Monday 24 November 2008

Paranormal Romance

The other day I was contacted by a journalist who wanted to ask me about paranormal romances. It seems that a friend of mine had referred him to me claiming that I would be an expert, but I honestly felt quite uncertain about the subject, because I rarely read vampire novels (I think, the last two I have read were Rikke Schubart's Danish novel Bid and Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian). Of course, I have noticed that so many vampire romances are published, but I haven't really taken the trouble to look at them more closely, although I recall at one time considering doing a blog post on the subject.

So now I have spent a little time looking at web sites on the subject of paranormal romances, and I did e.g. notice this blog that records the thoughts of an English Major at a college who is studying romances, and particularly Vampire Romance Novels.

It seems that these novels are sort of the logical next step in the evolution of the fictional vampire from a revenant and fiend to an ally, friend, and lover. An evolution that has been apparent in its earlier stages in e.g. Dracula movies from the frightening creature of Nosferatu to the 1979 Dracula where the emancipated woman prefers Frank Langella's Count to her mortal boyfriend, and so forth.

Instead of waiting for the good doctor to notice her or for the knight in shining armour to take her away, the modern female of these novels seems to yearn for a vampire or some other paranormal creature. Well, at least that's what I gather from the blurb on some of these novels that are apparently pretty explicit in their romantic (and erotic) content.

It is actually pretty fascinating that vampires, werewolves, demons and other supernatural - and 'evil' creatures - so explicitly have become the romantic subjects and objects of these novels. The fascination with these creatures have of course been implicit in earlier fiction, but with time the readers seem to have given up being 'saved' from these nightmares, and rather seem to indulge in them, or at least in what on the face appears to be a nightmare.

I am reminded of the enthusiastic dedication in the copy of the abovementioned Bid presented to me by the author: 'More vampire! More blood! More sex and lust and death!'

1 comment:

Niels K. Petersen said...

Here is the newspaper article that I refer to. It's from a Danish newspaper, so it's in that language, and it's mainly about the Twilight series of novels.

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