last Unicorn with his immortal Unicorns trapped in the sea for eternity, and the Harpy as the counter energy, both species becoming rare and extinct due to human encroachment on true wild Nature. The forest animals see them as immortal, like the forest spirit in Princess Mononoke. Immortal perhaps, but not impervious to the dangers of being discovered.


message 27: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (veronicabuhl) | 23 comments Perhaps our fascination with being 'Immortal' and vampires does not need to be taken literally. Perhaps it is the human need to live on long after we are gone. To leave a legacy or 'mark' on the world that says 'I was here. I mattered. I made a difference'. Perhaps that is the immortality that attracts us all and not the literal immortality of our beloved vampires.

There is also the attraction of not having enough time to do all the things we want to in this world. Imagine what we could do if we had eternity or at least centuries to explore all there is in the world and try them all out. Imagine all the things that we wanted to be in our lives and how we could be them all and more if we were only those blood-sucking, immortal creatures.

As far as watching everyone you know and love die if we were vampires, that is true but I must add here that nothing is written in stone and that could happen to us now as humans and does happen to people. We can't control when people are taken away from us and being human isn't going to prevent that hurt. That's called life and as stated in TVD everything gets amplified when you're a vampire...good and bad. It's a yin yang thing, a balance thing. It's a universal law.


message 28: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (veronicabuhl) | 23 comments Great quote from TVD from Damon..."You want a love that consumes you. You want passion. And adventure. And even a little danger."

I think everyone wants all that...passion, adventure, and just enough danger to make you feel alive! I think in today's society all of that is missing in most people's lives especially the passion and adventure perhaps another thing that is causing the revival of vampires in the arts.

Just some thoughts that just occurred to me and I thought I would pass them along for you all to thin about and comment on if you wish. :-)


message 29: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Dubois | 93 comments Veronica wrote: "Great quote from TVD from Damon..."You want a love that consumes you. You want passion. And adventure. And even a little danger."

I think everyone wants all that...passion, adventure, and just en..."


yes, people want time to do things, traveling on wheels they want realize their dreams, but in everyday life, everything goes too fast, and when we take stock, we often forget our dreams, our desires and we wonder " if this was a remake ... if I had the time ..." but we would have acted differently?


message 30: by Barnyard (new)

Barnyard ISF (barnyardisf) | 121 comments Right, it's the Forever Young syndrome. I totally feel like vehicles are time machines. We have already lived multiple lives in how much we get done with technology, & 50+ mph travel. For me, turning 33 this weekend, a girl was shocked saying she swore I was 26 at the oldest. Well, at last insomnia has gotten me out of the boyish high school look. I am glad to be my age, surprised I made it through my 20s & would rather not have to repeat it. It must be difficult for the vampires who, like Elena, are never able to experience life. Everyone treats Stefan, (or Claudia for that matter) as if they are still adolescents. Ageism is a great thing to look at sometimes. Who are your friends? What age are they? How do you treat people in different age brackets? Do you listen/respect people that are older/younger than you? When I was a kid training horses, I had friends who were adults & friends who were years younger. They were great friends because we shared the same interests, compared to the kids I went to high school with. Perhaps that is why vampires get so lonely, because they have few they can relate to. I just met a woman who adopted a dog from me who I thought was in her 40s, & it turns out she is 34, so it is good to just treat everyone with respect because you really just don't know sometimes. Some 13 yr old kids look 17. When we get into the fiction, our 19 year old vampires may live for (how long has Klausy Klaus & Rebekah been around?) 1,000 years... Patience is a virtue.


message 31: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (veronicabuhl) | 23 comments Happy Birthday Barnyard! I hope you have some fun this weekend. I, too, had a great experience like you did just two days ago. A guy who was working in a store asked me how old I was. Me, being the typical woman said 'How old do you think I am?' He winced as he said '27'? with a big question mark and looking like he was ready to run. I studied his face and he was out right serious which just made my heart sing. Note to self put him on my Christmas list. LOL. Well I am 44. Personally I would have no problem having the forever young syndrome that vampires do. I think that in some ways when you're in your 20's and 30's you rule the world. As you get older I think many people stop listening to you thinking that you are not hip and happening any more, that you couldn't possibly know what's going on in the world with technology and music, etc. I find it harder now as I am getting older to find people to relate to that are my age because I find that most people my age are closed off and no longer open to the possibilities of the world and that really ticks me off. It's like they all lost their childlike wonder and the open mind that says 'anything is possible'. I do believe that anything is possible in the world and that if you really want something you just have to make it happen but too many people get older and decide that that type of thinking is childish and not reality. It's sad really.

