Carmilla
A classic Victorian vampire novella, which influenced Bram Stoker's later treatment of the vampire mythos in Dracula.

Carmilla Details

TitleCarmilla
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 5th, 2000
PublisherWildside Press
ISBN-139780809510832
Rating
GenreHorror, Classics, Paranormal, Vampires, Gothic, Fiction, Fantasy, LGBT

Carmilla Review

  • Alejandro
    January 1, 1970
    Bloody relevant to read! BEFORE DRACULA, THERE WAS... But to die as lovers may - to die together, so that they may live together. This is a very important book in historic sense, in the genre of vampire reading, due that it was published 25 years before than Dracula. Also, it presented lesbian situations, easily one of the first open mentions of the topic in literature.So, it was a pioneer book in two subjects: Vampires and Lesbian literature.Some may wonder how it was possible to publish a b Bloody relevant to read! BEFORE DRACULA, THERE WAS... But to die as lovers may - to die together, so that they may live together. This is a very important book in historic sense, in the genre of vampire reading, due that it was published 25 years before than Dracula. Also, it presented lesbian situations, easily one of the first open mentions of the topic in literature.So, it was a pioneer book in two subjects: Vampires and Lesbian literature.Some may wonder how it was possible to publish a book with lesbian issues in 1872.Joseph Sheridan Le Fanú was ingenious in that, since when he was asked about, he just replied that it wasn't a homosexual situation since Carmilla was a vampire and due that, it was a creature without sexual genre.Sneaky devil this Le Fanu!Of course, that was a trick by the author but it worked since the book didn't have any trouble to be published in those times when there was a extremely close-minded attitude.And certainly the importance of the book to the eventual sucess of Bram Stoker's novel was fundamental.Without Carmilla there weren't Dracula and due that maybe there weren't a vampire sub-genre in the horror books that now it's one of the strongest subjects in modern paranormal literature. BRITISH GOTHIC Nevertheless, life and death are mysterious states, and we know little of the resources of either. Le Fanú also was the father of the Gothic horror of Britain establishing the style of how that kind of literature would be written even on these days.Maybe the only trouble with Carmilla to be read by current readers is its form of mystery that it's impossible that anybody would pick nowadays this particular novel to read without the previous knowledge that Carmilla is a vampire, and due that, the reader felt like reading a mystery where one already knows the answer to the mystery.The clues to the real nature of Carmilla are elegant and stylish but too evident for any reader familiar with vampire-related similar books, movies, TV series, etc...It's clear that Carmilla started all and the reality is that anybody else copied FROM it, but sadly, in many case, readers find the book way after of being already too familiar with the general world of vampires, diminishing the shock that the book could ever do.However, it's still an important book in literature history.
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  • Jesse
    January 1, 1970
    In many ways the antithesis of Dracula, and if Stoker's novel disappointed me with its clean-cut, heterosexual male-influenced dichotomies, than le Fanu's novella is the flipside of the coin: female-centric, homoerotic, ambiguous and enigmatic (and all in about a quarter of the length!). Here the vampire is not the withered, evil "Other" but the beautiful, sensuous stranger that is readily welcomed into home and heart, becoming the double for the protagonist, leading to a very different sense of In many ways the antithesis of Dracula, and if Stoker's novel disappointed me with its clean-cut, heterosexual male-influenced dichotomies, than le Fanu's novella is the flipside of the coin: female-centric, homoerotic, ambiguous and enigmatic (and all in about a quarter of the length!). Here the vampire is not the withered, evil "Other" but the beautiful, sensuous stranger that is readily welcomed into home and heart, becoming the double for the protagonist, leading to a very different sense of horror--the necessary destruction not of an enemy but a loved one, perhaps even the self. It's a really eerie, beguiling little novella, uncanny in a way that Dracula only is in brief flashes...
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  • Nayra.Hassan
    January 1, 1970
    ما كل هذا البطء المغلف لتحركاتها ؟ما كل هذا البرود و التحفظ..كأنها بلا ماضي او مستقبل ؟انت لي. .انا و انت سنصير واحد إلى الابد؟؟؟؟؟ا{يا للروعة منذ إثنى عشر عاما رايت وجهك في احلامي و ظل يسكن فيها منذ ذلك الحين }او{منذ اثني عشر عاما رأيت وجهك في الواقع }هكذا بدأت علاقة بين فتاتين في 1871 قوامها الافتتان من طرف و ان كان افتتان مشوبا بشكوك عديدة هنا مصاصي الدماء يتجولون في عز شمس الظهيرة عاديهنا حيث يقطن كارنشتاينهنا القلاع المهجورة و الخراءب و المقابر و الأحداث الغامضة البطيئة التي تحتمل تفسيرين.. ما كل هذا البطء المغلف لتحركاتها ؟ما كل هذا البرود و التحفظ..كأنها بلا ماضي او مستقبل ؟انت لي. .انا و انت سنصير واحد إلى الابد؟؟؟؟؟ا{يا للروعة منذ إثنى عشر عاما رايت وجهك في احلامي و ظل يسكن فيها منذ ذلك الحين }او{منذ اثني عشر عاما رأيت وجهك في الواقع }هكذا بدأت علاقة بين فتاتين في 1871 قوامها الافتتان من طرف و ان كان افتتان مشوبا بشكوك عديدة هنا مصاصي الدماء يتجولون في عز شمس الظهيرة عاديهنا حيث يقطن كارنشتاينهنا القلاع المهجورة و الخراءب و المقابر و الأحداث الغامضة البطيئة التي تحتمل تفسيرين..الرعب القوطي كما يقول الكتاب.النوفيلا ليست لكارهي النهايات المفتوحة و الاحتمالات اللانهائية هنا البروفة الأولى لرواية دراكولا
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  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    January 1, 1970
