Marcus contributed the chapter “The Elusive Vampire: folklore and fiction – writing My Swordhand is Singing” to this book published for the Open Graves, Open Minds project by Manchester University Press.
This collection of essays relates the undead in literature, art, and other media to questions concerning gender, technology, consumption, and social change. It covers the Enlightenment investigation of vampires by Dom Augustin Calmet-the source of many later vampire narratives-through Romantic incarnations in Byron and Polidori to the classic tales of Le Fanu’s Carmilla and Stoker’s Dracula. Further essays discuss the vampire in the context of fin-de-siècle decadence and Oscar Wilde before an examination of the cinematic treatments up to Coppola’s Dracula, where the sympathetic vampire appears for the first time. More recent manifestations in novels, TV, young adult fiction (including, of course, Twilight), cinema, and the Internet are dealt with in chapters on True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, Marcus Sedgwick, and the undead in technology.
The book is also aimed at students of creative writing and followers of vampire fiction and related genres. The publication includes an essay by Marcus Sedgwick, who allows the readers access to his notebooks, exploring his creative processes and documenting his to journey to Transylvania in order to write My Swordhand Is Singing. The book is also designed with the University of Hertfordshire, ‘Reading the Vampire’ MA students in mind and those on similar courses. Those following the publication via the media coverage of the ‘Open Graves, Open Minds’ project are also catered for.