So as far as being stuck young for centuries I think looking young forever could be a blessing but then once you're a vampire and can live forever I think what age you look matters less and less because the reality of it is you would have to continuously move around anyway because no matter what you wouldn't change and everyone else would.

Anyway, sorry for the ramblings. LOL. It's really late and I should have gone to sleep an hour ago or more. I am really tired. Good night.


message 32: by Barnyard (last edited Sep 20, 2012 10:45PM) (new)

Barnyard ISF (barnyardisf) | 121 comments Another song's lyrics from Steam Powered Giraffe that I love is Make Believe

"People... Why just talk about it? Can't we live without all the bounds?
Our society is Make Believe.

Break it... Don't be afraid to shake it. We're not afraid to shake it around in society, Make Believe.
Hey kids whaddaya know, whatcha think you're doing? I say pardon me, I'm dancing for no reason.

Doubt it... Get right up and shout it. Try it out and flout all the bounds of society that are
Make Believe

Dream it... But you've got to really mean it, brother. There is no disagreement. The stage of society, it's Make Believe.

Life's too short so spread the love. You know it is, you know it is.
Do great things where you know they must be done.
Someone's got it worse than you. You know he does, you know he does.
So I'm asking you to spread the love."


message 33: by Mila (new)

Mila | 36 comments Since I live in Serbia, which is the country where word vampire came from, and my country is close to Romania where Dracula came from, I've been listening about vampires whole my life. And I heard many stories about them, my cousin even had a book where you can read many things about vampires that aren't mentioned in today's literature. For example, I read that vampires come in the night when you hear roosters first time, and run away just after you hear roosters second time. And our neighbours actually had roosters, so I once stayed up all night waiting for vampires :)
I always liked vampires, I had a phase where I wanted to be a vampire, but not anymore because, when I think about it, their life is controlled by thirst. I wouldn't like to have to kill people all the time (I wouldn't mind a bit xD). But I would like to be immortal, I think :)


message 34: by Sabryna (new)

Sabryna | 3 comments My favorite book this time is
13 bullet, vampire story by David Wellington. This man is such a genius ... in this book vampire have no morality, no soul, are completely not human, but bloody and scary and I like that. It's different than Twilight, True Blood or vampire diaries where any bad vampire become good because they fall in love with a cute girl !


message 35: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (veronicabuhl) | 23 comments Another underlying symbolism that I see throughout vampire literature and in TVD is the theme of trying to be who you really are inside, the you that you know is authentic and real and true to yourself, and at the same time trying to be the person that everyone around you wants you to be especially those that you love and who love you. I just watched the episode of TVD called 'Daddy Issues' from season two and Damon said just that. (It was in the episode before that too) He stated he was in love with someone who wants him to be the better man but that goes against who he is so in order to love her and be loved by her he needs to be something that isn't truly himself. In other words, he has to deny who he really is in order to get love from her and that causes pain in him.

I think this is another thing that attracts people to this genre because after all who among us doesn't feel like this from time to time. We have a burning desire to be who we know we really are inside but people like our family, friends, and loved ones don't see you like that. They have their own image of who they think you are and when you try to step outside of their image of you they react by taking their love away in some way. Many people in society (probably most really) would rather give up on their dreams and who they really feel they are rather than lose the love of people that are important to them in their lives. I think in this way through these vampire stories everyone can identify with that angst that comes from being torn between developing into the person you know you were meant to be and being the person that your loved wants want you to be. It's a universal, human battle and even though the vampires are 'non-human' or 'undead' that battle that is going on within them is something we all identify with and another shred of humanity that still clings to vampires that helps us to sympathize with them and feel for them. They are us amplified and we can respect and understand that.


message 36: by Helen (new)

