I promised that I was going to use this spot for discussing my Master’s thesis. My original idea was going to involve an examination of differing presentations of Faerie as they are used in Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword and Lord Dunsany’s The King of Elfland’s Daughter. That didn’t quite work out, however.
Both novels use very similar ideas, but present them in markedly different ways: Anderson attempts to harken back to the Norse sagas which so fascinated him, while Lord Dunsany draws from Victorian and Edwardian whimsical fairy tales for the most part. However, as I tooled around on-line through databases, webpages, and so on, I found that there was a paucity of academic discussion of either of these works, and for a Master’s thesis one is supposed to have twelve to fifteen sources on hand. So, that ended that.
So I considered what else I might want to work with and hit on a natural: Fevre Dream. Coming as it did during the revival of the vampire genre (following the success of Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, on which there’ll be more later), it seemed ripe for examination as a literary text. The fact that its written by one of my favorite authors doesn’t hurt, and that opens up some interesting possibilities which I’m considering, but the important thing is that by placing it within the context of its genre I’ll be able to write a fairly interesting thesis discussing where Martin strays from the tropes of the genre (as set forth by Rice, primarily). There’s really only one problem, and it’s one I’m about to go about correcting: I haven’t actually read Interview. I did see the excellent Neil Jordan-directed movie, which I’ve been told is fairly faithful, and I’ve read some post-Rice vampire fiction, so I’m not completely clueless; but I need to know more to really get in-depth in my discussion of what makes Fevre Dream different.
I plan to get Interview finished this week, and then I’ll start in on collecting my secondary sources, of which I’ve already found a number of possibilities thanks to the wonders of Google Print and Amazon’s Look Inside function. The university library also seems to have a few academic works concerning the vampire genre, such as The Lure of the Vampire: Gender, Fiction and Fandom from Bram Stoker to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.