    Carmilla, J. Sheridan Le FanuCarmilla is a Gothic novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and one of the early works of vampire fiction, predating Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897) by 26 years. First published as a serial in The Dark Blue (1871–72), the story is narrated by a young woman preyed upon by a female vampire named Carmilla, later revealed to be Mircalla, Countess Karnstein (Carmilla is an anagram of Mircalla). The story is often anthologized and has been adapted many times in film and other med Carmilla, J. Sheridan Le FanuCarmilla is a Gothic novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and one of the early works of vampire fiction, predating Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897) by 26 years. First published as a serial in The Dark Blue (1871–72), the story is narrated by a young woman preyed upon by a female vampire named Carmilla, later revealed to be Mircalla, Countess Karnstein (Carmilla is an anagram of Mircalla). The story is often anthologized and has been adapted many times in film and other media.تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و چهارم ماه ژوئن سال 2008 میلادی به زبان اصلیعنوان: کارمیلا؛ نویسنده: جوزف شریدان له فانو؛ برگردان: هامون جعفرنژاد؛ مشهد، بوتیمار، 1394، در 125 ص؛ شابک: 9786004040334؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی - سده 19 مکارمیلا نام یکی از نخستین شخصیت‌های خون آشام ادبیات است. این شخصیت، بر خلاف دراکولا، یک زن است، و البته جای یادآوری دارد، که رمان دراکولا، نوشته ی برام استوکر، پس از کارمیلا نوشته و منتشر شده است، بنابراین هستند کسانیکه میگویند: «استوکر در نوشتن دراکولا از لی فانو تاثیر گرفته است». کارمیلا اشراف زاده ای نفرین شده است، او به خون آشامی‌ اشتغال دارد. کارمیلا ظاهر یک دختر جوان زیبا را دارد، که زیبایی و معصومیتش، جذاب و گیراست. دندان‌های نیش او، نه به اندازه ای که خیلی مشهود باشند، اما تا حد مشخصی، تیز هستند، تا نیمه شب، بتواند آن‌ها را در سینه ی قربانی فرو برده، و از خونش تغذیه کند. کارمیلا، گاهی به طور ناگهانی، غیب میشود، و پس از مدتی، دوباره در محل غیب شدن خویش، دیده می‌شود. او با شنیدن حرف‌های مذهبی، یا سرودهای کلیسایی، رو ترش می‌کند، و محل را ترک می‌کند. کارمیلا، برای جذب قربانی، مدت‌ها زمان صرف می‌کند، تا به او نزدیک شود، و محبت بسیاری برای قربانی روا میدارد. نقل از متن کتاب: در شبی مهتابی، پس از غروب کامل آفتاب، به بالای یکی از برج‌های کلیسا رفت، و از پنجره‌ اش قبرستان را زیر نظر گرفت. لباسی از جنس کتان را، که پیشتر تا کرده بود، در کنار قبر قرار داد، و به سمت دهکده‌ ای به راه افتاد، تا طاعونش را بر سر اهالی آن فرود آورد؛ ... پایان نقل از متن کتاب، ترجمه شده به فارسی در سال 1394 هجری خورشیدی. ا. شربیانی
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  • Nick Pageant
    January 1, 1970
    Best vampire story ever written. Anyone who disagrees with me? It's on!
  • Ariel
    January 1, 1970
    PRETTY AVERAGE. I don't feel like I particularly learned anything. It was a very monotone and non-climactic. Very /quaint/. And the giant plot twist was spoiled for me (i mean, it'd be spoiled for anyone living in 2015 because it's SO OBVIOUS) but I really feel that that spoilers shouldn't have the power to ruin a story, but I really feel that all this book had was that one spoiler.I still see merit in it, don't get me wrong. I read it for school and after intense studying I can see value in it, PRETTY AVERAGE. I don't feel like I particularly learned anything. It was a very monotone and non-climactic. Very /quaint/. And the giant plot twist was spoiled for me (i mean, it'd be spoiled for anyone living in 2015 because it's SO OBVIOUS) but I really feel that that spoilers shouldn't have the power to ruin a story, but I really feel that all this book had was that one spoiler.I still see merit in it, don't get me wrong. I read it for school and after intense studying I can see value in it, but Goodreads is a place for personal opinion, I think, and I just found it very "MEH."
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  • Fabian {Councillor}
    January 1, 1970
    With Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, some of the most famously recognized horror stories of the nineteenth century have been created, yet only few people seem to know this little story which may have been the ultimate inspiration for Bram Stoker to write his popular novel Dracula. Carmilla is an early vampire story, laying the foundation of a genre which would see many other vampire tales in the upcoming years, until the development recently c With Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, some of the most famously recognized horror stories of the nineteenth century have been created, yet only few people seem to know this little story which may have been the ultimate inspiration for Bram Stoker to write his popular novel Dracula. Carmilla is an early vampire story, laying the foundation of a genre which would see many other vampire tales in the upcoming years, until the development recently culminated in the seemingly perfect picture of the attractive, charming and oh so sexy vampire. Le Fanu's tale, only 100 pages long and perfect to read as a two-hour-long distraction during a Sunday afternoon, may seem unoriginal and inferior compared to the huge stories listed in the beginning ... but looking closer at this, it might be easier to realize that "Carmilla" is much more than that.Set in a gothic atmosphere surrounding the Austrian castle home of the first-person narrator, eighteen-year-old Laura, and her father, Carmilla tells the story of a young lady who comes to visit them under mysterious circumstances, with death and nightmares falling over the inhabitants of the castle and the vicinity soon. Not only does this premise introduce an interesting development - seldomly could it have been possible to find a female character in such astonishing circumstances in the 19th century - but also does the author prove himself to be far ahead of his time, including several homosexual allusions and thus being one of the first authors of his time to do so. Most of the events in this novel are implied rather than accurately explained, which strengthens the chilling atmosphere and makes up for a thrilling reading experience.Le Fanu's writing is anything but tiresome. While the gothic influence can easily be recognized in the novel, it feels like the writing could also have originated in modern days. Slowly does the horror creep inside the pages, and short chapters as well as fast-paced scenes help the reader to hasten through those pages. Apart from the dumb and rather annoying protagonist and the casual, perhaps even lazy characterization, Carmilla is a fascinating tale which should be read by everyone interested in the gothic horror genre and, generally, by horror readers.
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  • Meave
    January 1, 1970
    Poor Carmilla. I guess there are only so many isolated noblemen's daughters you can devour before they start talking.
