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Vampires - Yesterday and Today

             Nowadays, literature as well as new media offers a wide range of mysterious, supernatural and occult stories dealing with vampires, demons and other forces of darkness. Even though they are all dealing with different issues, almost all of the stories have something in common – alterity. Originally, the concept of alterity was established by Emmanuel Lévinas under the title Altérité et transcendence (1995) and implies a philosophical meaning with the assumption of the existence of a second identity. Actually, this philosophical meaning matches with some ancient vampire stories and their protagonists, but nevertheless, the following chapters focus on the anthropological meaning of alterity – the social construction of "cultural others." In fact, cultural otherness also deals with being different from cultural conventions. .
             Due to women behaving against their standards in vampire stories like Bram Stoker's Dracula and due to the new sort of protagonist in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there will be an introduction to the Victorian Age, when Stoker's gothic novel was published, with a closer look on the period's stereotypes and standards, especially of women. Furthermore, there will be an introduction to a current comic and television-series called Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This series is set in the United States of America and it is fascinating to see the differences between the "fragile" woman of Victorian Age and the modern "heroic" woman. .
             2. The Origin of Vampire Stories.
             There is no doubt that stories of occult as a literary theme have enjoyed large success and popularity and that they are still generally popular. Gabriel Ronay, who was born in Transylvania and studied at the University of Edinburgh before coming to Britain after the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution 1956, deduces that about 30.000 cases of vampirism were officially examined by the Roman Catholic Church between 1520 and the middle of the seventeenth century.

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