Helen (icingsugar) | 4 comments I think that the idea of becoming a vampire is a lot more appealing to people with low self-esteem.
If you have low self-esteem you see yourself as weak, ugly, unimportant, etc. What could be more appealing to you then than a beautiful, powerful being? People could not help but notice you. You would feel no longer invisible.
I also believe that people who were/are bullied or abused would find vampires appealing. People who were bullied and abused will often feel vulnerable and powerless. Vampires would represent strength and power, they would be virtually untouchable. I also think that they'd feel anger towards the abuser and so deep inside the dark side of the vampire, the prospect of revenge, the thought that they could inflict suffering without themselves having to suffer, would interest them. They may see becoming a vampire as a form of escape.
Just a thought.
I don't mean to offend anyone with my comments, they're just thoughts that came into my head. Also, it's totally fine if you completely and utterly disagree with me. :)


message 37: by Sabryna (new)

Sabryna | 3 comments Vampire are not supposed to be appealing or charming. It's not because they are appealing in Twilight or in vampire diaries, that they are so charming. Search in the book, vampire are scary and bloody !


message 38: by Leah (new)

Leah Soucy | 19 comments I think we find them so appealing because they have made the modern vampires(like Damon & Stephan) appealing. They have evolved into a normalcy but still have their extraordinary abilities. They can go out in the sunlight, eat and drink, live pretty normal lives & even have sex with mortals but at the same time are immortal, have super speed and strength, can compel and control people etc. The 'old' vampires were scary and bloody as Sabryna above me said but that has changed. I also think it's interesting how we are fascinated with their immortality but they long to be human again and to age etc.. it goes right along with 'everybody wants what they can't have'.
I do agree with a lot of the previous comments as well. So many great points of view, I love it.


message 39: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (veronicabuhl) | 23 comments Yes, it's really interesting to see how the vampires have evolved from being completely horrifying, blood-sucking, monsters to near-human, super ability, beautiful beings with a little bit of a cranky side. I think that's why it's so interesting to note these changes and ask ourselves 'what is it society as a whole looking for that they have created this new genre?' It's obviously REALLY appealing to a lot of people these days as evidenced by all the success of the new vampires and that doesn't happen out of the blue. It's something that society as a whole is asking for and LOVING. Why?

I am very much in to the psychology of why people do things and want certain things and being as I am in this group with them it's even more interesting. What in our psychology is calling out for these vampires? Much of society love vampires and I find it interesting in this day and age where movies are getting more and more violent and graphic that vampires are getting more normal and likable. Sure they have a bit of an unpredictable side and certain vampires...not naming any names or anything because you know who you are (LOL)...have a knack for snapping necks when they're cranky but for the most part they are all fighting with all the same things that 'humans' do just to an amplified extent. Maybe by seeing how they overcome their pain and suffering and go on living we understand that whatever is happening in our lives we can overcome our stuff too.

I find this all very interesting and exciting. :-)


message 40: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 16 comments My love of Vampires began when I was a teenager watching films like the Lost Boys, reading Stephen King and other Horror Authors and most of all my all time teen tv show Forever Knight anyone else remember that he played a vampire who wanted to be Human and was a cop who worked the Knight shift still love it now lol.
I have read many books from Anne Rice to Charlane Harris and I just can't get enough.
I think its the thought of super human strength, mesmerising beauty to seduce you and immortality that draws me in to the whole paranormal genre.
My husband thinks Vampires should be viscous and terrifying and that Vamps that sparkle or go to school etc are not real. But what is real? Vampires can be whatever anyone wants them to be and thats why there is so many more places Authors, Tv shows and films can go and I say bring it on Im waiting.


message 41: by Mila (new)

Mila | 36 comments Helen wrote: "I think that the idea of becoming a vampire is a lot more appealing to people with low self-esteem.
If you have low self-esteem you see yourself as weak, ugly, unimportant, etc. What could be more ..."


