Claire S's Reviews > Dracula

Dracula by Bram Stoker
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Richard Shelley's Frankenstein is better. I don't see it on your Read shelf anywhere. The fact that it isn't on the cclap-100 only indicates that someone there is confused :-)

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Claire S Yes yes yes.. I know my methods (among others) may well stand to be corrected. But the German in me likes to do things in an orderly fashion (sometimes). Find a list, work my way through the list. On those days. Other days, I'll just go wherever in bookgoodreadsia. CCLaP has a list that appeals to me in that each book has a certain substantialness to it. I see it as a trunk route, a Route 66 so to speak. From there, I can branch out. From each element on that list even perhaps! I just haven't attained that particular fun activity yet.

So, I'm not really *interested* in vampires or anything, although I like spooky stuff. But yes, good, I will go nonetheless and look at Shelley's as well. Also, she's female, which isn't a bad thing either. Thanks!

Richard And Victor Frankenstein is German, so there's that appeal...

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Claire S Ha ha..

Oh yes, I remember this now. Of course I knew, but you know how sometimes compartmentalization has its effects.. Frankenstein actually really turns me off, because the monster is so pitiable - didn't ask to be made, and is lonely, etc..
But I agree it's a hugely important work. Our Downtown Minneapolis library has an area that is a revolving exhibit hall, and a few years ago had an exhibit for Halloween on this book. But not just the monster aspect, more the whole set of related questions of what can humankind create and where in that process should/does the question get asked: just because we CAN, does that mean we SHOULD? And current related aspects like cloning and genetic research..
Anyway, sounds not like a scary spooky book nearly as much as a Big Questions Exploration book, which is great as well.
And very cool that she's having a revival these last few decades and all, and amazing she wrote Frankenstein when just 18-19, wow!

Richard Yes, the book has all sorts of sweet links.

Not only was she young, but her book is undoubtedly better known than any of the works of her husband (Percy Bysshe Shelley) or Lord Byron, the other very famous poet present at the legendary wild party that triggered the story's creation.

The subtitle is also telling: "Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus" -- it is considered "a warning against the "over-reaching" of modern man and the Industrial Revolution", just as Prometheus was punished for stealing fire from the Gods.

And, of course, it is astonishing that the monster is the sympathetic figure in the story; or, rather, the creature is sympathetic and the creator is thus the monster. That's something that tends to disappear when we see the Halloween costumes.

So, yeah, big questions book indeed. It shares that gothic/romantic horror story appeal with Dracula, but Stoker does more extreme horror and loses on the philosophical importance end.

Other similar in the kinda-horror-but-really-important category are Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and even The Picture of Dorian Gray and Heart Of Darkness. If I were an English teacher I'd have fun and assign them all to be read during some dark-and-stormy month.

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Claire S Ooohhh, that would be a strenuous month!

Yes, she is really fascinating. I was looking at her other books, but I'm hoping in time more will be done with them that will make them more accessible. 'The Last Man' for instance sounds interesting... but also very laborious etc.. Perhaps will be edited/annotated (I know, opposite, but still) or something in time.

So, Poe is not mentioned. It's been a while since I read him, would he be in your category of pure horror, no big questions?

Richard Hmmm. I suspect Poe would join that crowd quite nicely, but no single story of his is quite as impressive as those in terms of philosophical impact. I'd probably push him out further on the horror spectrum beyond Dracula away from the big question folks.

Frankly, to me Poe does a much better job of scaring. Espcially "The Cask of Amontillado". Not to be read before bedtime. Maybe The Fall of the House of Usher is more fitting the "importance" criteria, but it's been decades since I've read it...

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Claire S Yeah, long time for me as well. Which makes me happy, but for some reason he keeps coming to mind.

His practice of writing from the murderer's point of view, and the internment thing both push past my enjoyment point of horror fiction. Pretty far past. Then insanity and hypersensitive senses.

Interesting that Herman Melville may have been inspired by House of Usher for Ahab..

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