Immersion and Verisimilitude in Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Gothic castleThe Week 3 reading assignment for my online class on Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World was Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

I read this book about 20 years ago, right after the Francis Ford Coppola movie of the same name came out because friends told me the movie did in fact make lots of changes to the story.  I confess, I’m not a devoted fan of the vampire sub-genre and I had not much enjoyed the book.  Re-reading for this class, I made an effort to look at it with news eyes; I still didn’t enjoy it much for its own sake, but I was interested in seeing in which ways and by which means it had so marked the genre.

Here is my 300-word essay on a small aspect. Continue reading “Immersion and Verisimilitude in Bram Stoker’s Dracula”

Pop Culture Dracula

NosferatuTo go with my online class Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World, I started a series of posts listing companion materials in pop culture, preferably ones that are a little forgotten, have not received the attention I think they deserve, or take an unusual angle.  All the better if they are available online, double-plus for free.

These are the ones I propose to accompany Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  (Note that I’m trying to concentrate on characters from Stoker’s book, not vampires in general, otherwise we would drown in references.)

  • Mina Murray’s portrayal in Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s graphic novel series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (not the disappointing movie based on the series). I enjoyed volumes 1 and 2 of the collected issues, though not the subsequent books.
  • The 1922 movie Nosferatu, a cult classic available free online; it was an unauthorized version of Dracula so the characters were renamed.
  • The 1931 authorized movie version, Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, also available free online.
  • The 1938 radio play Dracula, which was the inaugural episode of Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre on the Air, also available free online.
  • The 1958 Hammer Films version with the suave Peter Cushing, titled Horror of Dracula to distinguish it from Bela Lugosi’s landmark performance; free, on DailyMotion.
  • Kate Beaton’s take in her webcomic Hark, a Vagrant: Dracula.
  • There’s an app for that: PadWorx’ Dracula for iPad, an interactive version of the story.
  • Bram Stoker’s works online on Unz.org.