Friday, September 20, 2013

When Immersion Becomes Shocking.

Frank Rose argues that with each new medium of entertainment albeit books, 3D movies, the World Wide Web: society gets more immersed into a world of fantasy. Especially in the past this was a concept that was feared, the lower class was on a strict schedule and needed to be doing menial tasks, although their minds didn’t have to be sharp they had to be focused. They supposedly couldn’t handle juggling fiction and actuality. In the 21st Century we know that this is not true we can read a story, take away from it what we will and not live in Wonderland. With the access to facts and information we can understand more about truth around the world, but we would rather transcend it and escape to the far reaches of imagination. With the advancing mediums our evasion becomes less of a sabbatical and more apparent in our lives. 

Even though we clearly have the cognitive functioning to differentiate the separate entities, fact and fiction, we still choose to have three conversations over Facebook while in the middle of another with someone standing next to us. While reading text we do not have the chance to see the body language that may confirm or contradict the words we would rather “keep in touch” with many people instead of focus on few fulfilling friendships. In a different way than social media, Dracula holds some significant aspects of reality although still fiction. The Count, although a monster- looks human (comparative to the use of Photoshop as mentioned in Rose’s article) he can blend in and reach societal standards and expectations. This “aesthetic reality” (what appears to be real/normal but is not [catfish!]) may draw us in because everyone feels a little misunderstood at some point. Sometimes we think thoughts or feel emotions that we believe no one else ever has, referring back to Why We Love Horror Movies, maybe we all feel like monsters inside even though we look like everyone else. Since it is never written from the point of view of a vampire we are still curious, as this character is even more impersonal we can use our own minds to fill in the rest. I believe we enjoy fiction that gives us a structure other than our everyday lives but with enough obscurity for us to make it a world of our own. In The Present Shock by Douglas Rushkoff (everyone should read this book, 'tis awesome!) he explains his theory of apocalypto, basically how with the zombie and end of humanity as we know it fads that have been crowding our media we are all searching for a way out of our daily lives. In this technological age we all secretly crave simplicity. Fiction in all its forms is fairly straightforward when we watch a horror movie we expect to scream, when we read a romance novel we expect to cry but above all we expect to not be interrupted in this alternate reality, everything else can wait.

Sucked into a Dream World

       In the essay "The Art of Immersion: Fear of Fiction", Frank Rose explained how the mediums of different generations sucked people into fantasy worlds which some believe is dangerous. One of the first forms of entertainment were novels. Rose used fictional character Don Quixote as an example to show what happens to a person when they become indulged in a book. After reading so many books about knights, he decided to become a knight. With his horse, Don Quixote traveled the world looking for knightly duties. He became so immersed in his books that he began to live as a character from one them. It became his reality.
       The next medium to come was serialization. Serialization was the publication of novels through weekly or monthly installments. A critic for the North British Review wrote against serialization claiming it mingled dreams with daily life. It allowed people to dream out, be put back in reality, then dream out again. The critic also claimed that serialization wasn't the right way to indulge because it wasn't a healthy recreation like sports.
       About a hundred years later movies or "talkies" became popular.  Brave New World's author, Aldous Huxley claimed he felt phantom lips as he watched actors kiss on screen. This sensation became to be known as "feelies'. In the 1950's television became the newest source of entertainment. It soon became the truth because logical thought could't compare to tv. Now of days people immerse themselves in the internet with social networking, gaming, and watching programs. Rose suggested that in this world of photoshop and scripted reality show, knowing what is real becomes difficult to find out. In a way reality and fiction is intertwined.
       Frank Rose ends his essay by saying we think we want authenticity. But what we really want is to go back to the fantasy world. I completely agree this statement. People go to the movies and read books to escape reality. We enjoy the dream world these mediums give us because our reality is routine and boring. I believe people enjoyed Bram Stoker's Dracula because it was so out of the ordinary.People sleeping in coffins and crawling down walls weren't normal things to do. People got to live out a fantasy while reading it. Another reason we enjoy these fictional worlds is because we get to live out a life not of our own.

The Power of the Mind

            In response to Frank Rose’s short story “The Art of Immersion: Fear of Fiction”, he speaks about how people would rather live in the fantasy world then living in reality. Rose states, “It’s what we think we want. What we really want is to go back to Pandora, even though we’ve never been there in the first place”. With this being said a great example would be the movie Avatar, which the movie is about a young disabled soldier, after the death of his brother, he takes on his brother’s mission into another world called Pandora. He takes the identity of  an “Avatar”, which then he learns their ways and bonds with the Na’vi people, he realizes how he would rather live in that “Fantasy” world then reality being disabled and not being able to walk.
          Another example is the movie “The Great and Powerful Oz”. The movie is about a magician who falls into a world of people who believed him to be a great wizard. Which was a whole different reality, a different environment which everyone worships him. He wanted to live something that’s not real, which was taking the name of the Wizard of Oz. Even though he knew what his true reality was he loved the attention everyone was giving him and the image of being the Great and Powerful.

          As for a real life experience, my nephew Jacob is 5 years old and he is PDD Autistic and ADHD. Because of his disorders his imagination takes over his reality. He takes things literally, he cannot accept sarcasm, so it’s like he gets confused with what he see on TV with what is reality. He knows in real life that he cannot do certain things, but because he sees it in cartoons he feels as if he can be a cartoon, as if he is a character in the cartoon. He knows that certain things are not real but he wants to believe it’s real because he know that it is fun for him.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

You see it and now you Dont the Art of Immersion

In the article "The art of Immersion Fear of fiction ",the author Frank Rose tells us that books have been downgraded  due to the love we have for movies . He tells us that "It is an envoirment real as the world it becomes and is the truth ".With this quote he basically tells us that we perceive movies to be as realistic as the world we live in. He uses the example of the movie "Avatar" , a movie which has incredible graphics and makes you feel as if you were there . Movies tend to take us to a certain place make us believe it is real . A example were we see this in is in the Harry Potter series of books which were  extremely detailed in describing every movement of a character as well as every  feeling . When adapted into a movie the movie made us believe we were at Hogwarts School of Witch Craft  and Wizardry .When the books first surfaced many children including my self would stand in long lines at Barnes and Nobles to get the latest sequel ,but as the popularity of each sequel to the movie adapted it created less  popularity for the books. Technology allows us to decide what is real and what is not ,it gives us a option of knowing what's real or not without asking it .Technology has  changed our perception towards what we expect a movie should be and also it has made a great deal of competition towards books and novels . Although books have  given us an imagination towards a world of imagination but technology and movies have put us in the action moment it has changed the way we view the world .

