Open graves, open minds relates the Undead in literature and other media to questions concerning genre, technology, consumption and social change. It features original research by leading scholars (Dr Sam George is a frequent commentator on the contemporary vampire; Dr Catherine Spooner, a pioneer of the study of Contemporary Gothic; and Dr Stacey Abbott is the author of the seminal work on the vampire in film and TV). The essays cover texts both familiar and unexpected, bringing debates around fictional vampires into the twenty-first century where they are currently enjoying a vogue.
This wide-ranging collection forms a coherent narrative which follows Enlightenment studies of the vampire's origins in folklore and folk panics, tracing sources of vampire fiction, through Romantic incarnations in Byron and Polidori to Le Fanu's Carmilla. Further essays discuss the undead in the context of Dracula, fin-de-siècle decadence and Nazi Germany together with early cinematic treatments. The rise of the sympathetic vampire is charted from Coppola's Dracula, to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twilight. More recent manifestations in novels, TV, Goth subculture, young adult fiction and cinema are dealt with in discussions of True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and much more.
The book is essential reading for those who wish to explore open graves with an open mind: scholars of literature and film, enthusiasts of all things vampiric and writers of Undead fiction. The Transylvanian notebooks of the award-winning novelist Marcus Sedgwick conclude the study, shedding light on recent trends in young adult fiction. Sedgwick lays bare the writing process for budding novelists and creative writers in the genre.