vampires and adolescence – what do readers make of these books?

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I’m inclined to think this both too literal a reading of ‘vampire literature’ and too limited a vision of  adolescents, but it is really interesting to see how different people read and respond to such things… Christine Meloni writes:

“Adolescence is often a period of questioning, and one of the things teenagers often question is reality. Is there life on other planets? Are ghosts real? A part of the fascination of vampire literature is that it allows a safe exploration of the darker side of humanity while validating one’s belief in the supernatural. These novels pose questions to the reader about our reality and the possible unknown. With a blend of adventure, fantasy, and romance, they also satisfy the teens’ desire for all things taboo.” (p.30) [She goes on to list a number of titles for librarians interested in meeting popular demand]

I have to say, I think these novels go deeper than that – they explore conflict resolution, friendship, family, urban stresses and strains and a lot of the other social themes that generally make literature interesting…. some of them are crap, sure, but a number also seem to engage happily with a lot of postmodern issues – and theory….

Ref: Christine Meloni (2007) ‘The Rise of Vampire Literature’ LIBRARY MEDIA CONNECTION October 2007, pp.30-33

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