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Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker 1906.jpg

This year as last at this time I pause a moment to remember Bram Stoker (1847-1912), the novelist and dramatist who gave to vampire lore its classically Victorian formulation.

 I say "dramatist" because Stoker -- an Irishman -- was an actor at, and the manager of, a London theatre beginning in 1878. To an ambitious Irishman in the arts in the 19th century, politics notwithstanding, going to London was "making the big time." Indeed, it is still thus, as you can see from the attitude of the Dublin musicians in the recent bittersweet romantic movie "Once." 

It is, I submit, worth spending the time and pixels to make that observation because Stoker gave to vampire lore the element one might expect from a man who crashed the London dramatic scene in his early thirties. Dracula is the same way. A man trying to make it in the big time. 

One theme of the famous novel, I submit, is that the Count could be a frightening bigshot to the peasants of Transylvania. He could have the huge scary castle on the mountain. But if he really wanted to be in the center of the world he'd have to draw some blood in London!

When we first see him, the Count is already negotiating with a real-estate agent to obtain a house in that city. 

I can hear Frank Sinatra in the background of the novel. "If you can bite necks there you'll bite them ... anywhere."

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