I think that maybe you're right. I have a problem with low self-esteem and I wanted to be a vampire (not anymore). But I think also there are some people that just want to be vampires because it seems fun. And being immortal is a plus. :)


message 42: by Mila (new)

Mila | 36 comments And I have to say, I like violent vampires more than those nice ones that drink animal blood (vegetarians). They are more like what vampires should really be- terrifying killers. That's maybe why I like Damon so much, cause he has that evil side and he's a bit of psychopath (but in the best way). But I also like that he has a nice side too, that he could be human if he wanted to.


message 43: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 16 comments I agree Vampires have to have that streak of monster in them even if they seem good,its nice to see the battle inside them you see it the Vampire Diaries with all the vampire characters some trying to be good a little more than others but they have all fallen off the wagon.I think they show the humanity of us all and thet we all have a little bad in us but we have to control it.
Also to me a vampire should be attractive I mean unless they are going to drag you to your doom you are not going to be seduced by a ghoulish looking demon and go somewhere quiet with them even Bram Stokers Dracula had his charm.


message 44: by Leah (new)

Leah Soucy | 19 comments Mila wrote: "And I have to say, I like violent vampires more than those nice ones that drink animal blood (vegetarians). They are more like what vampires should really be- terrifying killers. That's maybe why I..."
LOL..I agree. My son & I were re-watching season 3 last night on Netflix & I said I would probably be more like Damon, crazy haha. I just LOVE


message 45: by Leah (new)

Leah Soucy | 19 comments I didn't get to finish that, it just sent..hmmm. I was going to say.. I just LOVE him! : )


message 46: by Mila (new)

Mila | 36 comments Sarah wrote: "I agree Vampires have to have that streak of monster in them even if they seem good,its nice to see the battle inside them you see it the Vampire Diaries with all the vampire characters some trying..."
I agree, they have to be attractive or just charming to lure their victims. Even the devil shows up as a good looking person :)


message 47: by Mila (new)

Mila | 36 comments Leah wrote: "Mila wrote: "And I have to say, I like violent vampires more than those nice ones that drink animal blood (vegetarians). They are more like what vampires should really be- terrifying killers. That'..."

Yeah, you gotta love Damon :) He's absolutely crazy and so funny and if I was a vampire, I would probably be like him too xD


message 48: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (veronicabuhl) | 23 comments I was watching season 3 of TVD and it occurred to me that Damon might just be close to the only one who is really being himself to an extent. Everyone else is trying to control who they are and avoid those sides that they don't like but Damon is only trying to control the side of him that he thinks everyone else (mostly Elaina) doesn't like. If let to his own devices he's not that bad of a person just a little frustrated and broken hearted. Who among us hasn't been our absolute nicest after being a victim of unrequited love? It can make one cranky. I think that's all that is Damon's challenge. He's heartbroken and in some way feels that he doesn't deserve to be loved because of who he is and the fact that he is not hiding who and what he is.

BTW, I do remember Forever Knight. I loved that show and was sad when it ended. I also liked the show Moonlight and was really upset when they ended it after one season. But all is well again with TVD! LOL! :-)

As to the comment that people who liking vampires because they have self confidence problems. I don't think that's necessarily so. Vampires' ability to do just about anything. The normal constraints of life are not even a bother for them and every day is an adventure. Though I definitely could see your point about the self confidence problem too but I don't think it's the rule in my opinion.

I do think that vampires work much better being seductive and gorgeous. Most of the books that I've read always described them as such (with the exception of older stories) and if they are going to be so powerful one of the most powerful things in the world is the power of good looks. They have even done studies about the power of good looking people in society. I think vampires correlate with those studies.

Just a few thoughts. :-)


message 49: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Dubois | 93 comments Since years, in books and movies, the vampire is a be harmful, hazardous, it is a demon that must be eliminated. Human-heroes devote their lives to this action. They invent weapons (garlic, crosses, holy water, light ...) They clash, valiantly, these surnatuelles beings , and man-hero always wins!
Today, the heroes are vampires, weapons invented in time, have no effect on our mythical being, the wicked are sometimes men, and we hope that vampires live, we tremble for them during in combat.
We are looking for ways to help at make it stronger, rather, make them disappear.
They are super heroes of modern times !!


message 50: by Mila (new)

Mila | 36 comments Catherine wrote: "Since years, in books and movies, the vampire is a be harmful, hazardous, it is a demon that must be eliminated. Human-heroes devote their lives to this action. They invent weapons (garlic, crosse..."

Yes, you're right, weird how things change, huh? :D

One day, I'm going to visit Dracula's home in Transylvania, that's my dream. I heard you can pay to sleep in his castle for a night or something like that, but I'm not sure if it's true. I'd love to try it!

This is a great discussion, by the way!


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