Immersion at it's finest / Fear of fiction

Rose is strongly convinced that that the era of novels , have declined at an alarming rate. The disinterest mainly due to the popularity of movies and the birth of the television. This immersion that television creates seem to entrance its viewers , persuade viewers to believe that what thier viewing is accuality. as quoted by faber "It's environment as real as the world. it comes and is the truth." Since television  is at times, taken place in the real world , people will eventually assume that television is factual. 

Rose uses the film "Avatar" as an example of how a film can  entrance a viewer. The animation and cutting edge technology used creates a virtual, almost real-looking world that without common sense you may actually think it's reality. That reason alone , the mere fantasy that a storyline like "Avatar" may happen  one day attracts a large amount of viewers and supporters.

Another example would be the popular TV series " The walking dead" TWD has a massive amount of supporters due to the fact that people genuinely love this fantasy which is the zombie apocalypse. The appearance of zombies , though very unlikely of ever occurring , is able to stir up a hidden , well kept delusion that the " zombie Apocalypse is upon us".

What i do believe, in regards to authenticity , both books and television / film can provide you with facts selectively. books can be fictional as well as TV. Whatever information you decide is concrete is entirely up to yourself.




                                           Don’t Get Stuck in the Matrix, Neo

Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?” (Morpheus, The Matrix)

 Frank Rose “The Art of Immersion: Fact or Fiction”

Rose argues that some cultural scholars fear the power of mass media to replicate reality.  In his article he claims that as technology allows media to increasingly blur the line between reality and fiction, there is a fear that virtual reality will replace real world experiences. He makes the case starting with the recent example of the film Avatar and then referring to past examples of the advent of television and “talkies” or film with dialogue to demonstrate how historically each new media was (falsely) predicted to cause mass chaos and end civilization as we know it. Rose then leaves us with the question of whether or not we want authenticity in the media we consume.

It is the ability of media to wow us with the fantastical that keeps us coming back for more. Gothic literature such as Dracula was popular amongst women who had little means of finding excitement in their provincial existence in Victorian society. Mina and Lucy were created by Stoker to give women of his era an opportunity to live vicariously through  characters that seemed just like themselves but were caught in an exciting web of supernatural villains, exotic foreign lands with strange tongues and customs and heroic men fighting to save the day. Media executives use the same tactic with reality TV shows. “Real” housewives and other types of relatable women are taped living lavish lifestyles that the average women may dream of but never actually experience. They get a Rolex watch for Christmas, you get a toaster and now you tune in each week to watch their "reality" because you wish that was you. The important question however, is not what we want but whether or not it is good for us.

The quest to be entertained can become a slippery slope if you are not firmly planted in reality. As Ray Bradbury predicts in Fahrenheit 451 media can be, “an environment as real as the real world. It becomes and is the truth.” Whether it’s a family of modest means foolishly running up credit card debt trying to emulate a lifestyle that was never theirs to begin with or a madman tragically opening fire on a crowd of innocent people trying to re-create their favorite video game, succumbing to the fantasy can have some devastating, irreversible consequences. Not everyone is strong enough not to get sucked into the matrix.

Respect Reality, but Embrace the Fantasy

            The "The Art of Immersion: Fear of Fiction", written by Frank Rose is an essay about immersive technology and literature and the reaction of people past and present. Rose starts off by reminding us of the huge success of the movie Avatar and how people gushed over the animations and how they wish they could return to the planet Pandora as if it were real. And then brings to our attention how centuries earlier that Don Quixote lost his mind reading and living so much in his books. He explains how the progression of this fear of losing ourselves in a fantasy began starting with novels, then movies, then TV and up until now with computers.
              Before movies which back then were referred to as talkies all the hype was about novels, specifically serializations which was a publication of literature in regular installments. As the popularity grew the fear and judgment did as well. According to a British critic serializations were not healthy and threw people into a state of unreal excitement, a trance. The critic claimed novels weren't up to par with more acceptable hobbies like games and socializing. Then when the TV was introduced all the fear was that everything on TV was the truth and it was hard to just put aside like with a book. Rose says that logical thoughts were no match for the glow of the TV screen.
            In this day in age it is the internet that becomes too immersive. Rose points out that we happen to live in a world where Photoshop and scripted reality shows exist. But as much as technology leaves us questioning what is real and fake, technology gives us the ability to determine what is real and fake. In the conclusion Rose states this is not what we really want, what we actually want is to be immersed in something that’s not real at all.
          I would further Rose’s argument, I think many people need an escape and crave it at times. I think it is essential to make living a little easier. It’s almost the same point Stephen King makes in his article Why We Crave Horror Movies, that horror helps us maintain our sanity and that we all secretly love to indulge in the madness. Well in my opinion Rose is trying to tell us that we should indulge ourselves in a fantasy world whether it is in a book, movie, or television show, and that really this is something we all want. For me reading a good book is like a chance to escape my problems and give myself a chance to breath. And I agree with Rose, this is something everyone wants.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blogger app!

