Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
0 Kudos

What if Dracula was a woman?

Here's a hypothetical question for you – what if Stoker wrote Dracula with the main character as a female vampire? Would it have been as popular as it is today?
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
Inspired Wordsmith
LordRuthven
Posts: 1,336
Registered: ‎09-07-2007
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?

Considering the state of vampire fiction at the time, it is actually surprising that "Dracula" wasn't a female vampire! Good point, and it makes you wonder.
Derek Tatum
Frequent Contributor
PatienceP
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?

Depends on what else was changed. This novel was written in Victorian times: if Stoker had written Countess Dracula killing Lucy, that might not have seen the light of day. Either the metaphor or the readership would be mislaid.
Then there is this problem that men and women didn't have equal rights in Victorian England. Feminism is only just starting to take hold and isn't fully approved of; according to this novel's text, women have their own special qualities and innocence which are important to the morale of men and which must be protected. That led characters to hide things from Lucy and to try to hide them from Mina. Males, when they're considered sane, don't get that sort of "protection." There were no female lawyers, either. Odds are, Jonathan Harker would not get off as easy his first trip into Transylvania if it's Countess Dracula--he would not get one-quarter inch short of being bitten and not be bitten, not like what happened in the actual novel...
So a novel starring a heterosexual vampire Countess, but written in that era, would necessarily play differently. Maybe it would bomb. Maybe it would succeed, and modern culture would look different for it--female vampires would be treated in that culture like (fictional) witches get treated in this.
* * * * *

Sadness isn't sadness
It's happiness
In a black jacket

--Paul McCartney
Inspired Wordsmith
LordRuthven
Posts: 1,336
Registered: ‎09-07-2007
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?



PatienceP wrote:
Depends on what else was changed. This novel was written in Victorian times: if Stoker had written Countess Dracula killing Lucy, that might not have seen the light of day.




What about Carmilla?
Derek Tatum
Contributor
stewiey
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?



PatienceP wrote:
Depends on what else was changed. This novel was written in Victorian times: if Stoker had written Countess Dracula killing Lucy, that might not have seen the light of day. Either the metaphor or the readership would be mislaid.
Then there is this problem that men and women didn't have equal rights in Victorian England. Feminism is only just starting to take hold and isn't fully approved of; according to this novel's text, women have their own special qualities and innocence which are important to the morale of men and which must be protected. That led characters to hide things from Lucy and to try to hide them from Mina. Males, when they're considered sane, don't get that sort of "protection." There were no female lawyers, either. Odds are, Jonathan Harker would not get off as easy his first trip into Transylvania if it's Countess Dracula--he would not get one-quarter inch short of being bitten and not be bitten, not like what happened in the actual novel...
So a novel starring a heterosexual vampire Countess, but written in that era, would necessarily play differently. Maybe it would bomb. Maybe it would succeed, and modern culture would look different for it--female vampires would be treated in that culture like (fictional) witches get treated in this.


My wife reads these so I am not saying a word.
Frequent Contributor
PatienceP
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?


LordRuthven wrote:


PatienceP wrote:
Depends on what else was changed. This novel was written in Victorian times: if Stoker had written Countess Dracula killing Lucy, that might not have seen the light of day.




What about Carmilla?



I take your point: Countess Dracula could've been published.
But I hadn't remembered the existence of Carmilla before you mentioned it, and I don't know that it's part of popular culture even in diluted form. So again--if the book had been Countess Dracula, maybe the general public would know just as much, or little, about it as it knows about Carmilla now. Or maybe they'd both be hits...
* * * * *

Sadness isn't sadness
It's happiness
In a black jacket

--Paul McCartney
Inspired Wordsmith
LordRuthven
Posts: 1,336
Registered: ‎09-07-2007
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?

There were several female vampires in Victorian literature - probably more than male ones.
Derek Tatum
Frequent Contributor
klavim
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?

I guess it depends how it was written. Jonathan Harker's character wouldn't be a lawyer, but could have been a governess (think of Anna Leonowens in "The King and I"). Back then they already had women journalists and writers, so that could have been a reason why she went to Dracula's castle.
Frequent Contributor
PatienceP
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?

I believe it. There are more female vampires than male vampires in Dracula itself. So why don't more people think of that entrancingly beautiful vampire harem of the Count's, or of Lucy Westenra's full stature when she was a vampire leaving delicate bites on children's necks?
Then again, if vampire bites are akin to sex, then Lucy-as-vampire concentrating her efforts on children is too horrific to dwell on--bad enough that it almost should reflect badly on her even when she's human. I know that the source novel assures us that vampire Lucy and human Lucy have almost nothing in common, but that idea almost defies belief--esp. since Dracula is supposed to be the same sort of person as a vampire as he was when he was human.
* * * * *

Sadness isn't sadness
It's happiness
In a black jacket

--Paul McCartney
New User
TriciaB
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-12-2007
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?

