Female Friendships in Gothic Literature

With Valentine’s Day coming up, it feels like we’re getting constantly hit in the face with commercialized images of heteronormative romantic love. It’s enough to make anyone feel a little disenchanted, but I’ve always loved the holiday. For me, Valentine’s Day is about more than just purchasing materialistic expressions of affection for your significant other. It’s about celebrating love in all its forms. And, personally, some of the most important relationships in my life are my friendships with other women. Growing up, my female friends and I always took this time of year as an opportunity to send each other flowers, give out chocolate, and be extra vocal with our love and support. That’s why this Valentine’s Day, I want to take a moment to celebrate some of my favorite female friendships in Gothic literature. Continue reading Female Friendships in Gothic Literature

Modern Takes on the Vampire Classic, Carmilla (Part Two)

Last week, I reviewed a modern illustrated edition of the vampire classic, Carmilla. As you can see from my last post, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story of a teenage girl who discovers her friendly new houseguest may not be as innocent as she looks. However, if reading books from the 1870s still isn’t your thing, even after it’s been disguised as a modern paranormal romance—or if you’re just a huge fan of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and love seeing classic texts brought to life in front of the webcam—then I definitely suggest that you check out the Carmilla web series.

Continue reading Modern Takes on the Vampire Classic, Carmilla (Part Two)

Modern Takes on the Vampire Classic, Carmilla (Part One)

Now you may remember that back when I wrote my Vampire Literary Canon post, I had yet to read one of the celebrated classics of vampire literature—Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. An early vampire tale, this novella was written decades before Bram Stoker dreamed up Dracula. And now that I’ve finally gotten around to reading it, I can say that in my personal opinion, it’s significantly better than Dracula, too. Perhaps simply because it doesn’t drag on as much. And it also seems somewhat better suited to a modern context. For those of you that don’t normally spend your Sundays reading tomes from two centuries ago, you can still enjoy this charming vampiric classic. In this post, I will review the fun illustrated version I found, which would fit in on your bookshelf right beside your twenty-first century vampire novels. If reading the classics still isn’t your thing, stay tuned next week for my post on the modernized Carmilla webseries! Continue reading Modern Takes on the Vampire Classic, Carmilla (Part One)

The Vampire Literary Canon

"Carmilla" by David Henry Friston
“Carmilla” by David Henry Friston

Now, how can we possibly talk about gothic literature without mentioning the vampire genre? Of all the creatures that go bump in the night, vampires have long been a favorite of writers and readers alike. Today of course, the word brings to mind the type of teenage vampire love story popularized by Stephanie Meyer. To have a true appreciation of the genre however, I urge you to check out some of the classic stories that established the concept of vampires as we think of them today and informed the countless vampire novels that followed:

Continue reading The Vampire Literary Canon