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LoraHatesSpam

Lora Hates Spam

My rants and reviews

Currently reading

Before the Coffee Gets Cold
Toshikazu Kawaguchi, Geoffrey Trousselot
The Wolves of Venice
Alex Conner
Tales in Time: The Man Who Walked Home and Other Stories
Peter Crowther, Robert Silverberg, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, Lewis Padgett, Garry Douglas Kilworth, James Tiptree Jr., Charles de Lint, Spider Robinson, Jack Finney, L. Sprague de Camp, Brian W. Aldiss, H.G. Wells
Progress: 27/284pages
Black Sunday
Tola Rotimi Abraham
The Wood Burn Book
Rachel Strauss
Elemental Magic
Nigel Pennick
The Lost Queen
Signe Pike
Dragons & Mythical Creatures
Gerrie McCall, Chris McNab
The Truants
Kate [Samantha Weinberg] Westbrook
Hello, Again
Isabelle Broom

Carmilla

Carmilla - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

 

Carmilla pre-dates Bram Stoker's Dracula by 26 years, but has some similar themes. It is the story of a young woman, Laura, who comes under the influence of a female vampire, who first comes to her when she is a child, comforting her in her bed.

 

The narrative has the same sort of melancholy moodiness and intimacy that has become familiar to Dracula movie watchers, but I think better expressed in the prose of this story. The developing relationship between Carmilla and Laura crosses lines of intimacy at times and was probably ahead of its time, expressing a form of love that confuses Laura at times. Her friend Carmilla often drifts off into a sort of dreamy quality, sometimes worrying those who care for her because some sort of epidemic seems to be spreading, where young women weaken slowly and eventually die.

 

Blood often features in Laura's dreams about Carmilla and somehow she and her family don't question that their guest never comes down from her room until late in the afternoon.

 

I found it a very atmospheric read, though some points were a little difficult to suspend disbelief. Carmilla often deviates from normal behaviour for young women of her time, yet no one questions or demands anything of her.

 

As classic vampire fiction goes, I'm amazed that I never heard of the story before now. It's not the most action packed story I've ever read, but I think essential reading for fans of the genre.