I hate vampires.
They're right up there with pirates and professional wrestling on my pop-culture scale of hatred this decade. They've always just seemed a little silly to me. Immortality seems fine and all, but throw in the costumes, the infinite search for blood, the nocturnal-ism, and it's just not for me. I didn't always hate them; I'll admit that I went through an Anne Rice phase in middle school just like everyone else. But the new found cultural sensation in films and books and games and just about everything else kind of sickens me. I think people now are jumping on the vampire bandwagon for all the wrong reasons. I guess we can blame it on Stephanie Meyer and aging goths.
That being said, I'm looking forward to participating in Infinite Summer's fall project: reading Bram Stoker's Dracula.
I've read Dracula before. I actually wrote a book report on it in, like, ninth grade. I remember absolutely nothing. I do however still have the worn copy that I'm now very pleased I never returned to my school library. The only difficulty I see with reading Dracula as part of a scheduled book club is that it's kind of a page turner. That seems to be a function of the Gothic romance novel. At least I'll make it thorough this time; I'm still trying to get through to the end of Infinite Jest.
As preparation, I'm reading a bit about the role of horror in fiction, literature, and philosophy. I discovered a fantastic philosophical journal called Collapse which has dedicated their most recent edition to the subject of Concept Horror. They have an electronic version of the journal at their website. Of particular interest to Dracula readers are the essay Infinite Regress into Self-Referential Horror: The Gnosis of the Victim by George Sieg, and M.R. James and the Quantum Vampire by China Miéville. I am hoping that these essays will inform any commentary I might have on the novel, and maybe help to correct my poor attitude towards Vampires and the horror genre in general. At the very least you'll get something better than a ninth grade book report.