Vampires and Vampire Fiction

(3914 words)
  • Matthew Gibson (University of Macau)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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 Dracula.


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 …

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Gibson, Matthew. "Vampires and Vampire Fiction". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 June 2006
[, accessed 03 July 2015.]

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