Author Topic: The Russian Soul  (Read 80059 times)

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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #180 on: October 03, 2011, 11:25:06 AM »
I jut wish that the current slew of teen vampire novels weren't presenting "cuddly vampires".  They are like the old "hooker with a heart of gold" theme except these are blood thirsty killers with the need not to kill because they also have a heart of gold.

Vampires with a conscience.

Oh, I so agree. For this precise reason I find Anne Rice's vampires disgusting. Admittedly, Interview with the Vampire was clever and even great, for that genre of popular horror novels, but her subsequent stuff just shows how sick her basic premise is and has always been (vampires feed off human beings and in doing so kill them -- but feel guilty about it afterwards, like feeling guilty about sex, get it? but such a premise is really too disgusting for words). In my opinion this is kind of a Catholic thing, too, this obsession with death. It's even very medieval, like 14th and 15th century European art after the Black Death had killed off a third of the population.

And I believe you are right about finding out about death at an early age.  A child often learns of death from the loss of a loved pet or the death of an aged grandparent (which isn't as traumatic sometimes because old age has no meaning for the young).

In my freshman year of college, a student from my high school class died in a drowning accident.  That was the first time that I realized that even the young may die.  Before that it was the province of the old and the infirm - whom I was told, were expected to died and so it was not as traumatic.

It's hard for us to imagine, but only a century ago people still had to deal regularly with the deaths of very young people in their lives. Because even in 1918 there was no penicillin and no antibiotics. And by way of contrast, let us remember, there was no major epidemic after World War II, despite the horrendous population dislocations and depredations, unlike after every other continental war before it, precisely because of the invention of these life-saving drugs.

I guess my point is that being long-lived is a relatively recent phenomenon, a product of the late 20th century. Before World War II it was not rare, but not common either, now it is only too common, completely widespread in the developed world.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 11:31:09 AM by Elisabeth »
... I love my poor earth
because I have seen no other

-- Osip Mandelshtam

Offline TimM

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #181 on: October 03, 2011, 11:26:46 AM »
Mind you, reports of ghosts as such predate most of the major religions (in fact, it's possible said religions incorporated those reports into their doctrine as time went on).

And ghosts are still being reported today.  Are the shadowy figures that were reported at Alexander Palace over the years just that, shadows.  Or, as some believed, was it NAOTMAA, returning to the place they called home (maybe being Canonized as Saints released them to move on, who can say).  Clearly we humans still don't know everything that goes on out there.
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Alixz

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #182 on: October 03, 2011, 05:31:52 PM »
The books I worry about are the current Twilight books and the TV shows that they have inspired.

I am so glad that I don't have any teen-aged girls to bring up in this current air of cuddly vampires.

I read Interview With A Vampire many years ago and accepted it for what it was.

Offline TimM

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #183 on: October 04, 2011, 12:05:48 PM »
I'm sure this Vampire craze will die down soon.  This is not the first time this has happened, I remember the last one, in the late 1990's, when Buffy and Angel came along.
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Alixz

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #184 on: October 04, 2011, 01:11:08 PM »
I had forgotten Buffy and Angel and we used to watch it with our son.  Again not that often as girls are more apt to like things like that than boys, but there was the character of Xander the nerd and that is what our son has always been.  The class computer nerd.

Now his is the one fixing every one's computers and they are glad that he is there.

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #185 on: October 05, 2011, 05:47:54 PM »
Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a completely great series, long may it live in reruns -- actually that's how I first saw it, long after the show had been cancelled. Buffy and Willow were (are) great role models for high school girls, and the dialogue was so witty and the characters in general so engaging and interestingly developed that you could overlook the occasional lameness of the plots (not to mention the frequent lameness of the cheap 90s TV special effects). I love it in the first season, maybe it's even in the first ever episode of the series, when Willow (typical nerd) shows up to school in a nondescript, dumpy jumper and the class mean girl Cordelia looks her up and down in that sneering way that only mean girls in high school have and says, "Oh, Willow, I see you've discovered the softer side of Sears."

Classic!

I also don't mind the Twilight movies (the books they're based on are another matter -- I tried to read the first book and failed, it was so badly, sadly written). I find these films have a weird but at the same time enchanting 1950s innocence to them, largely because the vampire hero and mortal heroine can't have sex for fear that he'll literally devour her, blood and gore and veins in his teeth and all. This creates a level of sexual tension between Boy and Girl that is almost unknown in our modern-day popular culture with it's upfront, full-frontal nudity and overall shameless display of what is usually (let's be honest) pretty crass and as a result very unsexy sexuality. If you compare the Twilight movies to the American Pie ones, you'll see immediately what I mean.

Also, I can't find anything really harmful in imaginary, fictional vampires who refuse to prey on humans even though it costs them terrible pangs of hunger, and instead prey entirely on wildlife. I mean seriously, are 21st-century vampires supposed to be Vegans or something?
« Last Edit: October 05, 2011, 05:52:37 PM by Elisabeth »
... I love my poor earth
because I have seen no other

-- Osip Mandelshtam