Thursday, November 06, 2008

Dracula in the 21st Century

Lately, I've been reading Dracula — the original by Bram Stoker, not some comic book version. I'd never read it before and I must admit I was surprised. I had expected that there was more going on than a simple scary story. People often talk about the sexual (and even homosexual) innuendo and movies embellish the vanity, but a reader can really sink his teeth into the allusions to class distinctions and religious differences that Stoker included.

But even the structure of the novel is unique. He told his story through telegrams and journals — a product of his time that, like a vampire, can survive forever if properly fed. Most (well, a lot if not most) of my reading the past couple of years has been devoted to contemporary literature, and I'm not much of a consumer of experimental literature. (A collection of short stories that I bought at the Brooklyn Book Festival was about inanimate objects. Sorry, I can't relate to that. I'll never get that dollar back.)

But a well crafted story that demonstrates an interesting use of structure can be captivating. I've got an idea that I won't go into here for a 21st century horror story. I haven't figured out yet how it would sell (not whether it would Bram Stoker lives!

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