Did anyone else watch NBC’s Dracula? I have a long-standing and oft-mocked celebrity crush on Jonathan Rhys Meyers* and therefore had to tune in. But man. Did they really re-imagine the OG of vampires as a sort of steampunk-downgraded-David-Bowie-as-Tesla-in-The Prestige-Emily-Thorne-Revenge-enthusiast? Because he’s Dracula. No need for schemes. Only need for blood.
Not lying - I’ll probably keep watching it because a). fun and b.) JRM but I’m in the mood for actual vampires, you know? Scary, blood thirsty, can’t-go-out-in-daylight-and-sparkle, evil vampires. To that end, I’m re-reading Stoker’s Dracula. I also started researching some of the vampire literary theory on JSTOR (just to liven it up a bit) and, lo, I was not disappointed.
- The Homoerotic History of Dracula: “Stoker began writing Dracula one month after his friend, rival, and compatriot Oscar Wilde was convicted of the crime of sodomy…The two men had an intimate and varied history lasting for at least twenty years…Dracula explores Stoker’s fear and anxiety as a closeted homosexual man during Oscar Wilde’s trial.”
- Stoker’s Response to the New Woman: “Accustomed to seeing themselves portrayed in literature as either angels or monsters, women may wonder why Dracula is the single male vampire in the novel while four of the five women characters are portrayed as vampires - aggressive, inhuman, wildly erotic, and motivated by an insatiable thirst for blood.”
Stay tuned this week for all things Halloween in the JSTOR archive. Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing my thoughts about The Exorcist (which I saw for the first time this weekend), and how, um. No.
*Please watch Velvet Goldmine, Bend it Like Beckham and season 1 of The Tudors and then tell me you disagree. Not before.