  • Werner
    January 1, 1970
    Note, Oct. 1, 2012: I just modified this review slightly to incorporate a changed perspective I came to as a result of a discussion in one of my groups.This book is one of the best treatments of the vampire theme I have read (admittedly, I haven't read very many --even counting the ones I didn't like enough to finish!). While the author's diction is Victorian, the book is a short, quick read (unlike the massive tomes that some 19th-century novels are), so it shouldn't be daunting even for reader Note, Oct. 1, 2012: I just modified this review slightly to incorporate a changed perspective I came to as a result of a discussion in one of my groups.This book is one of the best treatments of the vampire theme I have read (admittedly, I haven't read very many --even counting the ones I didn't like enough to finish!). While the author's diction is Victorian, the book is a short, quick read (unlike the massive tomes that some 19th-century novels are), so it shouldn't be daunting even for readers who have a problem with old-fashioned prose. Unlike John Polidori's Lord Ruthven and the title character of Varney the Vampire, LeFanu's vampire is female. He concentrates on psychological horror rather than on blood and gore, and does not try to eroticize the vampire's activities. (Carmilla definitely does use language in places that suggests that she demands an attachment from her female victims that borders on romantic love, which gives her attitude what today would be called a "lesbian" undercurrent; but we can also fairly say that even though she wants strong female attachment, it's not genitally sexual in nature.) The atmosphere of menace and suspense easily evokes the reader's concerned attention.One of the characters here is an eccentric scholar with knowledge of vampire lore (a kind of adumbration of Stoker's Van Helsing). Also, Le Fanu indicates the hostility between the vampire and Christian faith (his vampire, of course, is in the classic mold --an instinctively evil embodiment of appetite and cunning malevolence, rather than a person with a moral free will and an individual personality, like many modern fictional vampires), but doesn't develop this theme as fully as Stoker does in Dracula. For a reader who enjoys seeing fiction in its historical and literary context, it's fascinating to see the way elements whose seeds are planted by the earlier writer are more fully developed by the later one!
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  • Graeme Rodaughan
    January 1, 1970
    (EDIT Updating to 4 stars for persistent impact and memorability of the story... it's spooky - I would read this again). After reading this book, I am left frustrated and oddly underwhelmed, and yet there is an undeniable power to this story which is a mystery to me.The smartest character in the story is the antagonist (who is not that smart), who proceeds to charm and bamboozle an array of protagonists who are all very nice, and not the least given to suspicion of others.There are multiple even (EDIT Updating to 4 stars for persistent impact and memorability of the story... it's spooky - I would read this again). After reading this book, I am left frustrated and oddly underwhelmed, and yet there is an undeniable power to this story which is a mystery to me.The smartest character in the story is the antagonist (who is not that smart), who proceeds to charm and bamboozle an array of protagonists who are all very nice, and not the least given to suspicion of others.There are multiple events where the fact that Carmilla is a vampire is hinted at with growing strength, up to and including the discovery of a perfect portrait painted in the dim past. Le Fanu doesn't quite get to the point of hanging a sign, written in fresh blood around Carmilla's neck proclaiming, "I am a vampire, and I am here to kill you." But he gets close.With the characters stumbling about in their ignorance as the Vampire runs rings around them - I was left imagining shooting fish in a barrel. I found myself thinking what if a terrible blizzard arrived that shut up the Schloss for 3 days (and especially 3 nights). Leaving Carmilla alone with only the hero - Laura (our narrator), her father, the governess, and the other staff without any hope of escape. As the death toll mounted, the presence of a vampire would quickly become obvious. Laura would then be confronted with a need to make a decision of consequence and take irrevocable action. Something she really doesn't get much of a chance to do.Passive characters, especially if the narrator are frustrating.On the plus side, the author has made an excellent stab at establishing the vampire genre. He has also provided a clever subplot of lesbian love. Neither would have been easy to do in his day and age.Also the description of the actual vampire attacks is genuinely spooky and admirable writing.While this book failed to excite me with it's general lack of pace and suspense, I'm sure that it has qualites that many would appreciate. Especially those with a taste for "Creeping Horror."On a weird personal note. I had a dream while reading this novel where I was visited by a dark haired female vampire and I willing offered my arm to her. Something that I have never done before in a dream. What was also noteworthy was the experience of personal intimacy that accompanied the act of freely giving blood to sustain another.The sultry summer evening had barely given way to the night. I had left the bedroom doors open to the balcony to allow a light breeze to circulate. I lay back on the bed, tossing and turning, unable to sleep. The house belonged to me, I was its sole occupant, but the loneliness of this house weighed heavily - it was not a home.Moonlight cut through the room, then it vanished for an instant. A momentary shadow flitting through the doorway, entering my bedroom and filling it with a pervasive sense of possession - the room was no longer mine.My heart thudded in my chest. I suddenly sat up, pressing backward against the headboard. There was someone in the room, the feeling of Her presence was overwhelming, but I couldn't see anyone - there was no one there.The shadows thickened at the end of my bed. I stared, frozen where I sat, as the shadows coalesced into the ethereal shape of a young woman. She wore a light diaphanous gown. Her hair was lustrous black, her skin pale like marble, her eyes were large and dark, her lips red, full and slightly curved in a coy smile.Her form solidified. A faint perfume filled the air. She seemed deeply familiar, and yet, I had never seen her before - at least I had no memory of ever meeting her and I'm sure I would not have forgotten.She moved to her right, floating, lithe, serene. She was majestic and mesmerizing - power beyond words was bound up in her gaze. Her eyes glittered like black diamonds, brilliant and hard. I couldn't tear my eyes away from them even if I tried.She sat down beside me, gently picking up my left arm with her cool hands. She turned it over, palm up. I didn't resist - I didn't want to. I lifted my arm up and she lent forward. A bell rang in the distance, a muffled warning - ignored and discarded in the face of her needs. Needs I was a willing servant to.Moonlight gleamed on her ivory fangs. She leaned further in, first kissing, then licking - finally biting. A single drop of blood fell off my wrist, dark against the white bed sheet. She murmured in delight, my heart beat hard in my chest, but I stayed still - unwilling to disturb her feast.Everything was for her...(inspired by my dream while reading this book...)I am left wondering just how deep this story can creep into you when you read it?
