1. Lady KrimZen
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    Lady KrimZen New Member

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    Traditional Gothic (Dracula) VS Contempary Gothic (Twilight Saga)

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Lady KrimZen, Aug 21, 2010.

    Which type of Gothic Literature do you prefere to read?
    Traditional Gothic (Dracula and other Vampire Books along these lines) or Comtempary Gothic (Twilight Saga)?


    In my personal opinion, I prefere the Traditional Gothic genre over modern day Gothic anyday.

    What's your opinion?
     
  2. Honorius
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    Honorius Active Member

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    I believe that Twilight does not even contend because it isn't gothic.

    Sure it has a vampire, but for the love of god, he sparkles. The only time a vampire should sparkle is immediately before bursting into flames.

    Enough of the rant though.

    If we consider twilight as contemporary gothic, than classical is better far and away. Classical is actually literary. And it's actually written well.

    If you consider true modern gothic, (books that are actually written well and have literary merit) you could consider The Phantom of the Opera. (Which is from the modern period. We are post modern. Dracula is just before modernist)

    So, I prefer Classical.
     
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  3. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Contempary Gothic fiction is Twilight? What about 'Salem's Lot?
     
  4. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Erm. Have in mind that the comparison isn't fair. There is a humongous load of traditional gothic fiction that was crap and history mercifully let us forget. Even pieces of work that during there time gained some popularity without beefing that good, just like the twilight books.

    I have faith that some of today's and the closest decades productions will reach the highs that preserve it through the ages. And twilight be just as forgotten as the spice girl hype.

    The dark knight, the silence of the lambs, american psycho etc is all awesome examples of modern day works that might become classics.
     
  5. Lady KrimZen
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    Lady KrimZen New Member

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    Indeed. So true. But I also agree with you about Classics being the overall rulers of Literature.



    I brought this topic up just out of curiousity.
    A friend of mine and myself were arguing against die-hard Twilight fans about which book is better to read. We could only name one Vampire Novel (which was Dracula) to use against the Twilight Fans.

    We also said that Twilight has distorted the idea of Vampires. I mean, come on! Vampires that sparkle!!! As mentioned in the quote above, the only time a vampire should sparkle is when they are about to explode into flames. The other idea that a vampire falls in love with a human without eating them straight away also ruins the idea of vampires.

    It just seems that Twilight has turned the traditional idea of Vampires (being blood-thirsty monsters that come out at night to feast on human flesh) into "cute" and cuddly monsters that deluded school girls can fall in love with.

    But that is just my overall opinion. I am happy to hear from everyone else.
     
  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Whether the vampire sparkles or not doesn't really have much to do with whether the story is gothic literature or not.

    w176 is right - a lot of classic Gothic literature is written very poorly indeed. In fact, The Castle of Otranto, which is generally considered the first piece of Gothic literature, isn't example a shining or compelling example of writing.

    Classic literature define the time period more than the quality, in my view. Unless you limit the definition of classic or classical literature to include only the 'good' works from a given time period (which seems somewhat circular), then you'll find a lot of really bad writing out there.

    As for changing Vampires to potential romantic targets, Twilight wasn't the first series to do that either, and the existence of the Twilight sort of vampires doesn't stop other authors from using Vampires in a truly terrifying manner, whether they stick to traditional Vampires or re-invent them in other ways.

    As for the original question, I'd probably prefer traditional on the whole, though I'm certainly not opposed to reading modern gothic fiction if well done. One of my favorite set of novels is Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast series, which was written in the 1940s and 1950s, and would be considered contemporary or modern Gothic.
     
  7. Phlogiston
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    Just as there is a huge amount of contemporary vampire literature that the public will see little of. Dracula / Frankenstein etc are successful examples of traditional gothic lit, and unfortunately, Twilight is an example of successful contemporary gothic lit. Having said that, I agree that while this popularly may be the case, it isn't a very good example technically.

    Still, I think the comparison is in fact a fair one. Ish.

    Having said that, give me traditional every time. And make sure Mary Shelley and Poe are in there too.

    Plus I have to agree with Steerpike about Gormenghast. There was never a finer opening sentence to any novel, anywhere, anytime than Mr Peake in that book.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    is that a Peake drawing in your avatar, Phlogiston?
     
