Thursday, January 20, 2011

John Simon "Uncensored" Indeed

So, John Simon is now blogging.

Now he is free to say everything on his mind. And in a recent post, his mind takes off from the opening of the Off Broadway Dracula, (which he finds uninteresting,) only to bounce from movies to books to blood to semen and to opera:

The vampire is usually an aristocrat, Count Dracula, with whom, despite his creepy Hungarian accent, men want to identify, and by whom women want to be bitten. After all, the sucking of blood is sexy, the spilling of semen in reverse, fluid for fluid. It is a symbolic, uncensorable but equally orgasmic representation of the sexual act. And when the victim herself becomes a vampire, the union is perfect and, what is more, everlasting.

Some such things account for the current renaissance—more properly recrudescence—of the vampire novel, movie and, presumptively, stage play. But the advantages of the movie (sexy young actors, detailed sex scenes, endless special effects, spectacular locales) and the novel (if skillfully written, steady stimulus for the imagination) are enormous. The resources of the stage, mostly live actors, are considerably more limited. And what happens if even the actors fail you?


There is more than one vampire opera, the best known being Marschner’s Der Vampyr. The Grove Dictionary of Opera entry about it opens with the subtitle Grosse romantische Oper and continues “in two acts by Heinrich August Marschner to a libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrueck after plays based on John W. Polidori’s story The Vampyre, itself a revision of Lord Byron’s Fragment of a Novel, sometimes called Augustus Dowell.”

Oh, and he has a take on reviewing Spider Man as well.

1 comment:

Thomas Garvey said...

Hmmm. Dracula. John Simon. Do I sense a certain correspondence? Aristocratic manner cloaking deathless pestilence - yes, I think I do detect a certain parallel! I recall Mr. Simon once described bloggers as "vermin." Which only makes it all the more entertaining watching him crawl around.