The title of this study comes from a line near the beginning of the first book in The Strain Trilogy, which consists of The Strain (2009), The Fall (2010), and The Night Eternal (2011), and is spoken by Nora Martinez, who is assistant to Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, head of the CDC rapid response team. They have been called in to investigate the mystery surrounding the landing of a Boeing 777 at JFK airport in New York, where all the passengers have seemingly died from an unknown infection that slows down antemortem decomposition in its victims, yet also produces spontaneous tissue growth. The only indications that something untoward has happened to the bodies are the small wounds on the victims’ skin near major arteries. Still unable to discover the cause of what is happening, Nora declares, “This is something new … Or—something very, very old” (del Toro and Hogan, 2010, 164). Somewhat usefully, this statement can also relate to the trilogy as a whole, both in its relation to vampire literature and also in terms of the vampire that it portrays. The novels occupy a space not unlike Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), where the Transylvanian count exists on the borders of both temporal and geographical realities.
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