Want more deets? We’ve also got a completeOnline CourseaboutDracula, with three weeks’ worth of readings and activities to make sure you know your stuff.
Oh, the old vampire trend. So very 2000s.
Erso very 1890s?
In 1897, Bram Stoker took central European folk tales and turned them into one of the most famous horror books of all time. But the CW isn’t going to be speccing a script about this guy anytime soonat least, not Dracula as Stoker wrote him. Stoker’s Dracula isn’t young and sparkly-hot; he’s creepy, old, and has a penchant for turning into bats and clouds of mist.
Creepy, old, and occasionally downright boring (just stop with the train schedules, Mina)yes. But just like some vampire stories we could name coughVampireDiariescough, Dracula is a lot more interesting to talk about than it is to read. Just like today, vampires in 1897 stood in for a lot of contemporary fears and anxieties. Except while the vampire craze of the 2000s can be read as representing fears of corruption and conspiracy theories, ye olde turn-of-the-century bloodsuckers represented the increasing globalization of London, the risks of sexual activity, or even the increasing presence of technology.
That’s right: technology. Just like that creaky rom-com You’ve Got Mail hinges on the wacky new technology of email, Dracula hinges on telegraphs, typewriters, and phonographsonly with much more gruesome results.
Here’s the quick version: Count Dracula leaves his native Transylvania (modern-day Romania, in southeastern Europe) to immigrate to Englandpresumably to feed on the “teeming millions” in the huge capital city of London. “Invasion literature,” or literature that had to do with monsters invading the British Empire (which, at that point, still covered a lot of the world beyond the British Isles), was ridiculously popular at the time. Authors like Rudyard Kipling, H.G. Wells, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle all wrote sensational adventure stories about fantastic creatures or threatening monsters from around the world. Stoker didn’t think of himself as a great artist; he was primarily a businessman. He managed the famous Lyceum Theatre in London. Stoker only wrote novels to pay the bills (hah! the idea of writing novels to pay the bills is insane). Honestly, he’d probably be astonished at the lasting impact Dracula has had. He wrote it in a piecemeal, haphazard waya little here, a little there.
At the time it came out in 1897, it was popular and well-received, but hardly a blockbuster hit. It wasn’t until later in the 20th century, when film versions of the novel started to appear, that the novel’s popularity really skyrocketed and its impact on popular culture became crystal-clear. Basically every bloodsucker in literaturefrom Twilight’s Edward Cullen to True Blood’s Eric Northman to Anne Rice’s Lestat & Co. to Sesame Street’s The Countowes their life (or undeath) to Bram Stoker and his xenophobic tale of one Romanian count seducing proper English ladeez.
In other words, Dracula is the super-hideous great-great-grandpappy of Bella Swan.
You don’t have to think vampires are dreamy to think Dracula is important. In fact, you don’t even have to like Dracula to think Dracula is important: It just is.
This is a novel that took a pretty obscure folk tale creep and skyrocketed him into fame and everlasting pop-cultural stardom. It’s a novel that used a mythological creature to tap into the fears of a generation… and was so successful that the same exact mythological creature has been doing the same exact thing ever since. Except he’s gotten, by and large, way foxier.
For comparisonoh, wait. There is no comparison to be made, because so few creatures have risen from unknown European campfire story to sexy, sparkly, teen-god status in a little over a hundred years. Imagine if, by 2083 (108 years after Jaws came out), great white sharks were portrayed as super-hawt. Or heywhat if 1926 (108 years after Frankenstein was published) saw an influx of drool-worthy zombie babes?
Does that sound farfetched? It was a mere 108 years between the publication of Dracula and the publication of Twilight. And Edward Cullen was hardly the first vampire babe out therelookin’ at you Lestat and Angel.
And we’re not even mentioning all the super-important vampire uglies out there.
Pretty much every vampire book or movie in the 20th century owes something to Stoker’s novel, from Nosferatu, a silent German film made in 1922, to Blade (1998) to the Anne Rice Interview with the Vampire series. Even Edward Cullen finds himself needing to re-educate his human girlfriend Bella so that she doesn’t believe all of the vampire stereotypes that originated in Stoker’s novel.
