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Old 05-25-2019, 07:37 PM   #76
Bookworm_Girl
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Sounds like a good thesis - the evolution of vampires in literature. I thought this article was interesting.
https://the-artifice.com/vampires-in-literature-themes/

For very recent books, there is the Clairmont family of vampires in Deborah Harkness's All Souls Trilogy. When Silas mentioned there were dark things in his past, it was the vampire Matthew Clairmont from this series that popped into my mind. Obviously this series was written after The Graveyard Book but as mentioned it's a recurring theme in literature. The television series adaptation of the first book, A Discovery of Witches, is currently showing on AMC and BBC America. It has a great cast of well-known actors. I watched it earlier this year on Sundance NOW.
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:06 AM   #77
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I like these layers too. I also liked the historical references, and I think I would have had fun as a young reader figuring out Silas was a vampire without it being directly stated too. On the other side, even though it was a coming of age story, I liked how it also addressed the adult side of letting go as children mature and enter the adult world. I thought the ending scenes between Bod and his Owens “parents” were very touching and well done.
C.S. Lewis regarded children’s literature as a specific art form and one of its pleasures was that adults would get even more from it than children because they had more to give. Personally, I think that his insight is just as applicable to YA Literature—perhaps even more so. The Graveyard Book and Coraline offer a great deal in terms of thematic depth and moral relevance.
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:05 PM   #78
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Thanks for that article, Bookworm-Girl. It is interesting to see how a figure of fear can evolve over time. Apart from Dracula, I don’t think I have read any other books with vampires in them, sparkling or still, until I came to Silas. Gaiman certainly makes us want to know more about him.

On your point, fantasyfan, I think that the great works of children’s literature live on because there is indeed so much for the adult to enjoy too. Reading one of the Alice books aloud to a child is a great pleasure for both parties. It’s a happy memory for me of doing just that with my small niece and nephew many years ago.
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:01 PM   #79
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Bookpossum, you may enjoy J. Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla, which I read when the old MobileRead Book Club selected it. I also really enjoyed Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian (see description below). Oddly I've read several books with vampires in them but never Dracula!
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Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself-to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive. What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed-and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends? The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe
One of the things that I liked about The Graveyard Book was that it took these figures of fear and a scary place like a graveyard and made them friendly and home-like and safe to Bod. I think in the book the graveyard area was even described as part of a nature preserve for the community. Gaiman obviously has a different perspective on graveyards since he took his young son to play in one, which inspired him for the setting of this book.
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:35 AM   #80
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I've thought of an earlier, but non-literary, "good" vampire: Barnabas Collins from Dark Shadows. It's not a show I ever saw, but Barnabas's trajectory seems similar to Silas's, an early evil non-life which segued into working on the side of good.

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One of the things that I liked about The Graveyard Book was that it took these figures of fear and a scary place like a graveyard and made them friendly and home-like and safe to Bod. I think in the book the graveyard area was even described as part of a nature preserve for the community. Gaiman obviously has a different perspective on graveyards since he took his young son to play in one, which inspired him for the setting of this book.
I think graveyards of a certain vintage are very friendly and places of fascination to children. Where I live, there are very old family plots all over the place, by the side of the road, in open spaces, even in the middle of the woods. I can't imagine taking a child to play in one of the modern manicured cemeteries, but a place that's overgrown, with tumbled headstones, crumbling mausoleums, hard if not impossible to decipher inscriptions, is endlessly interesting and provides a lot of room to roam, run and even ride a bicycle as with Gaiman's son without fear.
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:25 AM   #81
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I've thought of an earlier, but non-literary, "good" vampire: Barnabas Collins from Dark Shadows. It's not a show I ever saw, but Barnabas's trajectory seems similar to Silas's, an early evil non-life which segued into working on the side of good.



I think graveyards of a certain vintage are very friendly and places of fascination to children. Where I live, there are very old family plots all over the place, by the side of the road, in open spaces, even in the middle of the woods. I can't imagine taking a child to play in one of the modern manicured cemeteries, but a place that's overgrown, with tumbled headstones, crumbling mausoleums, hard if not impossible to decipher inscriptions, is endlessly interesting and provides a lot of room to roam, run and even ride a bicycle as with Gaiman's son without fear.
I played in an old graveyard as a child, a secluded alcove set on top of a small cliff near our swimming hole/flooded gravel pit. The combination of seclusion, sun and stone would lure snakes into basking making them easy to catch.
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:34 PM   #82
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Interesting article Bookworm_Girl; I have read all the titles up to and including Interview with the Vampire, none of the listed ones after that.

I went through a vampire phase in the late 1970s--Interview, the Broadway revival of Dracula with Frank Langella, and a TV production with Louis Jourdan as Dracula all came along at about the same time and fueled my interest. What they had in common was seductive, handsome vampires.

Though I watched Dark Shadows back in the day, Barnabas Collins wasn't in their league.

Bringing this around to cemeteries, on my first trip to London I made sure to visit the wonderfully creepy Highgate Cemetery because of Dracula. Old cemeteries are vastly more interesting than new ones.
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:16 PM   #83
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Thanks for the recommendations, Bookworm_Girl. I shall check them out.

Sadly, though I lived in London for about a year, I never got to Highgate Cemetery. However, I did visit the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris and found the grave of Abélard and Hélouise, along with those of various other people of course.

Old cemeteries here in Australia, and no doubt elsewhere, are often great places to find flowers that haven't survived elsewhere. Some of ours have native orchids in them that are just about impossible to find in other places.
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