The following link is for the blogger app. I have an iPhone so I'm not sure how it is on an android. I find the app quick and easy to use. I mean we can do our homework on it so thats fun I guess. Anyway, enjoy

To Love a Vampire

To Love a Vampire

Response to Vampires and Why We Love Them

So Eric is basically the quintessential vampire expert (and not for nothing anyone that writes a one-

hundred-page thesis on vampires BETTER BE an expert.)  I say that because I found him to be quite

open-minded unlike most die-hard vampire fans that have no tolerance for the new vamps on the

block e.g.  Twilight.  However, he does acknowledge, which is pretty obvious by one of is

illustrations that the

new era of vampires have in some sense taken away from the horror aspect associated with

vampires from the Victorian era.  It is now replaced with starry-eyed teenage girls who fantasize

that one day her bloodsucking knight and shining armor will come along and sweep her off her feet.

Eric also goes on to name a few authors who have written vampire literature such as Stephanie

Meyer, Dr. Polidori, Sheridan Le Fanu, Nina Auerbach  as well as Anne Rice in which he lightly

touches on how each of the authors’ works have manifested into the “evolution of the vampire”

throughout the ages.

 In closing I will say that I really enjoyed Eric’s article. One of the things that he mentions in his

article that got me excited was how he likened vampires to serial killers and how they were a

product of society. That really got me thinking how we really need a well written and well directed

prequel. I think most die-hard vampire fans would this and it would give them something to talk

about. I do not consider myself a die-hard van of vampire movies but I, like many others grew up on

Dracula as well and I think it would be interesting to see Dracula as a mortal and learn more about

his life.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Where's the care from vampires?

      Coming from the blog "Vampires and why we love them" by Eric Camarillo's, he explains the fact that vampires are really the best creatures/monster that we have heard or learned about in this history and the history's before us. He tells us as he grew up he wasn't really into Vampires until he did some research on vampires which now made him a vampirologist. He figured vampires would be the most know pick from the other creatures/monsters that people would choose they would like to be, maybe because theyhave powers or they live very long lives.  When he talks about vampires to anyone he thinks of twilight which is when  humans aren't scared of anymore, they kind of look forward to Vampires or expect to see them, The other is people that hate twilight but don't know much about Vampires. He continues to read, watch movies and learn more about Vampires and he says that Vampires can fit anywhere, as in drama,Science fiction, Comedy, Horror, e.t.c. Eric points out that Twilight most likely reflects on young females because they adore things in that nature but it also send negative messages to them and everyone else who likes twilight.

     I think that Mr. Camarillo did a very nice blog, i like how he basically asked us what we would rather be from all the monsters/creatures. He really went through a lot to research about vampires and why we might like them and what are they capable of. Dracula was so popular because it was something new to everyone, people was reading/seeing things they were not used to. Now in days movies and books about vampires are more sexual which is also something new but not scarey, although people still read/learn about it.

Origin of the Word "Vampire"?

Silly video about the origin of the word "vampire":

Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?

The Vamps...

Within the blog Literally darling Eric Caramillo ,the writer tells us through his brief article vampires and why we love them .He tells us that when people speak of vampires the tend to mention only the popular vampire movies such as Twilight and Dracula . Eric tells us that people don't know the history behind vampires they just follow the latest trend .Through out the article we learn that Eric is a vampirologist who's specialty is Victorian and Twenty First Century Vampires . Eric tells us that we can relate to vampires with the need and want to be immortal and get old it tends to fascinates people . The he goes on describing how it depends on the time period of when the book is written because it would fill the needs that need to be met during that time period.

                Within the book Dracula you see women are viewed as virtuous and obiendent to their husbands ;while men are viewed as masculine .But women tend to use their sexuality as a tool .We tend to read Dracula because the ton of information about Victorian England .Where as many adults feel that the Twilight book sends negative messages to young readers .Vampire literature tends to connect readers into a world  of thrill and excitement were deviant desires come into play.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Seductive monsters

     In the article "Vampires and Why We Love Them," the author, Eric Camarillo talks about the 19th century vampires versus 21st century ones and why they are so popular to the crowd nowadays. The author states that "vampire literature didn't just come from nowhere, vampires are the product of our society - like serial killers and carnies." Out society wants to read more and to watch about "seductive monsters" like vampires. Why do we love them so much no one knows the exact answer to this question, but "us," people who are into vampires and this kind of fiction. And one more question goes to the people who hate that genre, why do they hate it if most of them haven't read any of this books?!
    As for me, I'm like the author, Eric Camarillo, used to love vampire literature, sci-fi, and fantasy. I read most of the vampire literature and can say for myself that I like it because it's different from regular, ordinary novels like drama, romance. In reading vampire books I wasn't looking for simple life stories that tent to repeat themselves over and over with different characters in it. Reading Ann Rice's book "Lestat," for example, I tried to travel with that character, I wanted to experience the life of the vampire maybe. What made me read vampire literature is the interest of what people would do if they could live forever, wouldn't it be boring to be immortal?!

Sexy Vampire Ladies...secret empowerment?

  Eric Camarillo's article “Vampires and Why we Love Them” was an amazing piece with creative insight and funny visual aids. I'm actually really envious of his astute Victorian (vampire) knowledge. I can only hope I have the privilege to turn my love for vampires and the Victorian era into the super cool title of Vampireologist one day.

He describes the two types of vampire fans he has encountered when it comes to the great debate of Twilight: the twihard or the anti-twihard. Both, he states have a very limited knowledge of vampires outside the fandom if any.
Camarillo then goes on to describe how he delve into the awesome world of vampires and quickly gets to the reasons why vampires have and will continue to be popular. 

One of the points, and maybe the most important, he makes as to the continued popularity of vampires is that the vampire is always written to encompass the specific “needs” of the time period it is written in/ for. This rings true in Dracula because the Victorian era was a very
conservative time period. An example of this would be the portrayal of women in Dracula versus the stereotypical women of the time. Victorian women were supposed to be meek, demure and answer to a man's call, this is not the case at all in Dracula when it comes to the female vampires we meet in Dracula's castle. They are crass, fiercely and unapologetically sexual; their sexuality is even used as a tool of power over men. I'm sure this would've been a shock to most people of the era but Victorian women might have felt secretly empowered by these strong, taboo female characters. 

