January 22, 2009

Dracula (1)

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a genuinely scary novel.  Read it with the lights on.  It is also a high-tech novel, full of the latest science and technology of the time: phonographic diaries, typewriters, blood transfusions, shorthand, trepanning, hypnotism – and it is a (pop) avant-garde told in the form of letters, telegrams, press cuttings, etc.  It of course has been filmed numerous times and the story is likely familiar to most of us, but that hasn’t stopped a recent range of editions from appearing.  Here are a few:

  • Leslie Klinger has prepared the New Annotated Dracula (with gorgeous illustrations) and extensive annotations – taken from the surprising perspective that Dracula describes real historical events.  The editor told me that he would not have been able to write this book without the Internet!
  • John Morgan has prepared an edition of Dracula using a variety of typefaces for the different types of material and a cover that mimics the original. (This has been released in the UK, and will be out in the US in a few weeks.)
  • Darce Stoker, the great-grand-nephew of Bram, has written a sequel called Dracula, the Undead (the original title proposed from Bram’s masterpiece until an editor rejected it) reportedly using material from Stoker’s original notes (although I suspect that the best of these already appear in Klinger’s book.)

This book is so much fun that I will need to write about it more, but I have some fun reading tonight, so please forgive me for waiting until later another day for that post!

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