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Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu
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Carmilla (original 1872; edition 2011)

by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu

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909459,684 (3.71)165
Member:ChristinaDye
Title:Carmilla
Authors:Joseph Sheridan le Fanu
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2011), Paperback, 72 pages
Collections:E-books, Favorites
Rating:*****
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Carmilla: a Vampyre Tale by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1872)

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English (44)  Swedish (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
It will come as no surprise to long-time readers that I loved Carmilla. I mean, it was a heavy influence for my beloved Dracula. What is surprising is that it took me this long to read it, or listen to it as the case may be. Suffice it to say, now that I have experienced Carmilla in all her Gothic glory, my heart is full.

One of the things I most enjoy about reading older novels is the use of language to express emotion as compared to today’s usage. What I find particularly interesting is that in an era in which friends “make love” with other friends as a way of showing affection, people remember Carmilla more for the sapphic relationship than for anything else. Victorian-era novels are always full of girls kissing other girls, sleeping together in the same bed, holding each other, etc., doing so as a way of showing their sisterly love for the other without any hidden meaning. Yet, in Carmilla we have two girls, one of who displays similar forms of affection for the other, and suddenly things are not as innocent as they seem. In fact, Laura declares her discomfort for Carmilla’s kissing and pronouncements of love. It is an intriguing shift in attitude, one that is obviously meant to indicate Carmilla’s dangerous nature, and quite indicative of the Victorian mindset about homosexuality in general.

It is obvious to see just how Carmilla influenced Bram Stoker; identifying such areas is half the fun of listening to it after all. Even some of the moral lessons are the same. One could almost make a checklist to compare the two. Still, total familiarity with one does not denote boredom with the other. In fact, I feel that knowing one makes it easier to enjoy the other because these two stories have had such a profound influence on the entire vampire sub-genre. Unlike Dracula though, Carmilla ‘s short story status means that it never drags and never has the chance to get corny or the characters annoying. It is a vampire story that gets to the point (hah!) and ends, making it a must-read for anyone interested in seeing the evolution of the vampire story through the ages.
1 vote jmchshannon | May 17, 2016 |
Hmz. "Wäre es nur ein bisschen so geschrieben wie 'The Yellow Wallpaper', wäre es 70000x besser als Dracula", denke ich. ( )
  kthxy | May 6, 2016 |
Interesting to think it was the first book of it's kind. There's definitely a jump from the lore familiar in the modern world but is probably more organic to the time and place in which it was written. A bit frustrated that Le Fanu hit you over the head with some aspects to make his point but left gaping holes in other aspects. That's the thing with Gothic fragmentary writing though, I guess. Overall, a really interesting read. ( )
  suttonrl | Mar 31, 2016 |
Interesting to think it was the first book of it's kind. There's definitely a jump from the lore familiar in the modern world but is probably more organic to the time and place in which it was written. A bit frustrated that Le Fanu hit you over the head with some aspects to make his point but left gaping holes in other aspects. That's the thing with Gothic fragmentary writing though, I guess. Overall, a really interesting read. ( )
  suttonrl | Mar 31, 2016 |
This month's book club selection, so I went up to the attic and dug out my old childhood copy of this... How very, very excellent is the cover art on this edition? (1971 Scholastic).
The negative aspect of this edition is that there are no introductory notes or even anything about the date that the story was written (classy, Scholastic).
Still, this is a classic vampire story: a must-read, and worth a re-read.
I personally feel that the lesbian aspect of the story has been overemphasized - there are only a few times it crosses the line over from that old-fashioned 'my very dear friend' kinda thing... so don't expect too much in the way of eroticism.
But LeFanu achieves a psychologically complex and morally ambiguous tale, as he tells this story of a lonely young woman who invites a stranger into her home and her heart.

Structurally, there are a few aspects to the story I feel could be better, and a few oddly unanswered questions... but hey, it was written in 1872, and was so very influential and historically important that any possible failings are only to be forgiven. ( )
1 vote AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanuprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Codd, RolandCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Follows, MeganNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hännikäinen, TimoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juan, AnaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Upon a paper attached to the Narrative which follows, Doctor Hesselius has written a rather elaborate note, which he accompanies with a reference to his Essay on the strange subject which the MS. illuminates.
In Styria, we, though by no means magnificent people, inhabit a castle, or schloss.
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Book description
Carmilla is the book that set the text for Dracula, that threw the light on our morbid fascination with the vampire legend. This is Carmilla, J. Sheridan LeFanu's classic novel of blood, terror -- and a love that dare not speak its name.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 856202225X, Paperback)

The vampire novella "Carmilla" set in Austria is one of Le Fanu's best tales and greatly influenced Bram Stocker, who published Dracula 25 years later. This is definitively a great book and a must for the lovers of horror tales.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:45 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

La historia de esta novela gtica transcurre en un castillo de Austria; all vive una solitaria chica con su padre. Un da, mientras pasean por los bellos alrededores del aislado lugar, asisten a un accidente: un carruaje pierde el control en el camino y vuelca. En su interior viajan una mujer y su joven hija. La dama est obligada a continuar su recorrido a pesar del incidente, pero le pide al dueo del castillo un favor: que cuide de su hija, convaleciente de una rara y nunca bien explicada enfermedad, hasta su vuelta. La joven se llama Carmilla y pronto se hace amiga ntima de Laura, la solcita anfitriona. De inmediato comienzan a pasar cosas extraas: en los no tan cercanos pueblos mueren muchachas en aparentes ataques de vampiros.Following a near fatal carriage collision, the beautiful young Carmilla is taken in by the narrator Laura and her father who live near-by in a lonely castle. The two young women become close friends. Soon, however, strange things begin to happen; and, in villages in the surrounding area local girls die if apparent vampire attacks. Even Laura falls ill.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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