In terms of popular culture, Dracula is everywhere, once you start looking. The “Count” on Sesame Street, for example, is modeled on Stoker’s vampire. And do you like sugary cereals? Count Chocula is a shout-out to Dracula, too.
If monster books just aren’t your thing or its pop cultural importance doesn’t do it for you (check your pulse thoughare you sure you’re not undead?) there’s still plenty more to Dracula. Stoker had lots to say about some of the most important political questions of his day. Many critics like to read Stoker’s Dracula as being about the British fear that the people they had colonized and oppressed for so long would come to Britain to take revenge. Or you can read Dracula for what it says about the role of womenthe most dangerous women in the novel are also the sexiest.
In short, Dracula is a cultural touchstoneand it’s got something in it to appeal to almost everybody.
See the rest here:
Dracula – Shmoop
- Dracula | Castlevania Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - April 15th, 2019
- SparkNotes: Dracula: Themes - April 13th, 2019
- Dracula (TV Series 20132014) - IMDb - April 5th, 2019
- Dracula | Buffyverse Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - April 4th, 2019
- Dracula | film by Browning  | Britannica.com - March 29th, 2019
- Vlad the Impaler | Biography, Dracula, & Facts | Britannica.com - March 24th, 2019
- Hark, a vagrant: 285 - March 21st, 2019
- Vampire | Penny Dreadful Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - March 8th, 2019
- Dracula (Castlevania) | Villains Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - March 4th, 2019
- Draculas Castle Is for Sale | Smart News | Smithsonian - February 19th, 2019
- Dracula | I Wanna Be The Guy Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - February 19th, 2019
- Dracula | Free Lesson Plans | Teachers - February 19th, 2019
- Character List - CliffsNotes - February 19th, 2019
- Dracula (Hotel Transylvania) | Heroes Wiki | FANDOM ... - February 19th, 2019
- Dracula - Whitby - February 19th, 2019
- Jew or Not Jew: Dracula - February 19th, 2019
- Dracula (1931) - Filmsite.org - February 19th, 2019
- Dracula | Penny Dreadful Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - February 19th, 2019
- Dracula: The Crowns John Heffernan & Doll & Ems ... - February 14th, 2019
- Dracula - SmashWiki, the Super Smash Bros. wiki - February 10th, 2019
- Dracula ants set record for fastest animal movement: Study - December 13th, 2018
- Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) - I Never Drink Wine (2/8) | Movieclips - December 1st, 2018
- Whitby Dracula, Connections Between Dracula, Whitby & Bram ... - November 30th, 2018
- Dracula | The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy Wiki ... - November 30th, 2018
- Amazon.com: Watch Bram Stoker's Dracula | Prime Video - November 1st, 2018
- Dracula (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions) by Bram ... - October 31st, 2018
- Dracula - Milwaukee Ballet - October 31st, 2018
- Netflix & BBC One Board Dracula Series From Sherlock ... - October 17th, 2018
- Dracula TV Series Ordered at Netflix From Steven Moffat ... - October 17th, 2018
- Dracula Series from the Sherlock Team to Launch on BBC ... - October 15th, 2018
- Amazon.com: Dracula: Complete Legacy Collection [Blu-ray ... - September 27th, 2018
- Dracula (9/10) Movie CLIP - Dracula and Van Helsing (1931) HD ... - August 24th, 2018
- Dracula (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions) by Bram Stoker ... - August 22nd, 2018
- Dracula Powers, Villains, History, & More | Marvel - August 22nd, 2018
- DraculaA Summary | Britannica.com - August 13th, 2018
- Dracula Part 3 | C-S-S-A.com Celebrity Sex Stories Archive - July 22nd, 2018
- Dracula (Signet Classics): Bram Stoker, Leonard Wolf ... - July 6th, 2018
- Dracula | Monster High Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - June 28th, 2018
- Book Summary - Written by Teachers - June 28th, 2018
- Dracula | Marvel's Avengers Assemble Wiki | FANDOM powered ... - June 24th, 2018
