Yeah, I know they've been around for a while already. But after Ronda and I slept in my niece's room while visiting my sister Carol in Tampa this summer, and I saw several of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" novels on her bookshelf, I began to wonder what the phenomenon signified. With Twilight opening in movie theaters in November, it seems I am not alone. Ah, riding the waves of popular culture...
Since Halloween is not far away, I thought I would share some results of my investigation.
Let's begin with a review of the literature. SciFiPedia has a great little entry.
Barbara Emrys, a professor of English and a contributor to “The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance,” thinks it is simply to do with the appeal of the "bad boy".
Super Jive offers her roundup of this "Vampire Renaissance" in books, TV and film at the womens' blog, "BlogHer".
Josh Eiserike, an entertainment columnist for the Potomac News, rolls his eyes. He'll take pirates any day. Maybe we should have a "Talk Like a Vampire Day" too! Mooah! Is it all just a media blitz, a grab for eyeballs and wallets?
Finally, Australia's Monash University is hosting a two day symposium, which is going on as I write. "Vampires, Vamps and Va Va Voom: A Critical Engagement with Paranormal Romance". Now we're talking! I'd love to read the papers.
Edit, 12/05/08: I want to point readers to this thoughtful piece on the film production of Twilight at The Atlantic magazine by Caitlin Flanagan, What Girls Want: A series of vampire novels illuminates the complexities of female adolescent desire.