vampire | WAMC

vampire

Bob Barrett

Studying history, including your own family history can be fascinating. And if one of your ancestors happened to write the original novel Dracula, well how cool is that? And there might be a little actual history involved in that story.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to Dacre Stoker, the great grandnephew and keeper of the estate of Bram Stoker.

We’ll also spend an academic minute looking for less famous vampires.

In “The Sky Is Falling: How Vampires, Zombies, Androids, and Superheroes Made America Great for Extremism,” cultural journalist Peter Biskind dives headlong into two decades of popular culture, from superhero franchises and series like “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones” to thrillers like “Homeland” and “24,” and emerges to argue that these shows are saturated with the values that are currently animating our extreme politics.

In Anne Rice's new novel, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, hero, leader, inspirer, irresistible force, irrepressible spirit, battling (and ultimately reconciling with) a strange otherworldly form that has somehow taken possession of Lestat's undead body and soul.

This ancient and mysterious power and unearthly spirit of vampire lore has all the force, history, and insidious reach of the unknowable Universe.

    This morning we spotlight New York Council for the Humanities and get seasonal and talk about their spooky humanities projects across New York.

We are joined by: Dr. Tim Madigan, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of Irish Studies at St. John Fisher College. Tim, in addition to giving talks about Frankenstein through the Council's Speakers in the Humanities program, is the organizer of a one-day public conference, "The Irish Vampire," exploring the life and influence of the Irish novelist, Bram Stoker, and his immortal 1897 work, Dracula.

Erika Sanger, Director of Education, The Albany Institute of History & Art. Erika joins us to talk about the exciting slate of programs she's organized around The Albany's Institute new exhibit, The Mystery of the Albany Mummies, specifically an upcoming project on Amenhotep's Mask and the Book of the Dead.

Anne Field of the Friends of the Town of Pelham Library is here to talk about Pelham Reads Frankenstein, a community-wide reading festival around Mary Shelley's 19th century classic novel.

Rob Edelman: Last Tuesday Is Ancient History

Oct 7, 2013

Upon first seeing the word “vampire” in the description of ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, the latest Jim Jarmusch film, which was screened this year at the Toronto Film Festival, I thought to myself, “Oh, no. Not another vampire film.” And furthermore, is Jarmusch just being trendy here? Is he looking to latch onto the coattails of the TWILIGHT franchise by making a film about creatures who subsist by sucking the blood of living beings?

    In more than a century of vampires in pop culture, only one lord of the night truly stands out: Dracula. Though the name may conjure up images of Bela Lugosi lurking about in a cape and white pancake makeup in the iconic 1931 film, the character of Dracula—a powerful, evil Transylvanian aristocrat who slaughters repressed Victorians on a trip to London—was created in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel of the same name, a work so popular it has spawned limitless reinventions in books and film.

But where did literature’s undead icon come from?