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  • Fernando
    January 1, 1970
    "Me besó silenciosamente.-Estoy segura, Carmilla, de que has estado enamorada y de que en este momento en tu corazón palpita una pasión.-Nunca estuve enamorada de nadie y jamás lo estaré -susurró-, a menos que sea de ti."Además de Edgar Allan Poe, Hugh Walpole, Algernon Blackwood o E. T. A. Hoffmann, existió un escritor fecundo y talentoso que se llamó Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu y que supo llevar a la perfección al género gótico y el cuento fantástico o de terror. Sus relatos, cargados de suspenso, "Me besó silenciosamente.-Estoy segura, Carmilla, de que has estado enamorada y de que en este momento en tu corazón palpita una pasión.-Nunca estuve enamorada de nadie y jamás lo estaré -susurró-, a menos que sea de ti."Además de Edgar Allan Poe, Hugh Walpole, Algernon Blackwood o E. T. A. Hoffmann, existió un escritor fecundo y talentoso que se llamó Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu y que supo llevar a la perfección al género gótico y el cuento fantástico o de terror. Sus relatos, cargados de suspenso, intriga y convicción narrativa fueron el deleite de muchos lectores del siglo XIX y de los que lo sucedieron.Era irlandés y comparte intacta su fama junto a otros grandes de la isla esmeralda como lo fueron Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift o James Joyce.Este excelente autor posee grandes cuentos de fantasmas y terror, puesto que en eso consistía su especialidad. Fue un escritor admirado por los grandes del género en su época.Si bien fue El Vampiro de John Polidori quien instala definitivamente la figura del vampiro en la literatura, ya existían distintos relatos que datan del siglo XVIII, pero que por distintas razones no pudieron arraigarse en el gusto popular del lector.Con la llegada del Romanticismo, la figura fatal y sensual del vampiro se instaló definitivamente, rodeada por ese halo de misterio y de doble apariencia que ofrecía."Carmilla", escrita en 1872, anticipa lo que iba a instaurar el libro "Drácula" de Bram Stoker, pero 25 años antes: el género del vampirismo, tan vigente hoy en día.La historia entre Carmilla y Laura es de un alto voltaje para la época por sus fuertes características lésbicas. Hay momentos en que la tensión sexual entre ambas jovencitas es sorprendente.Basta con leer algunos pasajes para entender hasta qué punto la tensión sexual llega a un clímax erótico intenso: "Se parecía a la pasión de un enamorado; me perturbaba sobremanera; era odioso y, sin embargo, arrollador; y con ojos empañados me estrechaba contra ella y sus cálidos labios cubrían mis mejillas de besos. En tales circunstancias, susurraba casi sollozando:-Tú eres mía y serás mía , y tú y yo hemos de ser una sola para siempre."Esa tensión seguirá siendo intensa hasta antes de que se desencadenen los episodios finales: Me sentía "atraída hacia ella", pero también había en mí algo de rechazo. Sea como fuere, en ese ambiguo impulso la atracción prevalecía inmensamente. Me interesaba y me conquistó: ¡era hermosa e indescriptiblemente encantadora!Escribir de esta manera en 1872 y especialmente una escena entre dos mujeres debe haber sido arriesgado para Le Fanu, porque seguramente lograba generar un efecto instantáneo en el lector de su época.Creo que las historias de vampirismo son más efectivas cuando hacen más hincapié en lo sexual que en el amor, tal es el caso de Drácula, que por momentos tiene descripciones de erotismo muy bien trabajado por Stoker."Carmilla" es un clásico ineludible cuando a la hora de leer libros de este género se trata, y al igual que los vampiros, nunca envejece.
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    .....Here it is OCTOBER and I'm stumped at finding a good scary read so I reverted to the GR list of Best Horror...then moved on to Best Gothic Books Of All Time and found this little gem......While not scary, CARMILLA is indeed an atmospheric well told story and one of the earliest works of vampire fiction. First published in 1872, CARMILLA predates even DRACULA by more than 25 years......It all begins with a creepy carriage misadventure....is filled with phantasmagoria and ends....well, I'm no .....Here it is OCTOBER and I'm stumped at finding a good scary read so I reverted to the GR list of Best Horror...then moved on to Best Gothic Books Of All Time and found this little gem......While not scary, CARMILLA is indeed an atmospheric well told story and one of the earliest works of vampire fiction. First published in 1872, CARMILLA predates even DRACULA by more than 25 years......It all begins with a creepy carriage misadventure....is filled with phantasmagoria and ends....well, I'm not going to say, but there is the slightest lesbian undertone to the tale that I found surprising......Highly recommend for a bit of mild gothic horror!
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  • Candi
    January 1, 1970
    "The amphibious existence of the vampire is sustained by daily renewed slumber in the grave. Its horrible lust for living blood supplies the vigor of its waking existence. The vampire is prone to be fascinated with an engrossing vehemence, resembling the passion of love, by particular persons… It will never desist until it has satiated its passion, and drained the very life of its coveted victim."This description of a vampire is not anything new and surprising to anyone that has an interest in v "The amphibious existence of the vampire is sustained by daily renewed slumber in the grave. Its horrible lust for living blood supplies the vigor of its waking existence. The vampire is prone to be fascinated with an engrossing vehemence, resembling the passion of love, by particular persons… It will never desist until it has satiated its passion, and drained the very life of its coveted victim."This description of a vampire is not anything new and surprising to anyone that has an interest in vampire lore, but what is amazing about these words are that they were written prior to Bram Stoker's Dracula. Le Fanu's Carmilla is a short but impressive tale of a female vampire which I found to be wonderfully gothic and appropriately spine-chilling. Rumors of a strange sickness circulating the area of Styria in Austria come to the attention of a young lady, Laura, and her father at their secluded castle. Shortly thereafter, these two find themselves with a very mysterious guest following a carriage accident just outside the confines of their palatial home. Laura, our narrator, reflects upon the face of this guest as being one that appeared to her in a very vivid and disturbing childhood dream. Despite this fact, the lonely Laura becomes quickly attached to her newly found companion, Carmilla. "I did feel drawn towards her but there was also something of repulsion. In this ambiguous feeling, however, the sense of attraction immensely prevailed… she was so beautiful and indescribably engaging." As time goes on, Laura is not able to glean any background information from this extraordinary guest. Where did she come from? To which place was she headed? And, why did her mother leave her in the hands of strangers whilst hastening on to some secretive destination? The suspense of the novel increases as Laura becomes once again plagued by nightmares and strange occurrences. A gradual decline in Laura's health and sinister reports shared by a respected friend in the neighborhood prompt Laura's father to obtain answers and spur him to action. The events that follow are dramatic and exciting. I found the plot of this book to be a bit uneven at times. It also seemed a bit too short - I think the story could have been developed a bit further. Overall though, there was great atmosphere, and it was fun and well-done for an early vampire story. It would translate really well into an excellent movie! 3.5 stars
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  • Maria Clara
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/ Hacía tiempo que quería leer este relato y no me ha defraudado. Es verdad que a día de hoy puede ser algo inocente, pero es interesante leer uno de los primeros relatos sobre vampiros que se conoce.
