Thursday, July 19, 2012

President Vampire Hunter: Possibilities (Part Two)

Seth Grahame-Smith decided Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter needed a framing story. And the framing story is about ALVH, the story. 

So many possibilities:

Framing Story

Why the fuck-hell do you need a framing story for this?

Throughout, different nineteenth-century activists and/or or modern historians read this journal in real time:

Maybe ALVH the main story is a frightening post-Civil War discovery – and by frightening, I mean inflammatory, because it was after the Civil War. The Confederate interprets it as Union propaganda (understandable, given Jefferson Davis’s moustache-twirling Captain Planet Snidely Whiplash villain portrayal), the abolitionist interprets it as anti-Lincoln (or pro-Lincoln) propaganda of the most absurd sort, and the Frederick-Douglass-style former slave debates both of them. This creates some ambiguity on how we should interpret this 'Lincoln' journal, including its existence and validity.

I wonder how the historians would find the journal. Maybe Henry (Abraham Lincoln’s in-universe Vampire Obi-Wan Kenobi. Yes) would give it to them. That’d be funny – I bet it would go like this:

“I hear you are fascinated by tales of the Civil War.” (Seriously, that’s the way he talks. What I like to call Overly Formal Anachro-speak).

“Well, I am a Civil War historian, sir. Would you like to schedule an appointment, because it’s really late, and I need to head home. Also, it would be best if we met at my office, and not in a dark alley.” (Henry, successful shadiness requires subtlety).

Maybe the historians debate the journal’s validity and politics, but with the perspective we have today. They talk about the multi-million dollar industry that Lincoln has become, that he’s one of those historical figures that’s almost become as much a fictionalized, sensationalized part of our pop culture as Vampires themselves. Hell, Lincoln has almost as many impersonators as Elvis. He’s already an undead celebrity.

A Confederate-sympathizing historian and a Lincoln fan-boy debate the level of hero worship that surrounds him. Lincoln’s life is given a Christian spin in pop culture – the liberator martyred after saving the Union and freeing the slaves (with over a million total deaths, of course, including civilians) – which oddly compliments the traditional notion of a valiant hunter destroying the evil Vampire hell-demons (with a to-be-determined number of deaths).

Maybe the journal is determined to be real, maybe not. Maybe Vampires are recognized as real in this present – hell, one of the historians could be Vampiric. The possibilities go on and on.

Historians’ discussions illuminate their own personalities and provide meta-commentary on the place of a book like ALVH in pop culture.

Henry is telling the framing story, and offering his own retrospective on the event.
You know, because he was actually there. And shaped the events. And could actually do something about them now, like finish what Lincoln started and end the cycle of death and destruction his people have wrought. And he’s had centuries to reflect upon it, and knows what the fuck he’s talking about.

What actually happened:
It’s about Seth Grahame Smith writing the book! Yes, he wrote himself into the story.  Who is he, in-universe? A random guy Henry met at a general store that can’t influence the events at all and knows absolutely nothing about them. Perfect! It adds so much. 

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