Dracula Dracula discussion


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Are Epistolary novels as popular as those written in first and third person?

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Michael Targaryen Why or why not?
This book seems to have done very well..along with Frankenstein they are both Epistolary novels, yet they are two of the most popular books of all time. And still first and third dominates.
Curious to hear what other people think.


Will Once Epistolary novels were popular before writers perfected the omniscient third person narrator, which was when the modern novel was really born. In effect, the early writers were using the epistolary form as an experiment in how to tell a story in prose.

Once the third person narrator was invented, epistolary novels fell away. Now they are very rare.

Dracula and Frankenstein are/were popular because of their strong plots and characters, not because they are epistolary novels.


Robert Connor I think the epistolary from was used because letter writing was such a prolific medium for writing at the time. There were around seven deliveries of post a day in parts of London, so letters were probably the most commonly read form of reading. Literature in the form of diaries, notebooks and memoirs were also popular and I think that is because readers of the time found it more easy to relate to, in contrast to the more abstract "novel" with its traditional omniscient point of view.

Now, I think the novel form has become so familiar that the opposite is true and that readers find fiction in the form of letters or diaries too disjointed.

Personally I now enjoy fiction in those old-fashioned formats, whether it be Bram Stoker, Conan Doyle or HP Lovecraft.


Chris Angelis Frankenstein and Dracula approach the epistolary foundations from two radically different perspectives: whereas the former deploys it to undermine its own authenticity, the latter does it for the exact opposite reasons.

Mary Shelley's text, by presenting the narrative as a collection of narrations-inside-narrations, emphasizes the fact that all of the narrators are unreliable. Conversely, in Stoker's novel the deployment of modern technology - in the form of phonographs, among other methods - is offered as an ostensible proof of authenticity. Of course in reality, the exact opposite occurs, though the effect is probably unwritten


Júlia I love epistolary novels. I find it so intimate. It's more poetic somehow. Does this make sense?


Whitney Murphy Júlia wrote: "I love epistolary novels. I find it so intimate. It's more poetic somehow. Does this make sense?"

It does! While the epistolary style doesn't seem as common in modern fiction, I've always enjoyed it. Dracula in particular was such a blast to read. I remember sitting in the back of my social studies class in high school so that I could slump behind my desk and secretly read through the entire lecture. Telling a story through letters and journal entries does seem to give a uniquely intimate view of the characters' experiences. And somehow, it made the story of Dracula much more suspenseful for me.


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