That's an interesting question. I'm not sure if it would have been as successful back then, due to the difference between genders and inequality as mentioned by others. It may be more terrifying though to those who read it as women were considered to be weak if considered at all. The thought of one woman becoming so powerful to take your life and for you to go willingly might paralyze a man with fear.
TriciaB
Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?

I'm with the majority of you on this one – if Stoker had used a female in the title role, the book would have bombed and most likely been completely forgotten within the course of a few years. During that time, women in general were perceived as subservient and I don't think the society at that time would have embraced such a novel with a fierce and sexually powerful female character. Today, however, is completely different. So much has been written about the vampire mythos – with so many authors constantly testing and redefining the boundaries – I don't think any of us would be surprised by any unconventional narrative twists. Well, maybe if Dracula were an alien or a goldfish or something but I'll bet you that even that's been done before...

In today's sexually "open" culture, gender really means nothing anymore, which is a wonderful thing because now anyone can easily find a novel where they can relate to the central character. Most of the paranormal fantasy out there today features female protags, coincidentally, and I think that in large part has drawn in a lot of female readers to the subgenre.

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
Frequent Contributor
chad
Posts: 1,477
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?

[ Edited ]
Dracula is centered in a world of business which tends to be a man's world. Women have achieved some equality in business, but they still fight for equal pay, opportunity, etc. etc. Stoker preys upon our paranoia about one controlling elite or person dictating our fates. A man would be more believable as a dark conrolling figure, in Stoker's time and in modern day. There are women monarchs and women in business, however.

Chad

I'm not sure a minority would work here either, but there has been a movie called "Blackula," which won some critical acclaim, I think.

Message Edited by chad on 10-24-2007 01:44 PM
Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?

Chad:
Excellent point – and, yes, now that you mention it, I think I saw a movie called Blackula decades ago. Wasn't it done in the 70s?
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
Frequent Contributor
PatienceP
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?

Yes, there was a film Blacula. It was made in the '70s, as part of a wave of "blaxploitation" films. I don't know if it was critically acclaimed. It was not universal acclaim, since I first learned of it from a book about "bad" films.
* * * * *

Sadness isn't sadness
It's happiness
In a black jacket

--Paul McCartney
Inspired Wordsmith
LordRuthven
Posts: 1,336
Registered: ‎09-07-2007
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?

"Blacula" is generally held to be a bad film, though William Marshall's performance in the title role is thought of as excellend and weirdly dignified.

We really need more African-American vampire fiction and film. And not those "rapsploitation" style movies like "Vampiyaz" or whatever. But intelligent books or movies that bring a different cultural flavor to the undead. Leslie Banks is about the only person writing books like that, I think.
Derek Tatum
Frequent Contributor
Curt42
Posts: 85
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?

The dynamics of the story would have been changed totally. As I said on another post, Dracula was what we would call an alpha male - dominant over other men and irresistable to women. To make Dracula a female, these two issues would not have worked. The seduction of women would have then made the relationships lesbian which would not have been acceptable in any polite circles of the Victorian times. To make Dracula dominant over men would have been equally unacceptable due to the norms of the time. The book might have seen print, but it would have been more on an "underground" novel.
Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?

Derek:
I don't know about you but sometimes "bad" films turn out to be the most entertaining. I don't remember Blackula all that well but I remember enjoying it because it was so unapologetically "cheesy." Here are a list of some dreadfully bad movies that, if I happen to run by them late at night, I always stop to watch!
1. Damnation Alley
2. The Blair Witch Project
3. Plan 9 from Outer Space
4. Funhouse
5. Any of the Planet of the Apes sequels
6. Barbarella
7.The Lair of the White Worm
8.Death Race 2000
9.Motel Hell
10.Krull
11. Westworld
"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
Frequent Contributor
chad
Posts: 1,477
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
0 Kudos

"Blacula"- sp?

"Blacula" was the correct spelling, sorry. This movie was kind of scary, but I watched it a long time ago. Anyway, Stoker's Dracula does center on minorities, the individual or the self vs external forces, but I'm not sure the makers of "Blacula" wished to convey this theme or had this theme in mind when the movie was filmed.

Chad
Inspired Wordsmith
LordRuthven
Posts: 1,336
Registered: ‎09-07-2007
0 Kudos

Re: What if Dracula was a woman?

The best "bad movie" I have ever seen is "Robot Monster." It is just a stuntman in a gorilla outfit with a diving helmet on. To make things worse, the monster gives mournful soliloquies about the nature of free will. Classic.

I want to see "Blacula" at some point.
Derek Tatum
Users Online
Currently online: 11 members 553 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: