Death, Disease & Pandemic: How Horror Writers of the Past Translated Illness (Part 1- Bram Stoker & the Rise of the Vampire)

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Here is an insightful and timely blogpost from K.C. Redding-Gonzalez! Please visit her excellent blog: https://zombiesalmonthehorrorcontinues.wordpress.com

Zombie Salmon (the Horror Continues)

It should seem obvious: death is that “thing” behind the “fear” that Lovecraft used to define our genre. Yet for the most part, Horror writers seem to prefer the more visceral kinds of death – the vainglorious, the heroic, the tragic – death that glorifies the person or the plot. Therefore, Horror writers also tend to avoid the obviousness of rampant disease as their story-behind-the-story. When it comes to death-by-disease, our genre prefers to utilize the mystery of illness and disease (if not life and death) as a way to explore human nature, leaving the horrific details of unfolding pandemics to the Science Fiction genre.

But we have had writers who embraced the horrors consequential to pandemics – specifically Edgar Allan Poe, Richard Matheson, Bram Stoker, Stephen King and even Anne Rice.

So perhaps now is the time to discuss what those writers did to translate disease and death into…

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