Vampires are Just Not Scary Anymore

          In the article "Vampires and Why We Love Them" by Eric Camarillo, Eric begins explaining why vampires were such a popular creature and why they are even to this day.  Eric is a vampirologist who's specialties are the Victorian and twenty-first century.  He tells us how when he was just eight years old he stared becoming interested in vampires and was even one for Halloween that year.  Eric says he believes with a choice of vampires, zombies, ghosts, or mummies, many people would be willing to choose to be a vampire. Why? Because of immortality.  The fact that you can live through centuries and centuries of time, is absoloutley amazing to witness.  Eric mentions different movies where vampires are in and shows us how once a gory horror show we used to be scared to watch, is now more on the sexual and romantic side with very slight gore.
          It's funny because if I were to choose from that list, I would want to be a vampire just so I could live forever.  "Dracula" was more popular back then because people were reading alot of things they were not used to and so this was exciting for them.  This book about a blood sucking vampire was very new to them and so they wanted to see what it was all about.  The sexual content was new and it made people want to read.   Therefore nowadays vampires don't come off as scary anymore. There's more romance than gore and were not afraid of the pale strong man, were attracted to him!

Where the interest for the unnatural comes from?

Eric Camarillo, author of the article "Vampire and why we love them," underlines two types of clients that vampire novel's target. The first kind is attracted by the type of vampires, which involve romance and fantasy, such as Twilight. But those people are not very schooled in vampires itself. On the other hand, there are those who value the lifestyle that the vampires carry throughout the novel. However, they do not appreciate as much the twilight theme. In addition, Camarillo mentions that he has gusto for the unnatural, like the Xman and Pokemon. Often the idea to have superpower crossed his mind. Amongst thing immortality call the attention of people, and that is what vampires share with the public. Vampires have the ability to freeze the age in which they existed. During the Victorian literature, vampire novels enlightened the fears and bias for outsiders and sexualy free women and men. Hence, vampires tells a little bit the history of the civilization that lived, whilst the book was written. Many readers find a connection in the reading.

Dracula a book from the Victorian period resembles the habitant's customs and beliefs of the age. For instance, women were supposed to be under the control of men. However, Stoker, the author of Dracula, gives controversial liberties to his female vampires. They are sexualy seductive, which at the time were not well seen in the society. Nowadays, women who read this book can associate their modern well deserved lives with the characters. According to Cammarillo a book should convey something to the audience that nothing else cannot. Probably, that is why Dracula until now has caught the attention of young and adult readers.        


              In "Vampires and Why We Love Them" by Eric Camarillo, he classify's the different idea's people get in their heads when they think of vampires and vampire stories. He discusses his interest of vampires of the Victorian time, and mentions the fact that the plot in the story of Dracula mirrors the thoughts and lives of people who existed in real life at that time. He mentioned that by reading Dracula, you can see "the fears and prejudices that the English held at that time". There are two kinds of stereotypes that come to mind when reading Camarillo's theory. The stereotype of vampires, and the stereotypes of everyday men and women from the Victorian time. Take a look at a Victorian man: He's educated, hardworking, usually has a family, wears a top hat with a three-piece suit and carries a cane on one wrist. He looks poised; wise. Looking at his eyes, no one dares to question his perspective of anything, especially, his wife. Take a look at the Victorian woman. She is also poised, stands upright wearing a laced dress down to her ankles with a corset underneath which forces her to stand upright. Over her hair held up by numerous pins that took hours, a large hat shields her powdered face from the sun. She calmly waits for her husband while he discusses politics with his maits without giving anyone the idea that she is hot or tired. This is an example of the stereotype that enters our minds when we think of a Victorian man or woman. Many times, men and women of that era fit this stereotype based on how society was at the time. Women were to subside to their husbands, the husbands were to be hardworking and stable, and the husband was allowed to "physically discipline" the wife when she "got out of line". Now imagine these same Victorian people reading Dracula. A story that contains a man who slowly discovers that he's a vampire, and three women vampires who are very seductive. Compare these women vampires to the ideal Victorian woman (as described above). You can see how the author rebelled against the customs and ideas of society in his time by creating characters who were the complete opposite of the people he associated with in everyday life.This is what made the story Dracula very popular in its day. The fact that, as Eric Camarillo described, the characters in the story went against the views of society in that time. The author also broke the stereotype of monsters of that time. When you imagine a monster, you see a shadowy figure creeping slowly towards you in the dark, or running behind you in a dark corrider, desperatly reaching its long, horrifying arms to lock you in a deadly embrace while roaring with anticipation. The author created Dracula to be quite the gentleman compared to the typical monsters we imagine or feared in our childhood. Because of this, even today, vampires are looked at as some of the classiest, poised monsters in time. People craved the book because they wanted to see something different. They liked the fact that the characters weren't people that they knew about in everyday life. We all enjoy a little mystery.

Groovy man a Vampire

Eric Camarillo wrote a blog entry called "Why do we love fiction?" Which talks about Vampires and how it has become such an ongoing popular creature. Eric first starts off by explaining that he is a vampirologist, more importantly he specializes in "Victorian and twenty-first century vampires in English-language fiction." To prove to us why vampires have had such success over the years Eric gives us a choice to choose between a Vampire, Werewolf, Zombie, Ghost, or Mummy. He claimed that most people would choose Vampires over all of these, I myself picked the Vampire. Eric gave various examples of different movies during different times that fit into the "craze" or the most popular topics going on. He goes on to talk about how vampires fits into different topics that appeal to the majority. Some of the topics he talked are "fear of foreigners, of hypersexual women, of feminized men." He also talked about how it shows us some of the expectations we have such as "women to be virtuous, men to be masculine, women to be subservient to their husbands." 

