-Read this story: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/10007/10007-h/10007-h.htm -Read the attached file. – Write 350 words essay response to these question: •Although vampires have a long history in Slavic folklore, literature didnt really pay them much mind. Carmilla is one of the first vampires in literature, and the first with a long-ish story about her. For this post, think about the context and history of this story. You can answer these questions or come up with your own related to the period in which this story was written: As Amy Leal points out, homosexuality was taboo in the 19th century, especially lesbianism. Find instances in the story of Carmillas homoeroticism. Use Leal as a starting point and the internet for additional research and look up 19th century laws about sex. How does making Carmilla an evil vampire relate to her lesbian attentions to Laura? Vampires, maybe more than other specters, have a lot of rules. In Interview with a Vampire Hunter, sunlight will kill vampire; in Twilight, it just makes them sparkle. In Supernatural, you have to cut off their heads; in Strigoi you have to cut out their hearts. Find an example of a “rule” about vampires in Carmilla and compare it to other pop culture depictions of vampires. The short serialized pieces that became Carmilla were written in 1871-1872. Use the Internet to look up what was happening in the UK and the world during this period.
What were the controversies and issues of the day? How might they related to Carmilla? -Write >50 words response to each of these 2 thread (please write them separately): 1. It’s interesting to me that while we may consider Dracula the standard by which all vampire stories are a derivative of, in actuality it was written many years after the actual first vampire novel The Vampyre, by John William Polidori in 1819. In Amy Leal’s “Unnameable Desires in Le Fanu’s Carmilla” they mention that Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote about a female vampire in Christabel (Leal, 39). While it may have influenced Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, Coleridge’s work is not a novel, but a long poem. Carmilla was written in 1872, which was 26 years before the very popular Dracula, by Bram Stoker in 1897. I would say that in some ways Dracula is not nearly as interesting as Carmilla. We’ve already read and discussed Victorian ghost stories written by Edith Wharton. The Victorian era is from 1837 to 1901 according the Wikipedia. This period was named after Queen Victoria and her influence on society was significant. The rules for how one acts in society, are particularly important for the elite classes. The main characters in Carmilla are either from old families or have titles such General or Doctor to signify their social importance versus the common peoples. It’s telling that Carmilla says about a local girl who died “She? I don’t trouble my head about peasants. I don’t know who she is” (Le Fanu).
Even the vampires in this story appear to be classists. 2. Concerning the conflation of evil behaviors being given to sapphic or queer people, this is a tactic that has been used for many years across medias and literatures. The “queer coding” of villains is prominent, especially in mainstream media. Jafar from Aladdin is slender and wears eyeliner. Ursula was inspired by a drag queen. Doctor Facilier from Princess and the Frog also wears makeup and is given a nonmasculine, slender appearance. This, combined with showing heroes in more stereotypically tradtional expressions of heterosexual behavior, allows for a stark contrast in aligning the traditional with the moral good and the deviation as a wrong.