What Manner of Man is This? The Depiction of Vampire Folklore inDracula andFangland

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Engelska institutionen


The vampire figure is very much a part of the literary landscape of today, and has been so for the last 200 years. The vampire has not always appeared as it does today, as the rich, urbane gentleman, but has its origins in old folklore legends. The idea that the vampire figure has changed over the course of history is not new, but instead of discussing the phenomena influencing, and changing, the vampire motif, this essay will try to shed light on the aspects of the folklore vampire that are still part of the vampire of today. By applying the theory of folklorism (folklore not in its original context, but rather the imitation of popular themes by another social class, or the creation of folklore for purposes outside the established tradition), presented by Hans Moser and Hermann Bausinger among others, this essay attempts to prove that the modern vampire is in fact a folklorism of the old folklore legends. The essay examines the more recent incarnation of the vampire, the literary vampire who emerged during the 18th and 19th century, with the intent to prove that, while it is different from its origin, it has several features in common with its ancestry as well. To show this, examples from Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), and the more recent novel Fangland (2007) by John Marks have been chosen to serve as basis for the analysis. Both novels clearly show instances where folklore has been brought into the narrative as a way to define and depict the vampire.

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