Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Post For The Birthday Boy, Bram Stoker

Google's doodle for Bram Stoker's birthday! :D

This day from 164 years ago, a legendary novelist was brought to this world: an intelligent, respectable, and fulfilled man of his time, Abraham "Bram" Stoker gave us Count Dracula, the all-time archetypal vampire.

Aside from Dracula though, he had also written other numerous Gothic and romantic fiction novels such as The Snake's Pass, The Lair of The White Worm, The Primrose Path, Miss Betty, Lady Athlyne, and a whole lot more.

Abraham Stoker was born on November 8, 1847 in Clontarf, Dublin. As a child, Bram had been bedridden until he was seven, but this experience only somehow contributed much to his future successful self, and he wrote, "I was naturally thoughtful, and the leisure of long illness gave opportunity for many thoughts which were fruitful according to their kind in later years."

Unlike some writers who appear secluded and passive, Stoker was a busy and active man. He was named University Athlete at Trinity College in Dublin, and even graduated with honors in Math.

He became interested in the theater while still a student. Soon, he became a theater critic, and later on, friends with Henry Irving, the famous actor he became personal assistant and acting manager of. Aside from being a great writer and the business manager of the Lyceum Theater after how many years, he was also an artist, and he founded the Dublin Sketching Club!

His friendship with Henry was very important to him; he travelled the world as he goes with him in tours. Because of this, Stoker met Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt.

Stoker died of stroke (notice how his cause of death has the same letters with his family name xD) when he was 64 and was cremated. His ashes are currently placed in a display urn at Golders Green Crematorium.

Dracula still remains as the best vampire novel 'til now, in my opinion, since it portrays the traditional nature of vampires: horrifying and deadly; owning an existence that is psychologically disturbing to humans, for I believe vampires are NOT cute and admirable; they DO NOT sparkle in the sun for they burn when they bask in it; and they are nocturnal.

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+ In some ways, Count Dracula might have been based from Vlad III Dracula, someone who really lived at around the 15th century, and was said to have killed 40, 000 to 100, 000 European civilians (anyone he considered "useless to humanity") by impaling them on a sharp pole. This guy fought against the Ottoman Turks, and scarily, Stoker, in a way, mentions in the novel that his Count Dracula was the guy who fought against Turks.

+ Dracula's name should've been "Count Wampyr".

+ Dracula has WHITE hair.

+ The novel has had several adaptations, one of which was Nosferatu (1922), a film directed by the German director F.W. Murnau, without permission from Stoker's widow. Hence, the filmmakers attempted to avoid copyright problems by altering many of the details, including the changing of the name of the villain to "Count Orlok".

+ Dracula ISN'T the FIRST vampire novel ^,..,^ (There had already been "The Vampyre", published in 1819.) It is, though, THE MOST FAMOUS vampire CLASSIC.

+ Dracula's real title wasn't Count. It was Prince. O.o

+ Yes, Dracula can turn into a bat! But not just a bat, he can also turn into a werewolf, a wolf, mist, fog, or dust.

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