 I feel that Eric Camarillo proved some very interesting points in his blog entry. Being that he studies the subject his ideas intrigued me such as when he was made the point as to which creature you would choose. He said that people appeal to them because of their immortality. I feel this is true because compared to the other creatures you basically have no control of your, lets say other side, but if your a vampire you are fully aware and you do not revert back to primitive instincts. An example is being a zombie, your only instinct is to feed, there is no self control or other instincts not even survival comes into play. A werewolf you do not remember when you are in your werewolf state. Ghost I mean...what can you do turn a light on and off? A Mummy I personally find useless, you moan and take three steps every two minutes. But thats just my opinion. Not only do the powers of a Vampire appeal to us, the idea of the fear of foreigners catches our attention because most of the time people fear something different. If we are not accustomed to it then we are afraid of it. The same with people, foreigners can be meant in the broadest way. It can mean people we do not know or someone new to the neighborhood or an actual foreigner. Because we do not know you and what you are capable of we fear you. As for hypersexual women, we see nowadays that women use their good looks to attract men, please don't take me as a sexist. With the modern day Vampires we portray them to be these goodlooking, fit creatures. The women Vampires usually have heavy red lipstick on. The color red usually holds sexual content in reading. As for feminized men, we see that in this day and age women start to hold more power. We are in a time where a women can be the provider and the men stay at home and take care of the kids. Women are starting to become the ones in power as opposed to the men. We probably are not far from having our first female president. Not to forget that during periods of times there have been female rulers such as Queen Elizabeth and Cleopatra. As Vampires have evolve we seem them fit this "perfect image" that we have for people, such as the men being masculine and strong and having this sort of presence to them. We see women having such high morals and believe how much better they are compared to normal people (not vampires). We also appeal to the idea of women being loyal and faithful to their husbands. Vampires continuous success is due to their ability to change and adapt to the newer generations and them fitting these roles and expectations of society. They are able to continue being used with the same ideas just a different way of portraying it. By changing from horrors to being a romantic story they are appeal to contain different genres which helps draw in different groups of people who enjoy different things. Vampires are able to touch genres such as romantic, suspense, horror, sci-fi and etc. This helps keep people with different interest become connected with their different ways of thinking on the same topic.
Deadly Journal

         Johnathan Harker leaves munich at 8:35pm on May 1 to find Castle Dracula, On his way there he stops in Hotel Royale in Vienna and eats chicken with red peppers which they called paprika hendl. He continues his journey when its very dark outside someone stops the carriage, the takes Johnathan with force and puts him into his to take him to his castle, Johnathan realizes Count Dracula is going around in circles. Johnathan has been there for some days and he realizes Dracula is the one that could of picked him up cause he realizes he doesn't have any servants by Dracula making the breakfast and supper from what Dracula told him, Johnathan has yet to see Dracula eat anything at all but he has he eats when hes out in the A.M but he sees three horrible ladies that wanted to eat Johnathan by the way the licked their lips . Dracula lets Johnathan send out letters to his friends and Family but makes him put a certain date on them, that's when Johnathan starts to try to find a way how to escape. Everyone starts to get nervous when they don't hear from Johnathan, his letters have yet to reach them and that makes Lucy the most nervous because she starts to walk around a lot more than ever. In Dr. Seward's Journal he collects fly's to feed to the spiders he has, they starts to collect sparrows but to finish it off he wants to get a kitten to eat the sparrow. This is something like what Dracula is doing to Johnathan with the 3 horrible ladies, but Dracula couldn't provide Johnathan to the ladies because Johnathan killed Dracula with a Shovel. Mina writes a letter to Lucy about her studying Johnathan words and e.t.c, Mina and Johnathan  soon supposed to get married. Luckily Johnathan gets away from Count Dracula but lets see if he can get back with family safe and sound.

I think its a great book but also confusing when it gets to Dr. Seward's Journal. I wonder what Count Dracula does in the morning after he supposed to had made Jonathan's food which is still hot when Jonathan wakes up. Mina is really committed  to marrying Jonathan cause she's working hard to learn how to work with him. Jonathan should of caught on to what Count Dracula was doing. I was wondering how did Dracula know that Jonathan was on the carriage and that there was a carriage passing by anyways?

Old Vampires and New Vampires

“Vampires and Why We Love Them” by Eric Camarillo is a blog entry by a man who studies Vampires and Victorian literature/fiction. According to Camarillo he has been a Vampire fan for many years. He does a little survey in the reading where he lists all the things a person could choose from as to what they’d be if given the choice, out of reading all the options I’d agree too that I’d choose to be a Vampire (none of the other options seem too interesting). He gives some examples of different Vampire books that have been written over the years and how they have changed. He also describes them to have superheroes and be outcasts yet they fit into all genres such as drama, sci-fi, mystery and horror. These reasons are why Vampires were and still are such a big deal. The audience is getting a little bit of everything in their reading or viewing (if it's a TV show or movie).

Back in the day, Dracula may have been popular because its content wasn’t exactly proper. Meaning the horror and mostly the sexual content.  People weren’t used to reading of those things. Whereas today books, TV shows and movies such as Twilight or Vampire Diaries it is acceptable to have love scenes and sex scenes. Today’s Vampire stories contain more love story plots then anything else, we aren’t drawn too much by the violence but it is the relationship between the characters that we are most interested in. We haven’t finished reading the book so I can’t exactly say Dracula is 100% different but from the chapters we have read, the book surely doesn’t seem like what we read and watch today, Dracula is a more authentic Vampire story. It’s history and roots are stronger and more real.

Why We Love Fiction

PS! Please bring your copy of Reading Pop Culture to class on Tuesday!

This week's readings in addition to Dracula continue to try to answer the question, "Why do we love fiction?" It's an important question to the study of popular culture, since so much of pop culture influences and is influenced by stories. In addition to these readings, you'll need to chose one about which to blog in relation to Dracula for the day we mean to discuss it. Regardless of which you write about, you need to read both!

