Monday, July 29, 2013

Count Dracula: from fictional character to legend

I dare to bet that someone actualy thought about visiting the distant lands of Transylvania to search the castle where resides the legendary Count Dracula. I regret to say, you are not going to find him ... although probably will find many historical places and characters which inspired the story. Written in the nineteenth century, Dracula was not the forerunner of vampire legend but a success and an inspiration for art and literature that survives the test of time: from musical and action movies to romantic stories for teens, Vampires are familiar and recurring characters.
Dracula is a novel published in 1897 by Irishman Bram Stoker, who has turned his protagonist in the most famous vampire. It is said that the writer was based on conversations he had with a Hungarian scholar named Arminius Vámbéry, and that he was the one who told him about Vlad Dracula. The novel, written in epistolary way, presents other issues such as the role of women in the Victorian age, sexuality, immigration, colonialism and folklore.

Since its publication in 1897, the novel has never ceased to be in circulation, and new editions happen. However, until 1983 no marginal land left the tabloid literature to join the classics at the University of Oxford.
To describe the landscapes of Romania, Stoker used two works: one, by Emily Gerard's The Land Beyond the Forest (1888), and the other, a report on the principalities of Wallachia. To find the true historical Dracula, we must refer to the literary history of Stoker's novel: in Varney the Vampire, and the texts of Polidori, Charles Nodier, Hoffmann, Samuel Coleridge, Sheridan Le Fanu, Theophile Gautier and others, we will see how classic vampire character unfolds gradually to become the we all know by the name of Dracula
For those people of Tupperware still do not know, let's review what are the characteristics of a classic vampire character as inspired by Dracula:
- Drink human blood (their only food) and converts them into vampires who aseste his fateful bite and baptized in his own blood letting them drink it. If only they are bitten, do not turn into vampires.
- You can hold off with crucifixes, garlic sticks or flowers, the Host consecrated and holy water, but to die really, you must drive a stake through the heart or beheading has.
- Meets the obedience of repulsive creatures, such as rats, flies, spiders and bats, but also wolves, dingoes
and foxes.
- Has telepathy and mind control.

- Has superhuman strength.
- You can become an animal (basically bat), or in fog.
- Lose their powers during the day. The vampire shuns daylight, which weakens but does not destroy it: can move at noon for a limited period of time (the Count Dracula in the novel, appears in broad daylight looking for Mina Harker).
- You can sleep on earth, brought from his birthplace, inside a coffin.

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