  • Skel
    January 1, 1970
    Hellow,Aren't the books that we like the most, the harder to review?Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu became one of my favourite book of all time, it spoke to my soul through words of darkness, each sentence was like sweet melancholic music echoing and engraving in me.Sentences like “Girls are caterpillars while they live in the world, to be finally butterflies when the summer comes; but in the meantime there are grubs and larvae, don't you see - each with their peculiar propensities, necessit Hellow,Aren't the books that we like the most, the harder to review?Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu became one of my favourite book of all time, it spoke to my soul through words of darkness, each sentence was like sweet melancholic music echoing and engraving in me.Sentences like “Girls are caterpillars while they live in the world, to be finally butterflies when the summer comes; but in the meantime there are grubs and larvae, don't you see - each with their peculiar propensities, necessities and structure.” will never leave me be anymore.It was short and like some classics the end was a bit rushed but the away it was written compensates every bit of hastiness on get in to the end.Read it for the poetry on the words, when it comes to authors like Le Fanu, you have to see the writing as the experience, more even that the plot itself. Read it in a languish way,absorbing the luxurious sentences and get lost on the beauty of it.Regards.Yours Sincerely,SkeletonOrchid
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  • Beatriz
    January 1, 1970
    Me gustó. A pesar que en nuestros días es un relato bastante predecible, tiene el atractivo de los clásicos del vampirismo, con esa ambientación fuertemente arraigada en las supersticiones del norte de Europa, que caracteriza a los vampiros como seres de naturaleza vehemente y pasional, al punto de representarlos de una forma bastante erotizada.Sobre todo encontré muy atractivo el final, donde el Barón Vondenburg (el “Van Helsing” de esta historia) se dedica a contar la historia de la condesa de Me gustó. A pesar que en nuestros días es un relato bastante predecible, tiene el atractivo de los clásicos del vampirismo, con esa ambientación fuertemente arraigada en las supersticiones del norte de Europa, que caracteriza a los vampiros como seres de naturaleza vehemente y pasional, al punto de representarlos de una forma bastante erotizada.Sobre todo encontré muy atractivo el final, donde el Barón Vondenburg (el “Van Helsing” de esta historia) se dedica a contar la historia de la condesa de Karnstein. Sin embargo, me quedan algunas incógnitas; me hubiera gustado saber sobre las personas que acompañaban a Carmilla y que la ayudaban a introducirse en las familias, con unas estrategias bastante originales.Un libro que se lee rápido, que atrapa y que logra traspasar esa sensación de desasosiego ante las diferentes situaciones que viven los personajes. Una buena lectura, la recomiendo.
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  • Krystal
    January 1, 1970
    Such a classic, old school, vampire novel.The unsuspecting hosts, the beautiful and mysterious guest. The girl who begins to grow wearier day by day. The strange behaviours of the beloved guest.It just builds the suspense so brilliantly, and part of the fun is in seeing how these rational people deal with the irrational.This one was interesting because the vampire is a girl very similar to her victim, and there is the element of friendship (and courtship?) that makes things so much more sinister Such a classic, old school, vampire novel.The unsuspecting hosts, the beautiful and mysterious guest. The girl who begins to grow wearier day by day. The strange behaviours of the beloved guest.It just builds the suspense so brilliantly, and part of the fun is in seeing how these rational people deal with the irrational.This one was interesting because the vampire is a girl very similar to her victim, and there is the element of friendship (and courtship?) that makes things so much more sinister. Every time Carmilla got handsy it gave me chills.A great little horror story for Halloween!