For Tuesday, read Eric Camarillo's "Vampires and Why We Love Them" on the blog Literally, Darling. Look especially for his explanation of why vampires have remained so popular for so long. If you chose to blog about this reading, summarize the piece then take Camarillo's explanation and speculate why Dracula specifically might have been popular in its day.

For Friday, read Frank Rose' "The Art of Immersion: Fear of Fiction" in our textbook Reading Pop Culture. If you chose to write about this piece for this week's blog, summarize the article and answer Question 4 at the end of the reading. The last part of the question asks you to use your own pop culture examples to further or refute Rose' argument, for which I expect you to cite Dracula. However, I encourage you to cite other examples, as well!

Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?

The count and his scary ways

 Within Chapter 1 of Dracula ; Harker receives a warning from the innkeepers wife that all the evil things in the worlf are out and about ,sothe innkeepers gives him a crucifix for protection .He receives the crufix but doesn’t like the idea of having anything relating to the catholic church because he is Angelican .Later on the way to the mountains he is given small gifts to protect him from the evil eye .Within Chapter 2 Harker begins to ask the count the history of Translyvania .Count mentions the countrys battles and history ,also begins to speak wonders of his family name . A couple of days pass and the count speaks bad of the English life and law. Lateron Dracula tells Harker to write a letter to his fiancé and employer  basically telling them that he will stay much longer like a month longer.Harker seems to have feed a undesireable need to please the counts request.Dracula tells harker to only sleep within his own room no were else .Harker sees Dracula crawling through the face of the castle  and wonders what type of animal is he ? .In chapter3 Later that after noon Harker had been exploring the castle and falls asleep in a room he sees three beautiful women with sharp teeth .The women approach him having a desire to bite him Dracula appears and warns not to do anything to Harker that he will get to him first.  Later in Chapter 4 there is a party were gypies are present harker gives the gypies the letters he had written to mina thinking they will arrive safely. The letters never arrived Dracula later that day discovered the letters and hadsaid to harker that he felt betrayed that he would try and leave . Later that day he also notives that gypies were carrying big wooden boxes outside  harker thinks there is a time and chance of escape . In chapter five Dracula promises Harker he can leave the next day but he doesn’t leave at all . Dracula opens the front door there stands some wolves . Chapter 5  Mina and lucy write letters to each other describing their relationships and different locations because Mina lives in England and lucy in westernra . In this chapter background information about mina is being showed she is a assiant school mistrss .Mina tells Lucy that her fiancé is on his way home and lucy tells us about her marriage  prospects from  doctors to rich men ,but she only has accepted Arthur holmwood.  Chapter 6 tells us through a jounal entry that Mina misses her fiancé and she listens to Lucys wedding plans . Also states that she hasn’t heard from Harker and is worried .Steven Kings interepetion of why we crave horror stories does apply to the book Dracula because we all feel the urge and need to read and see horror movies we feel a constant thrill while escaping our own world . He mentions its thr thrill of riding a roller coaster that keeps us wanting more.

Hang on there Jonathan!

     Since I'm reading "Dracula" by Bram Stocker not for the first time I surely can say that I'm not upset or disappointed as I thought I would be. The book is very interesting and for some parts even intriguing. Before I opened the book I thought that it won't be as fun and enjoyable as for the people who reads it for the first time, but to my surprise, I am excited as if never read it before. I think that a good classic book is never boring and to reread particularly this one is even better, because now I understand it better and find more new detailed that I've probably missed earlier.
     The book "Dracula" starts with Jonathan Harker's journal entrees, where he writes about his traveling to the Count Dracula's castle through the Transylvania. At first he's very excited of his journey, however on the way he mets people who are trying  to talk him out of going to the Count on that night. He goes without any suspicion of being "trapped." Eventually Jonathan discovers the ugly truth of the whole situation and tries to find a solution of what to do and how to act in the company of the Count "my only plan will be to keep my knowledge and my fears to myself, and my eyes open."

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dracula summary; Why We Crave Horror Movies

The novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker is a classic horror fiction novel. In the novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, the story starts off with  a young man by the name of Jonathan Harker who is a new solicitor, and is traveling far to meet with Count Dracula. Thinking he is going to sell Count Dracula property in London, his curiosity drifts him off into another direction, which he has no idea what he is getting himself into. The perspective in Stephen King’s “Why We Crave Horror Movies” does apply to “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, his perspective also applies to another reading I did for another class called “On the Pleasure Derived from Objects of Terror, with Sir Bertrand, a Fragment”. In the short story “On the Pleasure Derived from Objects of Terror, with Sir Bertrand, a Fragment”, is a story of a knight named Sir Bertrand whose curiosity also takes hold of him, which leads him into a castle coming across a supernatural experience.
First, what is Stephen King’s perspective which applies to both “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, and “On the Pleasure Derived from Objects of Terror, with Sir Bertrand, a Fragment”? In the text titled “Why We Crave Horror Movies” by Stephen King, he states, “I think that we’re all mentally ill; those of us outside the asylums only hide it a little better---and maybe not all that much better, after all.” “ When we pay our four or five bucks and seat ourselves at the tenth-row center in a theater showing a horror movie, we are daring the nightmare.”(Cultural Studies, Chapter 5 pg 150) “It may be that horror movies provide psychic relief on this level because this invitation to lapse into simplicity, irrationality and even outright madness is extended so rarely. We are told we may allow our emotions a free reign… or no reign at all.”(Cultural Studies, Chapter 5 pg 151) Stephen King also states that one goes on roller coasters to re-establish our feelings of essential normality. Basically saying we are thrill seekers and enjoy every horror that comes our way.  

Due to this perspective, in the novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, the following characters are examples, Jonathan Harker, because of his curiosity he believes he is a prisoner because of the following events that happened. Upon Mr. Harker’s arrival to castle Dracula, he was second guessing about being there. Throughout his time of staying in the castle, Mr. Harker notices odd things about Count Dracula.  

