Here are a selection of my favourite links from the past few weeks. Enjoy!
- Could rabies explain the vampire legend? Linking in with my whole 'diagnosing literature' obsession, this article argues that vampire legends were triggered by an Eastern European rabies epidemic, citing similarities between rabies-sufferers and vampires as evidence.
- 'Bram Stoker’s Dracula. A Study on the Human Mind and Paranoid Behaviour'. A very similar idea to the above, this great essay argues that all supernatural activity in Dracula is in fact caused by a kind of group psychosis, encompassing all the characters. I understand how it sounds kind of silly as a premise, but it's very well argued and definitely thought-provoking.
- A Brief History of Fashionable Gaits. This hilarious article discusses the Victorian fad for fashionable walks.Who fancies bringing back 'The Aesthetic'?
'insteps go in with a jerk, her hips fly back, her spinal column shoots forward at an angle of about forty-eight degrees and remains rigid, her neck lifts, her chin goes about an inch and five-eighths above its normal line, her nose naturally follows, and perhaps improves upon the incline, her arms to the elbow-points hug her sides like the wings of a duck, and the forearms hang like willow branches, while the hand that does not engage itself with the parasol hangs limp and languid. It requires two teeters to give the shakes to inertia, and off the aesthete goes.'
- Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies as Opposed to Stephen Fry's Bright Young Things: Doubting All. A great piece of criticism on my favourite book in the world, Vile Bodies. For the record, I actually love Stephen Fry's film, but I can definitely see how other people have issues with it. This piece contains what I consider to be the most perfect piece of literary criticism ever written:
'The book is giddy yet effortlessly accomplished, as if the author had performed an autopsy with a pearl-handled letter opener, without getting up from his chair or even putting down his cocktail.'
- Great Gatsbys - a series of fantastically funny Great Gatsby comics.