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  • Apatt
    January 1, 1970
    “I am sure, Carmilla, you have been in love; that there is, at this moment, an affair of the heart going on.""I have been in love with no one, and never shall," she whispered, "unless it should be with you."How beautiful she looked in the moonlight!”Very Anne Rice, except that Carmilla predates Rice’s Interview with the Vampire by about a century, so Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu did the "sexy vampire" thing first. He did it even before Bram Stoker unleashed Dracula on the world. Carmilla is one o “I am sure, Carmilla, you have been in love; that there is, at this moment, an affair of the heart going on.""I have been in love with no one, and never shall," she whispered, "unless it should be with you."How beautiful she looked in the moonlight!”Very Anne Rice, except that Carmilla predates Rice’s Interview with the Vampire by about a century, so Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu did the "sexy vampire" thing first. He did it even before Bram Stoker unleashed Dracula on the world. Carmilla is one of the earliest work of vampire fiction, apparently not the, I have no idea whose story has that honor (Google is your friend!). First published in 1871 Carmilla tells the story of Laura, a young woman living with her father in a “schloss” (castle) in Styria. One day a carriage transporting a lady and her daughter has an accident outside the castle, the daughter, Carmilla, is a little injured and cannot continue the journey with her mother. Laura’s father, nice fellow that he is, offers to take care of the lady’s daughter while the lady takes care of her business. The two girls (age not mentioned, but Laura is probably about 16-18 years old, Carmilla looks the same age) quickly become BFFs. Laura finds Carmilla to be great company, very pretty, enigmatic and a bit weird. A few days after their association Laura’s health begins to fail, she wakes up feeling more and more anemic every day. She has no idea why but, being a bit of a fool, tries to hide the condition from her father. We, of course, realize the truth immediately, Carmilla, her new BFF has been making happy meals out of her. Though she seems nice, she sucks.The characterization of the eponymous Carmilla is quite well done, even when she is passing herself off as a girl she is creepy and charismatic. I can not say the same for the other characters, they are just there to serve the plot. Laura is too ineffectual to be of any interest and I am surprised Carmilla herself does not feel anemic from consuming her sappy blood. There is a mildly erotic angle to the story, which later authors like Anne Rice refined to an art form.From Victorean Gothic's articleCarmilla has a disadvantage often experienced by early practitioners of a new genre of fiction, the writers who followed refined the basic idea and did it much better. So Bram Stoker, Stephen King, Richard Matheson, GRRM, Anne Rice etc. basically wrote much better, more frightening and thrilling vampire stories. Carmilla is not at all bad, the early part of the novella creeped me out a little bit. Unfortunately, as the narrative progresses it seems to run out of steam, and the final encounter with Carmilla feels oddly flat and matter of fact. Still, the novella is too short to outstay its welcome and I kind of enjoyed it; not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it is in the public domain so you may as well give it a shot!“Pardon me miss, do you happen to have a knife sharpener.... Ooer missus!”Notes:• The free Librivox audiobook version I listened to is read by the excellent Elizabeth Klett.• There are several film adaptations of this book, but the most well known is probably The Vampire Lovers (1970)Quotes:“Now the truth is, I felt rather unaccountably towards the beautiful stranger. I did feel, as she said, "drawn towards her," but there was also something of repulsion. In this ambiguous feeling, however, the sense of attraction immensely prevailed. She interested and won me; she was so beautiful and so indescribably engaging.”“Shy and strange was the look with which she quickly hid her face in my neck and hair, with tumultuous sighs, that seemed almost to sob, and pressed in mine a hand that trembled.”“Her soft cheek was glowing against mine. "Darling, darling," she murmured, "I live in you; and you would die for me, I love you so.”“She and I talked a great deal, and very animated she was; and the remainder of that evening passed without any recurrence of what I called her infatuations. I mean her crazy talk and looks, which embarrassed, and even frightened me.”“I saw a solemn, but very pretty face looking at me from the side of the bed. It was that of a young lady who was kneeling, with her hands under the coverlet. I looked at her with a kind of pleased wonder, and ceased whimpering. She caressed me with her hands, and lay down beside me on the bed, and drew me towards her, smiling; I felt immediately delightfully soothed, and fell asleep again. I was wakened by a sensation as if two needles ran into my breast very deep at the same moment, and I cried loudly. The lady started back, with her eyes fixed on me, and then slipped down upon the floor, and, as I thought, hid herself under the bed.”
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  • Tom Mathews
    January 1, 1970
    Update: currently revisiting this wonderful novella with the fine folks at the Horror Aficionados group who have given me the the opportunity to read and discuss this and many other fine books.Predating Dracula by 26 years, Le Fanu's novella is a classic vampire tale that gets a lot less attention than it should. It is loaded with Gothic atmosphere and also introduces a lesbian vampire theme that, while appropriately circumspect, is unmistakable and something that I never would have expected in Update: currently revisiting this wonderful novella with the fine folks at the Horror Aficionados group who have given me the the opportunity to read and discuss this and many other fine books.Predating Dracula by 26 years, Le Fanu's novella is a classic vampire tale that gets a lot less attention than it should. It is loaded with Gothic atmosphere and also introduces a lesbian vampire theme that, while appropriately circumspect, is unmistakable and something that I never would have expected in a novella written in the 1870s.Bottom line: As far as vampires go, I would much rather see this underrated gem made into a movie that the ridiculous tripe that has recently been produced. No glitter, just classic Gothic horror.
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  • Barry Pierce
    January 1, 1970
    I'm glad this was a novella. While the plot is interesting and the writing is just superb the entire concept of "oh she's a vampire, no wait, she's a lesbian vampire" gets tired quite quickly. However this is one of those works that you have to read just off of its sheer influence alone. The trope of the lesbian vampire was so important in early horror movies, B-movies and especially Giallo horror. (Also I love the fact that two of the most pioneering and influential works of vampire fiction wer I'm glad this was a novella. While the plot is interesting and the writing is just superb the entire concept of "oh she's a vampire, no wait, she's a lesbian vampire" gets tired quite quickly. However this is one of those works that you have to read just off of its sheer influence alone. The trope of the lesbian vampire was so important in early horror movies, B-movies and especially Giallo horror. (Also I love the fact that two of the most pioneering and influential works of vampire fiction were written by two Irish guys, go us!)
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  • Nickolas the Kid
    January 1, 1970
    Γοτθικός τρόμος και υφέρπων ερωτισμός. Αυτά είναι τα δυό βασικά "συστατικά" του βιβλίου του Λε Φανού. Η Καρμιλλα θεωρείται και είναι, η βάση της λογοτεχνίας των βαμπίρ και όχι μονο.Ένας πανάρχαιος μύθος παίρνει την τελική του μορφή στο πρόσωπο της Καρμίλλας. Ο ιρλανδός συγγραφέας φτιάχνει μια ιστορία τρόμου επηρεασμένος από τους μύθους των βρικολάκων ανα τους αιώνες. Με πρωτοπροσωπη αφηγήση λοιπόν και διαρκή φλας μπακ ο Λε Φανου χτίζει σταδιακα το σκηνικό του τρόμου και του μυστηρίου μέχρι την τ Γοτθικός τρόμος και υφέρπων ερωτισμός. Αυτά είναι τα δυό βασικά "συστατικά" του βιβλίου του Λε Φανού. Η Καρμιλλα θεωρείται και είναι, η βάση της λογοτεχνίας των βαμπίρ και όχι μονο.Ένας πανάρχαιος μύθος παίρνει την τελική του μορφή στο πρόσωπο της Καρμίλλας. Ο ιρλανδός συγγραφέας φτιάχνει μια ιστορία τρόμου επηρεασμένος από τους μύθους των βρικολάκων ανα τους αιώνες. Με πρωτοπροσωπη αφηγήση λοιπόν και διαρκή φλας μπακ ο Λε Φανου χτίζει σταδιακα το σκηνικό του τρόμου και του μυστηρίου μέχρι την τελική φρικώδη αποκάλυψη και την εξιλέωση. Σε όλο το διήγημα υπάρχει ένας παραδοξος λυρισμός, που όμως δεν κουράζει μιας και η γραφή ειναι στρωτή και οι περιγραφές απέριττες. Ίσως μετα από τόσα χρόνια το βιβλίο να τα δείχνει τα χρονάκια του, για μένα όμως πλέον θα θεωρείται ως βασικό ανάγνωσμα για όσους έλκονται απο την γοητεία των βαμπίρ.4/5ΥΓ: εξαιρετικός ο πρόλογος των εκδόσεων Ars Nocturna πάνω στην μυθολογία των βρικολάκων αλλά και τις επιρροές του μύθου στις υπόλοιπες τέχνες
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  • Char
    January 1, 1970
    After my re-read of this classic, I would give Carmilla 3.5 stars. I loved the atmosphere and the language, even if I thought it was a bit too flowery at times. I know that it's wrong to judge a work of this age by today's standards, but man, everyone in this book seemed stupid and too naive to be believable. The whole time, I was thinking "My God, man, wake up!"I'm glad I re-read this one but I think that shall be it for me with Carmilla.
