In today’s pop culture, monsters in movies and television are very popular even when it is not Halloween season. Movies like the Twilight Saga, the Underworld series, and Zombieland brought vampires, werewolves and zombies to the forefront of mainstream entertainment and have made them household names. Even some television shows like The Vampire Diaries, The Walking Dead, and Grimm feature these popular supernatural beings in their episodes every week. But have you ever thought of the literary origins of these monsters?
The world’s most famous vampire was introduced in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). The story is about Count Dracula trying to move to England so he could find new sources of blood and spread the vampire curse. http://sallypro.sandiego.edu/iii/encore/record/C__Rb2695407
The werewolf becoming popular to the masses can be traced back to Guy Endore’s “The Werewolf of Paris” (1933). The story is about a man named Bertrand that suffers from lycanthropy and it recounts the very violent events of his life. http://circuit.sdsu.edu/record=b21697471~S0*eng
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) is a modern reinvention of the zombie which involves Dr. Frankenstein’s experiment with the resurrection of the dead. http://sallypro.sandiego.edu/iii/encore/record/C__Rb2062507
The ghost known as the Headless Horseman became famous from Washington Irving’s story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” where it tormented and hunted down Ichabod Crane. http://sallypro.sandiego.edu/iii/encore/record/C__Rb2067104
If you would like to know more about these stories, you should check to see if they are available through our library collection. What are some of your favorite Halloween monsters? Let us know in the comment section below!
You see the word community a lot around here. We like to talk about the reading community, the San Diego community, the USD community, but it’s hard to define a community, and it’s even harder to bring one together. One Book One San Diego will be bringing the community together again for the 8th year running right here at USD next week on Wed., 10/15. You can RSVP for free on KPBS.
But not many people know about a program available right here at USD: Just Read!, hosted by our very own Center for Educational Excellence. Just Read!, in its current iteration, has been working since 2012 to unite USD students, faculty, and staff under one common book, and this year’s book might be the best yet. Raj Patel’s Stuffed and Starved was nominated by the USD community for its stellar coverage of a global issue that hits close to home: what’s on our plates. Online, on television, on paper, we are in a zeitgeist of “foodie-ism,” and yet, we’re all familiar with the refrain, “Finish your food! There are folks worse off than you!” In his text, Patel handily confronts this contradiction—that “the hunger of 800 million happens at the same time as another historical first: that they are out-numbered by the one billion people on this planet who are overweight.” It’s a compelling and contemporary issue, and Just Read! is making this issue accessible for all of us at USD. With free events available year round to anyone interested, the Just Read! program is a way for all of us, regardless of the many different things we do, to come together under one thing and share a little feeling of community.
Copies of Stuffed and Starved are available on reserves at the Copley circulation desk. Just mention the title, and we’ll get you started. Still not convinced? Check out our exhibit for Just Read! located near the entrance.
If you can’t wait to join the discussion, events are happening right now! Event information is available on CEE’s site, and the author himself will be here on 11/11 for an engaging talk. If you want to find out more about the Just Read! program, CEE is located in Copley Library at the far end of the main floor.
It’s never too late. Jump in anytime.