- Dracula | Count Dracula | Dracula - scribd.com - October 19th, 2017
- Dracula - Marvel Universe Wiki: The definitive online source ... - September 27th, 2017
- Dracula by Bram Stoker - September 26th, 2017
- Gene Causing Dracula-Like Appearance Points to Vampire Origins ... - Inverse - September 7th, 2017
- Wolfeboro dancers to participate in Northeastern Ballet Theatre's 'Dracula' Sept. 16 - Conway Daily Sun - September 7th, 2017
- Bram Stoker's relative Dacre writes first authorised prequel to ... - The Guardian - September 7th, 2017
- Dracula in Vegas - DVD Talk - September 7th, 2017
- Dracula prequel in development with It director Andy Muschietti - Looper - September 6th, 2017
- Late Night Likens Trump to Dracula, Hitler; Invokes 'White Supremacy' - NewsBusters (press release) (blog) - September 6th, 2017
- Dracula Prequel in Development at Paramount With 'It' Director Andy Muschietti - Variety - September 6th, 2017
- Rakul Preet Singh visits the birthplace of Dracula - BizAsia - September 6th, 2017
- Resurrecting Dracula with a Shake and Stir - The Adelaide Review - September 5th, 2017
- Rakul Preet shoots at the birthplace of Dracula | Tamil Movie News ... - Times of India - September 5th, 2017
- The dark side of books - Isle of Man Today - September 3rd, 2017
- PFAA production of Dracula to begin - Waynesville Daily Guide - September 1st, 2017
- Water handicaps restoration work on 'Dracula' castle ... - Hurriyet Daily News - August 28th, 2017
- Breon Arzell to Star in The Hypocrites' DRACULA at Mercury Theater Chicago - Broadway World - August 26th, 2017
- Dracula Uses One Guitar and Two Voices to Haunt With Intensity - Miami New Times - August 24th, 2017
- Theatre Review: Sink your teeth into shake & stir's bloody brilliant adaption of Dracula (At Brisbane's QPAC to ... - the AU review (blog) - August 24th, 2017
- Holland theater group performs musical version of Dracula - HollandSentinel.com - August 19th, 2017
- Strand Theatre to have Dracula in October - MDJOnline.com - August 19th, 2017
- Imagine Dracula in Charge of the Blood Bank - Daily Mirror - August 17th, 2017
- Report of Body Leads CA Firefighters to Dracula - Firehouse.com (press release) (registration) (blog) - August 14th, 2017
- Rescuers discover body in Modesto creek is Dracula - SFGate - August 14th, 2017
- Gaslighters set 'Dracula, the Musical?' tryouts - TheReporter.Com - August 13th, 2017
- Firefighters responded to report of possible body in creek. They found Dracula. - Modesto Bee - August 11th, 2017
- A trip to Dracula's birthplace won't bleed you dry | Spectator Life - Spectator.co.uk - August 10th, 2017
- Dracula - A Century of Film - Yorkton This Week - August 10th, 2017
- Dracula to appear at blood donor clinic in Peterborough on Sept. 9 - Peterborough Examiner - August 9th, 2017
- Peterborough Theatre Guild New Play Dracula Upcoming, Invites You To Visit Canadian Blood Services - PTBOCanada (press release) (blog) - August 8th, 2017
- Artist Uses Dracula To Make A Point About The NYC Immigrant Experience - Newsy - August 5th, 2017
- Marvel Unearthing The Tomb of Dracula - Dread Central - August 3rd, 2017
- Dracula entertains, but seems focused on playing into own hype: review - Toronto Star - August 3rd, 2017
- Win a double pass to Dracula in Brisbane - Daily Review - July 31st, 2017
- Netflix's Castlevania takes aim at religion - Polygon - July 30th, 2017
- The Dracula process - Maryville Daily Forum - July 30th, 2017
- Eiko Ishioka: Google Doodle salutes Oscar winner who conquered both 'Dracula' and male-dominated advertising - Washington Post - July 12th, 2017
- Netflix's 'Castlevania' Is 'Beauty and the Beast' If Belle Died - Inverse - July 11th, 2017
- Religion is just as dangerous as Dracula in Netflix's promising Castlevania - A.V. Club - July 11th, 2017
- Netflix's Castlevania isn't a perfect video game adaptation, but it's on the right track - The Verge - July 8th, 2017
Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero