With the recent resurgence of vampires in popular culture, it’s easy to forget that this little slice of horror fiction was once a mainstay in the literary world (I know, Twilight fans, Stephanie Meyers’ books are literature… sort of). But I’m thinking more along the lines of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire, even Salem’s Lot by Stephen King.
Yes, it seems that the classics have taken a back seat to their new, hipper counterparts. Recently, I came across Bram Stoker’s Dracula under the required reading list on a syllabus for one of my fall classes and couldn’t help but smile. But with the exception of a few of us stubborn readers, no one cares about those books anymore. So in this new age, what’s a classic book lover to do?
It sounds bleak, but the new fans to the genre don’t know anything about the books some of us can’t live without. However, that’s not a bad thing – they’re forging their own icons. And we can all appreciate the revival of the genre.
Perhaps it’s best to let the classic novels fade into obscurity. But it doesn’t hurt to pay homage every now and then; so the next time you stop by Snell, make sure to pick up one the classics – even if it’s just to skim the back cover. It’ll be good for you.