On The Vampire Diaries
Ladies of the Night, Unite!
Damon Versus the Feminist Vampire Movement
By Jon Skovron
The Vampire Diaries is a perfect example of an age-old battle between opposites. Not Good and Evil, of course. Neither the book nor the show is so didactic as to portray any character as purely Good or purely Evil. No, I’m talking about that other age-old conflict: Boy Vampires vs. Girl Vampires. The conflict began a long time ago, in a place kind of far away . . .
The year was 1816. Many called it the “Year without a Summer” because of a series of strange weather events in northern Europe that extended the rains of spring straight into fall. The earnest young English physician John William Polidori found himself in a Gothic villa near Geneva with his good friend and frequent traveling companion, the poet Lord Byron, and guests Claire Clairmont, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Since they were forced to stay indoors by the freakish weather, they spent a lot of time getting high on laudanum and reading aloud ghost stories to each other. Byron then proposed they each write their own tale of horror. Out of that weekend came two things: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (a book I hold very dear to my heart) and the first known use of vampire folklore in literature, Polidori’s “The Vampyre.” Yes, dear reader, that would be eighty-one years before that Bram Stoker guy wrote that book called Dracula.
Now, we’re going to leave aside speculation on the nature of the relationship between Polidori and his “good …