The Blue Bookcase is hosting a literary blog hop.
The prompt is to highlight one of your favourite books and discuss why you think it is literary. I've chosen Dracula by Bram Stoker.
I've chosen this particular book as it is my favourite kind of literary book - one that is also easy to read and contains a great story. Although I have enjoyed most of the literary books I have read, some of them can be a hard slog and can sometimes seem like more effort than they are worth.
The book continues as a "band of heroes" attempt and finally suceed to hunt down Dracula and destroy him. Again, it's not a gory book but it's wonderfully descriptive, and for me that makes it creepy. Every time I read it I get sucked right in to the world of the characters.
So why is Dracula literary? For me most of all, it's down to the language and writing style. I love old gothic books, and enjoy the slow, descriptive style. For me it all adds to the tension. And secondly, Dracula is literary due to it's impact. Whilst I am not a fan of Twilight, the impact of Dracula can not be ignored - Bram Stoker took some folkore and turned it into one of th defining stories of all time. There are countless vampire books and imitations, although for me none are as good as the original.
Have you read Dracula?
Were you scared?
I thought this was quite creepy in places but I love it because Dracula really is nothing more than a monster really.ReplyDelete
Thanks for participating in the hop! I agree with you about Dracula's social impact -- especially these days, it's certainly undeniable.ReplyDelete
I have read Dracula and thought it kicked a lot of butts back then. The vampire myth is getting somewhat battered nowadays, but Stoker's story is as real as it gets. My favorite debates about Dracula are about its veracity. It's been proven that Vlad Tepes existed and that porphyria is the vampire diseases so much of the debates are around if Tepes was a monster or only a shitty person with a disease. I never get tired of it.ReplyDelete
Hi Sam! I like how you say the slow, descriptive style adds to the tension of the story. I definitely think that a "literary" book is written intentionally in a way to support its narrative - Twilight, for example, does not do that. The hype comes from the story alone, the writing itself is no good.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!
This is the third or fourth hop post in which the bloggers favorite novel hasn't been the conventional "literary" novel.ReplyDelete
I absolutely love it.
I actually just read Dracula for Halloween. It didn't scare me, though I really wanted it to, but I did really enjoy it. It's a bit flawed, in my opinion, but still a great story. And it definitely counts as literature!ReplyDelete
Wow I never really thought of Dracula as a literary book but since you put it this way thenReplyDelete
it can be . I saw your link on Book blogs ning I just wanted to stop by!
I think part of what makes Dracula "literary" are the layers of meaning, and the multiple approaches the reader can take on this book. And Stoker must have hit a real nerve (some kind of big Jungian one!) to judge by the cultural echoes of his novel.ReplyDelete
Great choice! I would count most vampire books as non-literary, but Dracula definitely is and started the whole genre.ReplyDelete
Glad I found your bog. I look forward to vising more often.
Rose City Reader.
I've never read Dracula. At first glance, it does not look like my kind of read. However, I thought that about Three Musketeers, too, and, boy, was I wrong!ReplyDelete
Happy to have discovered your blog. I'm a new follower!
I agree, I don't always like the way the vampire myth has gone, although I did enjoy "The Historian".
I love debating Dracula history too, although I think that Tepes wasn't too bad compared to his contemporaries, he just seems much worse compared to our contemporaries.
I completely agree about the writing style. I do love reading books with a great story but I think story + supportive writing style is what makes the book truly literary.
Yes, Dracula does have lots of layers of meaning, although I admit I usually just read it as a straight story.
What do you think the nerve was Stoker hit? I've wondered before why the vampire myth has been around for so long and can never come up with a satisfying answer.
Is the Three Musketeers a good read then? I will admit I've been put off by it's 'classic' tag. I've probably missed a lot of good books that way!
I'll never forget their ride through the woods to the castle, so creepy!, or the elusive way that Dracula could transform himself to even a fine mist that was able to come through the cracks in the doors. I loved reading this even after I read The Historian as they each embellished one another. Although, I'd agree with you in the power for Dracula alone.ReplyDelete
I have had this (very old copy) book on my shelf for years - but haven't yet gotten around to reading it. I would say that every Halloween for the past few years I have told myself sternly that I would read this one - and it never happens. I guess that I'm 1) put off by the "Vampire craze" lately and 2) worried that the book won't live up to the many re-imaginings since the original work (like Frankenstein or The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). But, I have heard more and more good things about the original work lately, so I think I will force myself to pick it up soon!ReplyDelete
This is a perfect example of what I mean by commercial with literary elements! I've yet to read Dracula (I admit, I'm a tinsy bit scared of it) but I hope to do so in the Halloween season next year.ReplyDelete
I love Dracula. It scares me even now, haha.ReplyDelete
I loved your post :) Dracula is one of my favorite books, and I agree that it's an excellent example of a "literary" book. It freaked me out a lot while I was reading it. Some of those passages are soooo spooky!ReplyDelete
Oh! I so want to read this one! It's on my list. :-)ReplyDelete
Frankenstein is another horror I'd most definitely call literary.