Just kill him already !!

In the book Dracula by Bram Stoker the first four chapters starts off with the journal of Jonathan Harker. Throughout these chapters we learn about his trip to Count Dracula's castle. During his trip he stays in a town called Bistriz. He stayed at a place called the Golden Krone Hotel, here he met the landlord and his wife. The couple had appeared to be nice until Jonathan found out the landlord had received a letter from the Count. When Harker started to ask questions about the Count the couple started to act differently, they acted as if they could not understand his German but yet had no problem previously. After more questions they gave Harker the cross sign and did not wish to talk anymore. When it was time for Harker to leave the lady was trying to convince him not to go. She then went on to tell him about the story of St. George's day. This is a day that when midnight comes all evil is set loose. He explained to her that he has work to attend to and when she realized that Harker was not going to stay she gave him a cross. Although his beliefs differ from hers he took the cross regardless. When Harker was on the coach and all the people were watching him leave all the townspeople gave him the cross sign. The cross sign is used as "a charm against the evil eye."(5) When the coach arrived at the spot to meet with Count Dracula's caleche there was no one around. The driver of the coach was an hour early, seeing no one around he wanted to leave. Just as he was about to leave the caleche had appeared. While on the caleche the driver gave such dark feelings to Harker making him feel uneasy for the ride. When Harker finally arrived at the castle he then met Count Dracula there. He described Dracula as a tall old man with a long white mustache, covered in black from head to toe. When he shook Dracula's hand he noticed how much strength he had in his grip, he also pointed out that his hands were as cold as ice. After getting settled into a great bedroom that was prepared for Harker he was told to have dinner that was already prepared for him. After eating Count Dracula and Jonathan Harker were sitting by a fire in one of Counts rooms. This room is where they will spend nights to discuss not only business but also get into many conversations about the history of the battles that happened on the land and about England. While in the castle he learns that he can not enter certain rooms, which makes him feel like a prisoner. he was also warned not to sleep in another room. Of course one of the nights that he is staying there he stays only to be bitten by one of three ladies who appear out of nowhere. He was rescued by Dracula himself but latter found out that he will be the meal of Dracula and afterwards the three girls. Feeling desperate for his life Harker tries to break out by climbing into the Count's room and retrieving the keys. After not being able to leave he finds himself stuck in the castle.

I feel that Dracula has been such an ongoing popular novel because it seems that it has served as a template for movies or even television shows today. Throughout the book we see a certain style that is used in todays movies and shows. We see that in the beginning before arriving to the villains house or the main destination there is many signs for the main character not to go forward. An example is when Jonathan Harker arrives in Bistriz the people warn him of the night of St. George and give him the cross sign. I feel as though this idea of giving fore warning to the character is shown in a lot of movies/shows. Even though these characters get their warning they still go forward into danger. Another reason as to the popularity of Dracula is because of the constant contrasting effect. At one time everything seems to be good and then the next instant it turns dark and gloomy. An example of this on pages six and seven where on six Harker is describing the environment. He was describing the beautiful colors of the hills and the water and even saw a mountain called "God's Seat". Compared to the next page where its dark and gloomy and using words such as "ghost-like clouds". We see such a sudden change in the atmosphere which sets a certain mood to the reader. One example of this is in the movie Independence Day, Here the movie started off with a beautiful day and then suddenly the city was attacked. The sudden change causes excitement to the viewers, and causes suspense to build questions such a whats going to happen next? Why the sudden change?. All to keep us, the readers interested.

 In the reading Why we crave horror movies, Stephen King explains to us why we crave certain things. We discussed about the effect of suspense and how it effects our opinions on the literature/movie/show. We also discussed about why we anticipate bad things and although we know something is bad we still enjoy it. An example is in Dracula, as I am reading this book I find myself thinking geez would you kill him already? All this foreplay and no action is too much for me. Although it would make an extremely short book, Every page I read I am just hoping that something will happen. These thoughts are what was discussed about in class about Why we crave horror movies, Although it is wrong for me to think I still think it and I still read more to find out when Dracula is going to kill Harker.

After all the warnings, why not run?!

Erick Bravo
CHPT 1-6

 In chapters 1-6 of Dracula by Stephen King, we read journals of Jonathan Harker who is writing to his
Fiancee, Mina Murray. Jonathan is traveling from England to Eastern Europe in hope to close a sale with a
nobleman named Count Dracula. His journey begins leaving Munich at 8:35 PM on May 1st. Jonathan stays
at a Hotel that Count Dracula recommends him. He then receives a letter giving Jonathan several instructions
on where he can get a ride from a carriage taking him to where Count Dracula will be waiting for him. Just
before departing to the Borgo Pass, an old lady approaches him and asks him " Must you go? Oh! young
Herr, must you go?" She then continues to give him warnings stating that it was the eve of St. George's Day
and that's when all the evil things in the world will have full sway. She begs Jonathan on her knees not to go
or to just wait a couple of days and he still chooses to go because he knows that he has business to do and
nothing can interfere with it. This is the very first example of Stephen King's " Why do we crave Horror movies?"
Jonathan receives a clear warning from the old lady innkeeper and yet he chooses to ignore it and see if the
eve of St George really is true.
Stephen King explained in his writing of " Why do we crave Horror movies" that every human being is naturally insane but we crave horror stories and test our ability to stay on a roller coaster without realizing what we're really doing . We do these things to maintain our ability to stay sane. King uses several examples in Dracula because with Jonathan testing his saneness . On his way to Count Dracula, he realizes that many things seemed off like the people chanting and screaming were-wolf and vampire . Jonathan remains to test his luck by being brave even though he has no idea on who hes meeting and what is up ahead for him.

