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[Opinion] Evolution of the Vampire

Posted December. 07, 2009 08:45,   


In 2007, Professor Costas Efthimiou of the University of Central Florida and Cornell University postgraduate student Sohang Gandhi mathematically proved that vampires cannot exist. They said the first vampire appeared on Jan. 1, 1600, when the world population was 536,870,911. They assumed that the average vampire ate once a month, turning his or her victim into a vampire. Then the two vampires were assumed to bite two more people the next month. At this pace, the entire world population would have been wiped out within two and a half years. What would have happened to the vampires had their food supply ran out?

The humorous study was challenged by an economist, who said vampires, if they were not stupid, would not consume all of its food resources. Food shortages would have also slowed the increase in the number of vampires. The blood drinker is one of the most popular figures in modern pop culture. Drinking blood stimulates people’s most fundamental sense of fear. A vampire’s fragility to the cross, garlic and iron stake shows his or her vulnerability. That they wanted to become vampires shows the tragedy of their existence.

Since Irish author Bram Stoker wrote the classic novel “Dracula” in 1897, vampires have populated novels and films in many forms. Since a series of Dracula films in the 1950s created a vampire with a sexual code of biting the necks of beautiful women, the creatures of the night have continued to evolve in pop culture into different types. One is too weak to love (“Bram Stoker’s Dracula” featuring Gary Oldman), another suffers from human agony (“Interview with the Vampire”) and yet another hunts its own to protect humans.

The vampire craze is back. The film “New Moon,” the sequel to “Twilight,” broke the single-day box office mark on opening day in North America. The movie’s protagonist is a vampire who is more than 100 years old but looks 17. He falls in love with a human girl, but agonizes over his destiny. Teenagers are enthusiastic over the trite story. As the old saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun. “New Moon,” however, shows that even a trite story can become popular again through a fresh twist.

Editorial Writer Chung Sung-hee (shchung@donga.com)