June 10, 2009
Jennifer E. Sunseri, associate professor of classical and modern languages and literatures at Texas Tech University, distinguishes between the vampires of Slavic folklore and the vampire of the modern multiplex.
The olden-days vampire was often a scapegoat or used as an explanation for community problems such as illness.
They were also not sexy, Sunseri said. Remember Bram Stoker’s Dracula? That guy was holed up in the Transylvanian mountains with hairy palms, no tan and some very bad breath — or so the character Jonathan Harker tells us in the book.
In 21st-century America, the vampire is more a personal demon, Sunseri said. Unlike their folkloric ancestors, she said, they exude sex. They also live forever and never need Botox to keep the signs of aging at bay.