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  • ᴥ Irena ᴥ
    January 1, 1970
    3.5One of the reasons why I liked Carmilla so much is it's a very good vampire story. It would be even better if I didn't know that from the beginning. Nobody's fault. Everyone knows Carmilla is a vampire story. It was first published 1872 and people usually expect those to be a bit harder to get through. Carmilla is definitely not like that. It almost reads like a contemporary story. There are sixteen chapters but the story itself was sort of divided in two parts. One is told to us by Laura, ou 3.5One of the reasons why I liked Carmilla so much is it's a very good vampire story. It would be even better if I didn't know that from the beginning. Nobody's fault. Everyone knows Carmilla is a vampire story. It was first published 1872 and people usually expect those to be a bit harder to get through. Carmilla is definitely not like that. It almost reads like a contemporary story. There are sixteen chapters but the story itself was sort of divided in two parts. One is told to us by Laura, our young narrator, years later. The other is almost the same story which happened to another girl. This one is told to Laura and her father by the father's friend. It doesn't end well.I won't retell the story itself. (view spoiler)[Carmilla the character drove me crazy. I'll give you just one example what annoyed me about her. At one point of the story a funeral procession is passing by. People are singing a hymn. Laura, being a decent person, stands up and joins in the singing. Carmilla starts with you offend me with this and 'how can you tell that your religion and mine are the same'. She is a freaking guest there and neither Laura nor those people did anything offensive. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Annie♡
    January 1, 1970
    Siniestro y bello, ¿es posible? SÍ y SÍ. "Me juzgarás cruel y egoísta, muy egoísta, pero recuerda que el amor es siempre así. Cuanto más intensa es la pasión, más egoísta resulta. No puedes imaginarte lo celosa que estoy de ti. Tú has de venir conmigo; has de quererme hasta la muerte. O puede que me odies, da lo mismo. Pero ven conmigo y ódiame a través de la muerte y del más allá. En mi vocabulario no existe la palabra indiferencia." Para la época en que fue escrito tuvo que causar su revuelo Siniestro y bello, ¿es posible? SÍ y SÍ. "Me juzgarás cruel y egoísta, muy egoísta, pero recuerda que el amor es siempre así. Cuanto más intensa es la pasión, más egoísta resulta. No puedes imaginarte lo celosa que estoy de ti. Tú has de venir conmigo; has de quererme hasta la muerte. O puede que me odies, da lo mismo. Pero ven conmigo y ódiame a través de la muerte y del más allá. En mi vocabulario no existe la palabra indiferencia." Para la época en que fue escrito tuvo que causar su revuelo, ¿por qué? Por el tinte lésbico que tiene, por la tensión sexual entre dos mujeres.Me encantó, de verdad. No pude dejar de leerlo, tenía que terminarlo ya de ya! "El amor exige sacrificios, y en los sacrificios corre la sangre. Ahora deja que me abandone al sueño." El relato no abusa de escenas sangrientas. No, no, nada de eso. Me pareció que se contaba lo que se tenía que contar, y ya. :)
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  • Brian
    January 1, 1970
    The author takes advantage of the power of contrast. Many horror writers use contrast to throw a reader's mind off balance. Stephen King made Pennywise a joking freak of a clown, and Randal Flagg a humorous and diabolical psycho-demon. In this story, a small girl meets Carmilla, two petite and intimate little girls. The contrast twists the mind into suspended insanity when supernatural visitations come, and the small girl correlates to the events. His descriptions of vampires bring a terror seen The author takes advantage of the power of contrast. Many horror writers use contrast to throw a reader's mind off balance. Stephen King made Pennywise a joking freak of a clown, and Randal Flagg a humorous and diabolical psycho-demon. In this story, a small girl meets Carmilla, two petite and intimate little girls. The contrast twists the mind into suspended insanity when supernatural visitations come, and the small girl correlates to the events. His descriptions of vampires bring a terror seen in modern movies: a little girl covered in blood in a white dress of purity, a creature with no heartbeat, no breath, only a cold stare of lust and hunger. Half the story comes through dialogue, which I found rather confusing and crippling for the pace. Overall, the story exemplifies great writing; imagery and description fill the mind. The contrast disturbs the mind with precise clarity.
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  • Carmo
    January 1, 1970
    Uma vampirice à moda antiga a fazer lembrar os contos de Bram Stoker, quando afinal, foi este quem se inspirou em Carmilla para escrever Drácula.Os cenários são os apropriados para histórias de terror e o suspense é uma constante até ao final. Com uns toques de erotismo e um lesbianismo mais que subtil, é capaz de ter chocado os mentecaptos da época.
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  • Bark
    January 1, 1970
    This was my first reading of this classic tale of dark secrets written in 1872. 1872?! That fact stuns me after finally giving this a novella read. There is a quite a surprising amount of sexuality for such an ancient tome or did the world get ever more prudish as the years went by? There were lesbian kisses and touches and I think I even detected a wee bit of some non-consensual touchy-feely too! But, man, is it ever flowery in its telling. The purple prose is oh-so-strong but it really does th This was my first reading of this classic tale of dark secrets written in 1872. 1872?! That fact stuns me after finally giving this a novella read. There is a quite a surprising amount of sexuality for such an ancient tome or did the world get ever more prudish as the years went by? There were lesbian kisses and touches and I think I even detected a wee bit of some non-consensual touchy-feely too! But, man, is it ever flowery in its telling. The purple prose is oh-so-strong but it really does throw one back in time and allow the atmosphere to drip off the page so I’m not complaining. Just prepare yourself for some unrestrained writing. There are trembling embraces and languid and burning eyes and so much more to behold here. Basically this a story about a sheltered young lady whose father takes in a strange, beautiful young lady named Carmilla after her mother inexplicably leaves her for three months to take care of some business or another. Carmilla is ailing from what appears to me to be nothing more than a case of the vapors but mom dashes off anyway, saying she cannot take the poor ailing thing along with her. Hmmm, I don’t know about the rest of you but that would make me mighty suspicious! Carmilla is ailing from something a bit more sinister than the vapors and mom’s dump and drop makes a lot of sense when everything is eventually revealed. I won’t reveal the whole thing because it’s short and I think you should read it for yourself. Just know that it was enjoyable and beautifully atmospheric and if you’re a fan of Dracula and all of his offspring and offshoots, you should give this a read.
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  • Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
    January 1, 1970
    I'm happy to say that the classics turn out to be great. After The Hunting of Hill House, I wasn't sure I'll find another classic to enjoy so quickly.After getting into goodreads universe, back in 2012, I've kept reading about Carmilla, the vampire before Bram Stoker's Dracula. How it was supposed to be this amazing lesbian classic story. Six years later, I decided to give it a chance. And I'm happy I did.The story is about Laura, a young lady who is preyed upon by Carmilla. It tells all about h I'm happy to say that the classics turn out to be great. After The Hunting of Hill House, I wasn't sure I'll find another classic to enjoy so quickly.After getting into goodreads universe, back in 2012, I've kept reading about Carmilla, the vampire before Bram Stoker's Dracula. How it was supposed to be this amazing lesbian classic story. Six years later, I decided to give it a chance. And I'm happy I did.The story is about Laura, a young lady who is preyed upon by Carmilla. It tells all about her first encounter with the vampire (in childhood), and the adventures the main character faces as a teenager.Every time I saw the name Rheinfeldt, I kept remembering Stoker's Renfield, although the two characters are extremely different from one another. All in all, Carmilla is a great story that will not bore you. At least, it didn't bore me.
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  • BrokenTune
    January 1, 1970
    I had heard of Carmilla, one of the forerunners of Dracula, but I had not read it. So, when the chance to read a book for the "Gothic" square on a Halloween Bingo game came up, I jumped at Carmilla. And it does not come more Gothic than this..."Over all this the schloss shows its many-windowed front; its towers, and its Gothic chapel. The forest opens in an irregular and very picturesque glade before its gate, and at the right a steep Gothic bridge carries the road over a stream that winds in de I had heard of Carmilla, one of the forerunners of Dracula, but I had not read it. So, when the chance to read a book for the "Gothic" square on a Halloween Bingo game came up, I jumped at Carmilla. And it does not come more Gothic than this..."Over all this the schloss shows its many-windowed front; its towers, and its Gothic chapel. The forest opens in an irregular and very picturesque glade before its gate, and at the right a steep Gothic bridge carries the road over a stream that winds in deep shadow through the wood. I have said that this is a very lonely place. Judge whether I say truth. Looking from the hall door towards the road, the forest in which our castle stands extends fifteen miles to the right, and twelve to the left. The nearest inhabited village is about seven of your English miles to the left. The nearest inhabited schloss of any historic associations, is that of old General Spielsdorf, nearly twenty miles away to the right. I have said "the nearest inhabited village," because there is, only three miles westward, that is to say in the direction of General Spielsdorf's schloss, a ruined village, with its quaint little church, now roofless, in the aisle of which are the moldering tombs of the proud family of Karnstein, now extinct, who once owned the equally desolate chateau which, in the thick of the forest, overlooks the silent ruins of the town. Respecting the cause of the desertion of this striking and melancholy spot, there is a legend which I shall relate to you another time."I'm not going to compare Carmilla and Dracula other than to say that I actually preferred the story of Carmilla - simply because it is less convoluted. To me the simplicity of Carmilla makes it more legend-like, more like a myth that can give you shivers when travelling through the dark countryside. " I don't know. I didn't get the same sense of dread and atmosphere from Dracula that I got from reading Carmilla, and for that reason alone I prefer Le Fanu's telling of the vampire story.Incidentally, I guess, the vampire aspect is pretty much where the comparison between Carmilla and Dracula needs to end for me because Stoker's work expanded into a lot more than the vampire story, and included a lot of social commentary that is not the focus of Carmilla.So, anyway, as a mere vampire story this was a great read.
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  • Tom Lewis
    January 1, 1970
    “But to die as lovers may - to die together, so that they may live together.”Okay, how many vampire books have you read that contain that kind of elegant prose. Carmilla is a novella that was written in 1872, so it pre-dates Dracula by about 25 years. And a lot of its influence is later seen in Dracula.Being as old as it is, there’s no twists that will catch a modern reader by surprise, as pretty much every variation on the vampire genre has been played out. But what you will find is something s “But to die as lovers may - to die together, so that they may live together.”Okay, how many vampire books have you read that contain that kind of elegant prose. Carmilla is a novella that was written in 1872, so it pre-dates Dracula by about 25 years. And a lot of its influence is later seen in Dracula.Being as old as it is, there’s no twists that will catch a modern reader by surprise, as pretty much every variation on the vampire genre has been played out. But what you will find is something sorely lacking in modern vampire literature – a rich gothic tapestry of remote castles, and dark forests; of horse-drawn carriages, misty mountains, and superstitious peasantry; and a quiet melancholy that permeates what is at times a touching tale (with sapphic undercurrents) of a young vampire torn by the need to kill the people she loves.
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