Vampires, Adler, and Kilgore Trout
The Adler in question is Margot Adler, author of DRAWING DOWN THE MOON, National Public Radio correspondent, and granddaughter of psychotherapy pioneer Alfred Adler, who gave a lecture yesterday (Monday) evening on . . . vampires. More properly, she spoke on the continuing prevalence of vampires in popular culture and how it relates to moral struggles. The talk was interesting — it ain’t all sex or even mortality, but more a question of use and misuse of power which Adler saw relating, since the late 1960s, increasingly toward misuse of the Earth itself. If vampirism is a blood addiction, to what extent is our modern civilization, with its addiction to oil, a society of vampires? Thus the moral choice, to abuse or abstain. But also — and this is more for the future, an aspect she says she’s only beginning to explore herself — can one find beyond that a spiritual dimension as well?
These are things writers can struggle with (and as a result, for me, perhaps not all that ground shaking in its conclusions, but still interesting in Adler’s approach). If the vampire does not have at least moral qualms, can it still hold interest as a character, or does it become simply a monster, a hazard that’s there for no other reason than to be escaped or destroyed? For writers also, though, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing Editor/Publisher Max Booth III has proposed a contest. He harks to the memory of Kilgore Trout, the fictional science fiction writer who pops up from time to time in Kurt Vonnegut’s novels, and challenges readers to write an excerpt from one of Trout’s “own” works, the best and/or worst of which will win copies (one hard copy and two electronic editions are offered as prizes) of the Vonnegut tribute anthology SO IT GOES (see below March 2, et al.). The deadline for this is March 25, with more information available through the SO IT GOES website, linked to in the March 2 posting, or directly by pressing here.