A Weekend with Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Scene from Tod Browning's Dracula (1931).
Scene from Tod Browning's Dracula (1931).

Having tired myself with Henry James’ second story, I cautioned myself from proceeding with the third tale and took up Bram Stoker’s Dracula from the shelf instead.

“Owen Wingrave” is centered on a dispute between a young man who refused to become a soldier and relatives who wanted him to continue the martial tradition of his forefathers. Not that I got along with it that much though.

I find Dostoevsky’s confused men and saintly prostitutes more appealing in spite of James rebuke for Dostoevsky’s fiction as “baggy monsters” and “fluid puddings.” Still, I’ll have to go back to the third story in the selection and the last – the novelette The Turn of the Screw and hope it won’t disappoint.

Perhaps it was the fact that my younger sister has devoured all those presently fashionable Stephanie Meyer books and I wanted to review my knowledge on vampire lore. But I naturally stay away from everything that’s over-hyped, thus making Bram Stoker’s Gothic Classic the perfect companion for the weekend. For sure, I could have read other references on the subject. Still, there’s no substitute for a good story.

Of course, the tale itself has become so much a part of popular culture that I believe there’s no need to repeat it here.

When I was still in elementary school, I recall watching the film Bram Stoker’s Dracula with some family members. I can’t remember much of it but I think it stayed close to the novel in the main except for the love angle between the count and his lady victims when he arrived in England.

I expected much mention of the 15th Century Romanian prince Vlad III the Impaler in the classic book since his tale is one of the elements from the movie that I still committed to memory. However, the reference to the historical figure in Stoker’s novel was discursive and not really in depth:

Ah, the tragedy of knowing a work of fiction first from a film adaptation. ■


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