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Saturday, 31 October 2009

Dracula Lives

DRACULA is, according to the film archive, the second most filmed fictional character in the world. The vampire comes out just behind Sherlock Holmes. Bram Stoker didn't known how correct he was when he said Dracula was immortal. Out of all the actors who have played the bloodsucking Count perhaps the best known are Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee.

The character though is bigger than them all and has in one way or another appeared in most mediums - film, television, comic books, novels, computer games. The image has been used on clothing, toys and just about anything else at one time or another. The character has been used to sell toothpaste as well as ice lollies.

The original novel was first published in 1897 - the Victorians loved Gothic melodrama and the book was an immediate sensation - it's never been out of print and today the book is in the public domain and can be downloaded as an Ebook from Project Gutenberg. The book, although ponderous in places, still reads rather well today. It's made up mostly of a series of journal entries and newspaper cuttings and although the language can be over formal to the modern eye it does captivate. I read it on my Elonex and I enjoyed it. It's one of those classics I've always meant to read but never gotten around to it until I got an Ereader. The easy and free availability of these public domain classics has given me the push I needed to start exploring the wonderful worlds of literature past. The novel recently got an official sequel with Dracula The Undead which was written from Stoker's own notes by Dacre Stoker, who is a descendant of Stoker himself.

It's influence is never ending and vampires, all much in the Dracula mould, are big business - The Twilight series, although on the face of it a million miles away from the Gothic melodrama, owes much to the old pain in the neck.

Dracula Lives...he does indeed.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I read Dracula quite a few years ago now but really enjoyed it. I like this painting as well.