Interview With The Vampire and The Origin of Remorseful Bloodsuckers

Rice explained what should have been obvious. After an eternity of erotic adventures, sooner or later straight or gay doesn’t mean anything, especially when food and sex are so intertwined. Poppy Z. Brite, another New Orleans author, delved further into the fluids of the body with her sanguine novels and short stories. Of course, Brite’s characters rode an avant-garde wave where vampires pretended to be humans pretending to be vampires.

HBO’s True Blood used vampires, and all manner of otherworldly creatures, as an allegory for the LGBT community. But Bill the Vampire was the perfect guy. Sure, he had his secrets and his ambitions, but he was about as selfless a vampire as one could hope to meet. He was good enough to eat, though that was a double-edged razor in itself as his blood could be both healing and addictive, like any drug.

Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse Series, also set in Louisiana, occasionally New Orleans, delved deeper into the romantic thriller possibilities than Rice would go, but Bill could very well have been Louis’ neighbor. Louis was 24 in 1791, when he went chasing death in the aftermath of losing his wife and infant in childhood. Bill left his wife and family for the blood life sometime shortly after the civil war. They have adapted to all manner of change, but they both share a desire to cling on to their human selves. This is irresistible to the romance reader, already attuned to loving the bad boy.

But what is a bad boy? “Evil is a point of view,” Lestat pointed out and he’s a rock god. As Homer Simpson has asked, “rock stars, is there nothing they don’t know?” But Lestat isn’t the boy band bad boy secretly spilling his innermost feelings in hurriedly penned Vampire Diaries. If you brought him home to meet your parents, he would only see it as a family meal. Vampire Rock Gods kill indiscriminately because they are as unique as any almighty creature. A vampire knows “nothing of God, or the Devil … never seen a vision nor learned a secret that will damn or save” their souls.

Rice dispensed with a few of the vampire legends. Her vampires were quite fond of looking at crucifixes and didn’t fear a take through the heart, though coffins were still a necessity. Rice had them looking at death differently and self-doubts began to creep in where only pure animal need had only existed before.

Frankenstein’s monster may have blown up the castle because he knew he, his bride and Dr. Pretorius “belonged dead” and Larry Talbot bitched about being bitten by the gypsy lycanthrope, but the only thing to concern vampires were that the blood of their impure whores might have been killing them. Now, if a vampire doesn’t transform from a Lost Boy into some kind of living bat, they moan and groan about their favorite happy meals.

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