Monday, June 17, 2013

Carmilla

Carmilla is another original when it comes to vampire literature and crowd pleaser in Gothic literature. I enjoyed this book much more than the short story: The Vampyre. While The Vampyre took on a medical journal type of feel, Carmilla reminded me of a journal written by a girl as she recorded an event recently passed. This book is also something of focus due to the lesbionic nature of the main characters. I, personally, feel that this isn't a book displaying a lesbian romance but I suppose from that time period it could have been seen as much. How one views a vampire and how they feed can often alter the opinions of what occurs in a book.

Our main character and narrator is female and is also one who is fed on by a vampire -- who is female as well. In fact, our darling vampire feeds on, it seems, only women. Young girls in particular who end up falling ill and eventually die. 

Carmilla appears at the home of our narrator after she had received word of a girl dying from the similar illness shared by others. Carmilla is a damsel in distress, all but abandoned by her mother to the care of the narrator and her father. She is sweet, charming, and a quick friend but still has oddities of sorts. Still, our narrator and her family take little notice of this until the narrator begins to fall ill as well.

The twist of the story is that since childhood the narrator has had a long standing terror from one solid memory: a woman coming into her room (who coincidentally looked exactly like Carmilla) and bit her breast. All the same seems to be happening again but for the life of her, the narrator can't prove that these things are truly happening. 

This story seems a little more traditional by way of vampire tales in that we are given a romantic notion of a vampire, there is the intended hunt, the injury of a character (or near death), followed by the destruction of the demonic force. I enjoyed this much more than The Vampyre likely because it had more of a story-like writing style and wasn't as factual. Of course I was left wondering about Carmilla and wishing to know more about the lady vampire but, I suppose, that's what fan fictions are for. 

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