The man of many faces / Battle of the minds Dracula

 Jonathan Harker , a solicitor from London is eager to engage a business proposition with his boss's client count Dracula. He first arrives in Carpathians , where he experiences a weary, dreadful vibe from local countrymen directted at himself. though unsure what to make of it he gathers what information he can attain and continues his journey. He travels to Transylvania by way of carriage , where he is later escorted by one of Dracula's men. Harker describes the route as dark , dreaded and eery. The darkness flooded with howls from wolves and screams of freat from the horses. this immideately strikes fear in Harker , not knowing what to do , but to simple endure what obsticle may greet him next.

When he finally does arrive at Count Dracula's manor he is greeted by Dracula himself. Harker describes Dracula as tall , clean-shaven , and coated in black his hands hold great strength  but is also cold as ice , "more like the hand of a dead than a living man". (pp.17) Harker also notices Dracula looks particularly young for is age. as he begins to settle inside , it doesn't take long until Harker gets a sense of confinement. he feels as if he is being trapped within the manor. he eats breakfast as well as other things alone. he feels uncomfortable , like he's being studied. dracula's intentions are unclear as of now , though he seems to play mind games , sounding vague and cryptic most of the time. the coversations between harker and dracula seems to leave harker distraught , he finds himself in situations that proves to be a test for his resolve.  

The fact that Dracula's has not "shown has hands" yet makes me very eager to continue and find out what happens next. Harker remains on his toes , as I am also.

An invitation to hell

       Bram Stoker's Dracula began as journal entries kept by Jonathan Harker, a young solicitor from London. While on a business trip to Transylvania, Harker kept a detail account of his experiences. He described the lands he traveled through, the people he observed, and the food he ate. All seemed normal until his departure from the Golden Krone Hotel. The hotel's hostess begged Harker not to go for it was the eve of St Georges day. It is said that all evil things in the word have sway when the clock reached midnight. Not knowing the customs or traditions of the land, he ignored her warning and continued his journey. In the article " Why We Crave Horror Movies" by Stephen King, King argued that we go to see scary movies to show we are not afraid. I believe Harker was determined to go to see the count to show the hostess he was not afraid. Before he left, the old hostess gave him a crucifix for his mother's sake. This is when Harker began to feel uneasy.That uneasy feeling accompanied him for the rest of the way to Count Dracula's castle.It wasn't until he arrived to his well lit room that his fears and doubts diminished. The first night was an easy one for him. He had a delicious dinner and an intriguing conversation with the count. As days went by he began noticing rather peculiar things. Harker first noticed that the count never ate with him. He also observed that there were no mirrors or people to be found anywhere. When touring the castle he realized that most of the doors were locked. At this moment he became conscious that he was a prisoner of the count. Being aware of this, Harker started to write how he felt opposed to the things he saw. Harker kept his cool until he came face to face with  3 strange women who found him in the castle. The day after that incident, the count directed him to write letters to his boss telling him that all was well and that he would return shortly. From this moment on Harker was determined to find a way out of the castle. His only hope was to find the key to unlock the door.

        The novel started off extremely slow. But the closer Harker got to the castle, the more suspenseful the book became. Knowing background information about Dracula took away some of the suspense Stroker was trying to create. For example, I knew there were no mirrors in the castle because vampires do not have reflections. I also knew Dracula wasn't going to eat around Harker because the two did not eat the same kind of food. What I did not know was that Mr. Harker was going to gain enough courage to investigate Dracula's room. This part was so intense and suspenseful that I literally had to put down the book. I couldn't leave it down for too long because I had to know what was going to happen next. Bram Stoker ended chapter 3 on a cliffhanger for we do no know what as happened to Jonathan. I am very tempted to skipped to chapter 19 so i can read some more of Jonathan Harker's notes.

The bloodsucking, Count Dracula!

George Williams                                                                                                                      
Eng 24
Blog #1

The bloodsucking, Count Dracula!
Upon Jonathan Harker's first conversation with the Count in front of his castle, I got the impression that Dracula was but a very nice, well mannered, fellow. From the welcoming, comforting Mr. Harker, insisting he carry Mr. Harker's bags because he was his guest. You may have believed this man was gentle and wouldn't harm a fly. For Mr. Harker was a solicitor seeking the Count about some real estate in England that he was interested in purchasing. Little did Jonathan Harker know he was embarking on a journey that he would never forget, or come back from for that matter.
Mr. Harker seemed to enjoy his stay at the Count’s castle in Transylvania at first. The two talked as Mr. Harker dined, the room was comfy, and everything seemed to be just fine. On May 8th precisely is when Mr. Harker began to feel a type of way about the place, discomforting. He writes, “..for there is something so strange about this place and all in it that I cannot but feel uneasy. I wish I were safe out of it, or that I had never come.” This stemming from the night before where the Count and Mr. Harker stayed up talking all night ‘til they heard the crow of a cock bringing in the morning. Although Mr. Harker would have liked to sleep, he felt obligated to meet his host’s wishes in every way. Not being able to sleep at own free will in a house can make someone feel uneasy.
As the days went by, Dracula had asked Mr. Harker to send letters to his family and friends letting them all know he was okay. He told Harker however what it was exactly he must say in these letters and that he shouldn’t stray away from what it was he told him to write. Letters telling his family and friends that he was okay and indeed coming home in a month, given that’s how long Dracula wanted him to stay in his castle. As the Count left the castle at nights Mr. Harker would roam. Upon realizing the front door to the castle was locked and couldn’t be opened, he began to feel like a prisoner. He ended up finding a room in the castle where he came across three witches who tried to bite his neck which they refer to as, “kissing” in the text. Dracula came in and saved him before they got a chance however telling the three witches, “..I promise you that when I am done with him you shall kiss him at your own will.” So be it, Mr. Harkers journal ends with him nailing the bloodsucker in the forehead with a shovel in his sleep, then going back to his room to plot on his escape from the castle in which he was imprisoned.
After Harkers journal, begins letters his girlfriend, Mina, has written as well as diaries from others.