  9. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I'm not really sure you can call Twilight gothic fiction at all.
     
  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Someone like Caitlin R. Kiernan is probably a better example.

    But I think Twilight might be able to meet the genre, broadly defined. You basically need elements of classic Romantic literature and elements of horror. The themes of Gothic literature run all over the place, but I suppose you can argue whether Twilight includes the thematic elements.

    I tend to think it fits the category, broadly speaking. Maybe not the best example of it, but it doesn't seem to be a complete miss either.
     
  11. Phlogiston
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    Yes it is. Of your namesake Mr Steerpike.

    I love Peake's art as well as his fiction. One of my favourite pics is found in the Manchester art gallery.

    [​IMG]

    Even the picture of a perfectly normal activity has a lovely gothic edge to it.

    On topic, rather than the Twilight novels, I think Anne Rice could possibly be used as a better example of modern, popular gothic fiction.
     
  12. Wicked
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    Twilight is not even literature in my opinion. Anne Rice, however, is much better.
     
  13. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    The fact that Twilight is about vampires doesn't in fact seem very relevant to the series. It's just a tweenage love/crush melodrama. The vampire slant is just a hook to make people pay attention.
     
  14. Anonymouse33
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    Twilights not even goth is it? :S
     
  15. Chudz
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    Chudz Contributing Member

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    Actually, I hearken back to "Carmilla" when I want to enjoy something old-school. It pre-dates "Dracula" and introduces a lot of interesting ideas.

    But still, one cannot fault people for attempting to make the subject fresh and exciting. We each want our own take after all, don't we? Some people manage to carry it off, and some don't.
     
  16. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    I enjoy classic stories where the Vampire is the antagonist, an evil creature of darkness and not the main character.

    I also enjoy what I refer to as "evolved" classics. I'll use a movie for the example, because it is what first came to mind.

    In 1994, Francis Ford Coppola made "Bram Stoker's Dracula", where Dracula becomes the main character and not really the evil creature of darkness either. Dracula was a devote, religious and pious noble, who answered the call of the Pope to wage righteous war against the infidel Turks of the Ottoman Empire when they invaded Europe during the holy crusade.

    Taking up the sword in the name of the Christendom, risking life and limb, Prince Vlad fought against vastly larger armies and was victorious in defending the church against the enemies of Christ.

    His reward for his valiant sacrifice of blood, sweat and tears, his beloved is lied to and thinking him slain on the battlefield takes her own life. After drenching the land with the blood of the enemies of the church, the Arch Bishops tell Prince Vlad that not only has he lost his bride, but as a suicide she is also condemned to spend eternity in hell.

    Not unsurprisingly, Vlad is grieving for his lost love, feeling betrayed by his faith and decides that maybe...just maybe...all this religious crap just ain't worth it. Denouncing god, a highly pissed off Vlad plunges his sword into the giant crucifix atop the church altar, where it begins gushing supernatural blood. Mistaking the power of Christ as being the blood, Vlad claims it for himself, taking up the Catholic chalice, scooping up the blood and drinking it in hopes of using the power to bring back his lost bride.

    Unfortunately for Vlad, it didn't work. As punishment for his blasphemy, the almighty casts Prince Vlad out into the outer shadows, beyond the grace of God to live for all eternity as a Nosferratu.

    The horrible tribulations that Job suffered didn't hold a candle to the divine screwing that Vlad got (but then again, Job kept his faith and came through okay...Vlad didn't).

    What I like about this version of the Dracula story is that Vlad isn't evil, he's not even a bad guy. He was a loving man, devoted to his faith and willing to fight and risk death to defend the church...and he got tragically screwed, lost the love of life, lost his faith, attempted to take the power of Christ to bring back his beloved and got cursed to be a Vampire for his effort.

    The "Good Guys" in the story are all to quick and ready to kill him just because he is a "monster". Mind you, after centuries of living in the shadows beyond the grace of god...it is unwise to provoke such a creature, but it is also easy to sympathize with him. This wasn't the case in the older classic versions of the tale.

    As for the "Twilight Saga", I'm not really familiar with that one. Is it the one with the emo, vampire teenager who has to cope with the stress of high school? If so, I find it falling woefully short of the grand scale, epic tales I appreciate.
     

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