The Vampire Problem: Betraying the Remarkable Human

I don’t want to go into too much detail here, but I want to talk quickly about something I’ve run into in a couple of books that upsets me. It’s odd because I can’t quite place why, and it seems like such a silly thing to get upset over.

I’ve read more than one book where a vampire encountered a human, and they fell in love, and then the human ended up a vampire.

This upsets me.

Because usually in these books, one of the reasons the vampire loves the human so much is their humanness. At least since Anne Rice started writing about vampires, there’s been a sense that immortality makes you jaded. Life takes on a tarnish when you live it long enough, and the magic seems to go out of the world. But when vampires love humans, I think they regain that magic and vitality that, being undead, they can’t quite get themselves.

I hate it when in a book where this is an essential plotline, they then turn that human into a vampire. And most vampire books I’ve read fall into this trap. In all genres: horror, chicklit/romance, YA.

But it’s such an odd thing to feel. It’s an absolute disgust, and I recognize it in myself and think, “That’s so silly.”

All I can figure is that I identify heavily with remarkable human girls/women, because I like to think that I have a somewhat unique passion and vitality, and I fear it being taken away by becoming jaded and cynical. (It’s funny; I’m very cynical in some ways, but not at all in others.)

Do you have any thoughts on the matter? Pleasing not to spoil New Moon, Eclipse, or Breaking Dawn, as I haven’t read them yet and might ever.

Comments may contain spoilers for Christopher Golden’s Shadow Saga.

3 responses on “The Vampire Problem: Betraying the Remarkable Human”

  1. Full disclosure: I have a vampire novel for adults (Blood Groove, Tor 2009) coming out next spring, so I’ve put a lot of thought into these ideas. I agree completely, and more, I think when you lose the idea that becoming a vampire means giving up some very human traits (aging, death, sex in some cases) you also lose the power of the metaphor. A character can certainly fall in love with, and therefore want to become, a vampire, but shouldn’t it be an ambiguous ending at best? If it’s not, if they live happily (for)ever after, then what’s the point of even using the vampire as a concept?

  2. You’re right!

    This has always been my problem with the whole vampire genre. I love the romeo and juliet set up of a passion that’s impossible (undead and human) but I always feel rotten when the “answer” to the problem is to make the human undead, too. Hmmm.
    good post – lots to think about!

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