One of the aspects of the whole vampire mythos I find most fascinating is the fact that vampires don’t age after being turned. Because of that, when I hear the word “vampire,” I don’t think of Twilight…or Vampire Academy…or Vampire Diaries…I think of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, even though it’s been almost ten years since I’ve read it.
And when I think of Interview with the Vampire, I don’t think of Lestat (Tom Cruise, for those of you who’ve only seen the movie) or Louis (Brad Pitt)…I think of Anne Rice’s incredible creation, the vampire-child Claudia, a fictional character I will never forget. In the movie version, Claudia was played by 12-year-old Kirsten Dunst:
..but in the book, Claudia is only SIX. She’s described as an angelic, doll-like beauty, but over time she comes to enjoy killing people and develops a very disturbing sexuality. Here’s one quote:
Yet more and more her doll-like face seemed to possess two totally aware adult eyes, and innocence seemed lost somewhere with neglected toys and the loss of a certain patience. There was something dreadfully sensual about her lounging on the settee in a tiny nightgown of lace and stitched pearls… (p. 100-101)
I’ve always been fascinated by Peter Pan and the idea of the child who never grows up, and there is a lot of darkness and depth to that story in all its many reincarnations. The concept of the child-vampire takes this darkness to an even more extreme and disturbing level. There’s something so incredibly sad and delicate, terrible and poignant about the child-vampire.
Anyway, if you’ve never read Interview with the Vampire, I encourage you to check it out!