Halloween always brings to mind that classic of gothic literature, Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
This is a novel that has so enamored me over the years I once took a class dedicated solely to the study of it line by line. The mythology it created is still alive and well today (witness the recent box office champ 30 Days of Night), and there have been a myriad of stage, film, and television adaptations that always seem unfaithful. Over the years Count Dracula has been romanticized and made an object of sympathy, whereas in the novel he was always kept at arm’s length as a monster, and we learned of his story through a series of diary entries, letters, and notes from those in and around his inner circle of victims. The book’s perversion of Victorian Era social mores and its inversion of the Christian sacraments made it an instant and subversive classic. Its subtexts concerning child sexual abuse and modern man’s irrational fears of women’s liberation make it a point of controversy to this day. Its lasting influence on future generations of writers and mythmakers will be bleeding and frightfully alive for years to come. Does this make it one of the greatest novels of all time?
It made me wonder is it even possible (or practical) to make a list of the greatest novels of all time? Continue reading