Anne Rice – In Memoriam

I’ve always been a fan of vampire fiction. Of course, like most vampire fans, I have my preferences. The vampires of my generation were not Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, but Anne Rice’s rock star vampire, Lestat, and Kiefer Sutherland’s character from the 1987 film, The Lost Boys. These were the vampires of the 1980s. As the Internet meme goes: “They were not emotional sissy boys. They did not attend high school. And they did … not … sparkle.”  The vampires of the 1980s were, above all, dark. And that’s what I wanted to be in high school. I even half-convinced my younger siblings that I was a vampire for a while. My predilection for sleeping all day and my apparent aversion to sunlight made my claim all the more credible to them.

Of all the vampire fiction I’ve read, no one really compares to Anne Rice for me. Rice’s vampires are, ironically, a study in what it it means to be human. They are both more and less human than us, and as such, they highlight what it means to be human. Like humans, Rice’s vampires live on death. This aspect of our humanness is hidden from most of us by the modern food industry which insulates us from the realities of blood and death. But we are just as dependent on death to live as vampires; it’s just more visible in the case of vampires.

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