Vampires and Vampire Fiction

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Matthew Gibson (University of Macau)
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The blood-sucking Count Dracula, fearful of crucifixes and garlic and incapable of bearing daylight or mirrors, has impressed the archetypal image of the vampire upon the minds of twentieth-century readers and film-goers. While the vampire is a recognisable figure, it enjoyed a long and slightly nebulous gestation, mainly in Eastern Europe, before Stoker’s





James Twitchell suggests that the idea of the vampire may well be indebted to the Hindu goddess Kali, who sucks the blood of the living, and was transported by the Magyars and Huns who invaded Eastern Europe in the first millennium AD. However, there are certainly several vampiric figures to be found in classical literature. Most notably there is the lamia, or succuba, a wicked old hag who appears beautiful to a

3914 words

Citation: Gibson, Matthew. "Vampires and Vampire Fiction". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 June 2006 [, accessed 03 March 2024.]

1670 Vampires and Vampire Fiction 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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