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paulgoatallen
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Is Stoker's Dracula dated in 2007?

As I mentioned in another thread, the world has drastically changed since Stoker first published Dracula in 1897. Has events like the onset of AIDS, the mainstreaming of what would be called "deviant" sexual activity back in the 19th century, and the desensitizing of Americans to gruesome, horrendous crimes on television and the Internet dated the impact of Dracula?
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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NickinColoma
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Re: Is Stoker's Dracula dated in 2007?

Some parts of Dracula can be applied to modern issues directly:

Sexuality and Lust: Aids and Safe Sex

Horror and Crime reads like a daily court log

Sin and Redemption: Modern life

You can however, find most of the topics like murder, sexuality (mostly female), sin, love, redemption, religion, and horror, in some form, in just about every type and kind modern book.

So no, Dracula is not dated as long as it's ideas live on
Nick in Coloma
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LindaKay
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Re: Is Stoker's Dracula dated in 2007?

I don't think the impact has been dated at all. The fun part of this book is that the terror is building slowly and some of the frightfulness is left to one's imagination. I find what my own mind conjures up much more terrible than some of the gruesome gore thrown at me from today's movies.
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paulgoatallen
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Re: Is Stoker's Dracula dated in 2007?

Linda:
Psychologically speaking, I think the concensus is that no matter how old Stoker's Dracula gets, it will always be "pulse-pounding." And I have read numerous posts on this forum about Dracula being dated technologically, stylistically, etc. but, like others have said, I think that ultimately doesn't really matter. The core of the story is perfect and regardless of what year it is, I think this novel will always be in print and selling because of the strength of the structure – the term "classic" is completely over-used today but Dracula really is a classic.
Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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Peppermill
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Re: Is Stoker's Dracula dated in 2007?

[ Edited ]
From an interview with Dr. Elizabeth Miller:

Why is there such a continuing and ever-expanding interest in Dracula? “It’s sex, violence and blood,” explained Dr. Miller. “The vampire incorporates all those elements, and by facing death and surviving presents an alternative to traditional religious beliefs about life after death.”

From this article at:
http://www.mun.ca/marcomm/gazette/2000-2001/july12/books5.html

"Dr. Miller said popular culture has redefined the original text through numerous films which rarely follow the novel’s text, and introduce elements such as using knives or a wooden stake to pierce the vampire’s chest, or destroying Dracula by sunlight.

"Interest in Dracula has spread widely in the last few decades with Dracula fan clubs, scholarly organizations devoted to Dracula, and a sanitized Count Dracula packaged for children through Sesame street and books. Dracula has also been adapted as a chamber musical and a ballet.

"'Television shows such as Dark Shadows, Forever Knight and Buffy the Vampire Slayer reflect changing social and cultural attributes,' said Dr. Miller. 'The distinctions between good and evil that mark Stoker’s novel are gone, and we even have good vampires like Buffy.'"

Here's a slightly different view, also from Dr. Miller on another occasion:

"Why this fascination with the Dracula myth? Dr. Miller has a theory. 'If faced with the choice of death or eternal life, most would choose the latter. But at what cost? Vampire stories, including Dracula, force us to confront this question.'"

http://www.mun.ca/marcomm/gazette/1994-95/Oct.6/news/n15-mill

More on Dr. Miller here:
http://www.mun.ca/2005report/honour/emeritus/

And here:
http://www.mun.ca/experts/expert.php?id=224

Message Edited by Peppermill on 10-18-2007 07:41 PM
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PatienceP
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Re: Is Stoker's Dracula dated in 2007?

The knives and the wooden stakes are in Dracula the novel. Lucy gets a stake in her heart, as do the other female vampires; true, in the novel it's not sufficient to kill, but it's quite helpful. Dr. Van Helsing then used a knife/sword to decapitate the vampiresses. As for knives, Count Dracula gets killed by a combo of a kriss knife to the throat (from Jonathan) and a bowie knife to the heart (from Quincy), with a possible dash of sunrise. They weren't even silver knives. :smileysad:
Count Dracula in the book is resistant to sunlight; maybe he can't survive direct sunlight, but even a large straw hat is sufficient to shade him enough for him to find out what our heroes are doing to the earth boxes in Picadilly. (Yes, that does happen during the day.) It would be like a vampire being safe outside if he remembers the SPF 30 sunscreen.
Friendly vampires in children's programming rub me the wrong way. But children's programming can't show blood, so it can be hard to tell if a good character is really a vampire. Maybe Count von Count (the friendly fella on Sesame Street with pointy ears and pointy teeth) is the type who gets by on SPF 30.
Buffy isn't a vampire. Some of her friends are, though, which must've made for a conflict of interest at times.
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boleynfan
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Re: Is Stoker's Dracula dated in 2007?

The actions and attitudes about the women are definitely dated. While the women aren't weak, the ways in which they are treated and "handled" by the men are indicative of the "weaker sex" concept.
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LordRuthven
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Re: Is Stoker's Dracula dated in 2007?



boleynfan wrote:
The actions and attitudes about the women are definitely dated. While the women aren't weak, the ways in which they are treated and "handled" by the men are indicative of the "weaker sex" concept.




Agreed. Women were held in a bizarre state of reverence/demonization in those days.
Derek Tatum
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paulgoatallen
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Re: Is Stoker's Dracula dated in 2007?

Derek:
Interesting remark – "Women were held in a bizarre state of reverence/demonization in those days." – don't you think that in some ways that is just as true in modern day society?
Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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PatienceP
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Re: Is Stoker's Dracula dated in 2007?

In some ways, yes. But not in the same ways. Especially not the same ways for reverence. I mean, the main reasons the male protagonists tried to keep info from Lucy and Mina was because they were female and shouldn't be sullied with the knowledge of such evil. A modern woman would likely be insulted by the attitude.
By the way, do we still get cases of people likely to die of heart failure if they get shocked at all (like Lucy's mother)? Did this sort of condition ever exist in real life? And would it be possible for someone with this condition to live for any length of time in this decade?
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LordRuthven
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Re: Is Stoker's Dracula dated in 2007?



PatienceP wrote:
In some ways, yes. But not in the same ways.




+ 1

The Victorian age seemed to have the entire virgin/whore complex even more sharply defined.
Derek Tatum
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chad
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The Gaia hypothesis

[ Edited ]
I think this is jumping ahead of the discussion in the forum, but this hypothesis might be something that Stoker posits in Dracula. See http://erg.ucd.ie/arupa/references/gaia.html.
I hope that will take everyone to the link.

Darwin's "Origin of Species" mentions a "will to survive" that must exist for natural selection to occur, but the will is little understood. In Stoker's "Dracula", the will arises from the earth itself. In other words, it's the earth asserting its own independence, it wants to live. Similarly, according to Gaia hyothesis, we are part of some higher being, or "meta-life" form. Stoker might think that the "meta-lifeform" would be earth. Very interesting, given our efforts to prevent global warming. Stoker might also feel that global warming might be a difficulty in accepting our "darker" side. What say you?

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 11-13-2007 01:07 PM
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