I didn’t want to upset the other readers at my first attendance of a science fiction and fantasy reading group, but I had to keep sipping my tea to stop myself. It is a general consensus that vampires cannot go out in the daytime because the sunlight will fry them. Some of the folk in the group were annoyed with recent films, for example in Twilight, that dare to show vampires in daylight.
What I’d like to have pointed out is that early depictions of vampires don’t have them burning in sunlight. From Polidon’s The Vampyre (1819) to Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) vampires might be uncomfortable in strong sunlight but can walk about in the daytime even if they are normally nocturnal. It wasn’t until film came along that the notion was introduced. In 1922 the film, Nosferatu, (a German unauthorised adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula) made the vampire, Count Oriok, burn in sunlight. And so the sun-burning seed was set for all vampire-lovers.
So, it is ironic that my fellow readers in the book group were annoyed unnecessarily. Indeed, if they really insist on vampires being exactly as they were first portrayed in literature then they should be yelling at Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee, not the more recent examples.
Maybe I’ll have the courage to speak up at the next meeting.