I found you through the hop and am now a follower. Here's my contribution, if you're interested:
I love Dracula! When I first read it I thought it would be full of cliques and be too familiar from all the films, but it wasn't. It is genuinely creepy and written in the form of journals and letters makes you get to know all the characters.ReplyDelete
I'm hoping to read Frankestein soon as teh gothic horror classics interest me more than the romantic classics! :)
I just downloaded this book on my Kindle and I can't wait to read it. I read The Historian recently and it has put me on a Dracula craze!ReplyDelete
You know, I've never actually read this book. In all honesty, I just read Wuthering Heights for the first time, and really enjoyed that... I think I'm just going to have to read this now too!ReplyDelete
Ah, I would say this is where genre and literary definitely intercept. I thank you for bringing this to the table.ReplyDelete
I recently purchased Dracula. I'm eager to read it more than ever!ReplyDelete
I love this post. Dracula might not be the first book to come to mind when people think of literature, but it totally fits the bill for all the reasons you described. Even though it was written so long ago, it still manages to scare and excite us today. I love how you mentioned its influence on later novels and pop culture. I think that's a really important aspect of what can be considered literary, and this book definitely shows that.ReplyDelete
I absolutely love your blog. Count me as a new follower. :D
- Emily @ Reading While Female
Dracula is the original...and the depth of literary elements, cultural, social and feminine, among others, is definitely in the original. All the others (and I like many of them) are based on the original therefore making the copies commercial but not the original.ReplyDelete
Oh my, I just defended Dracula ;)
I've never read Dracula, to be honest. (I have a lot of people who gasp in shock when I tell them so). BUT I did get it as a free e-book on my Nook, and I've had a couple of people highly suggest I read it for Halloween (which I didn't). I do have plans to read it... soon... and during the daylight, of course. I spook way too easily. :/ReplyDelete
Hi Sam~ Thanks for hopping by & following my blog. I now return the favour :) Nice to touch base with a fellow teacher! Hope you are enjoying your library gig as well--that sounds like fun!ReplyDelete
I love old gothic books, but have never read Dracula. I will add it to my reading list... thanks for visiting today!ReplyDelete
I read it after the 92 movie with Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves and Gary Oldman came out-- Of course, I expected the book to be better but it wasn't for me-- quite a shock. I found the book to be so tame-- I even like the old Bela Lugosi movies better than the book.ReplyDelete
Guess we are even Sam-- since you like the LoTR movies better than the books. ;o)
I haven't read the book, surprisingly, since I really enjoyed The Historian and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (not so much The Passage). I guess I really should read the book that started it all. I love the idea that hidden in all these stories are historical truths, we just don't know exactly what's truth and what's myth. Thanks for the great review! I also wrote about how genre fiction can be literary -- this is a perfect example.ReplyDelete
Dracula! Great call and very timely as we're all still in Halloween mode. New follower from the Literary Blog Hop. Look forward to more.ReplyDelete
Here via the hop.ReplyDelete
Um, I didn't really like Dracula. At all. I found it long-winded, with bad characterisation and zero scare-factor. I'm sorry?
But, I'm definitely a new follower!
I haven't read Dracula, but I really enjoyed Kostova's The Historian, despite not being a fan of commercial vampire novels. I love it when authors blur the line between historical fact and fiction.ReplyDelete
Wow Sam such a lovely blog! And I love your pick for the Blog Hop too though I haven't read it yet. Perhaps I must soon! And I am adding you to our blogroll:)ReplyDelete
This is one of my favorite books as well -- I've also read The Historian, which I also recommend as a Dracula-inspired book that isn't weepy or filled with any angst, just a wonderful story told in epistolary format as well, and is just fabulous. I'd be interested to read your thoughts on this one, if you get a chance to read it!ReplyDelete
I've discovered your blog via the Literary Blog Hop!
You've been awarded the Life is Good Award :)ReplyDelete