And why it's one of the best pieces of literature .. ever. (Opinion)
Dracula first published in 1897 and written by Irish Author, Bram Stoker is a piece of literary genius.
How the writing style of Dracula helps create one of the best Gothic Horror novels of all time
An epistolary novel - meaning it's a novel told via diary entries, newspaper articles, letters etc, relating to the dark and gothic tale of Count Dracula of Transylvania. Stokers work encapsulates the conventions and themes of a classic gothic horror by using a writing technique not overly popularised during his time, nor a style that is overly popularised in recent time.
Dracula features themes of a dislocated narrative structure, leading to sometimes contradictory narrative evidence and tension. A sinister and eerie location is also themed throughout the novel being Count Dracula's cold and creepy castle as well as the ever telling gothic horror theme of manipulation and entrapment causing a sense of helplessness by the protagonist, Jonathan Harker.
Dracula is a written in a way to brilliantly evoke a nightmarish world of vampires, vampire hunters and illuminate the dark corners of Victorian desire and sexuality.
Dracula's influence on an ever growing genre of literature and film
Dracula was and will always remain an instrumental influence in the way the world views Vampires and their lore.
Most notably, Dracula was the inspiration behind the 1922 film, Nosferatu in which the novel Dracula was actually plagiarized, slightly altered and turned into a movie. Stokers Wife, Florence Balcombe is remembered for her legal dispute with the makers of Nosferatu on behalf of her late husbands legacy.
Since then, Vampires have become wildly popular and modernized from the literary world of Anne Rice in Interview with a Vampire, to Stephanie Meyers incredibly popular Twilight Saga. Others have maintained the integrity of Stoker's original work, as in Stephen King's "Salem Lot" (1975), a novel claimed to be inspired by Stoker.
As Jonathan Harker writes in reference to Dracula, "the old centuries had, and have, powers of their own which mere 'modernity' cannot kill."
Vlad the Impaler and his influence on Count Dracula
A popular theory among critics is that Count Dracula was based on the infamously barbaric Vlad III of Romania, or more commonly known as "Vlad the Impaler".
Whilst there is no known evidence to point to Vlad being the influence of Dracula, there are certainly a fair amount of similarities between the two.
Vlad was known to have impaled his enemies on a stake and it was claimed that as his enemies were dying, he dipped bread into their blood and ate it in front of them so their last visions of life were of Vlad 'eating/sucking their life away'.
Summary and Conclusion
In conclusion, Bram Stoker created one of the most influential piece of gothic horror literature to still exist in the modern day and to still be used to influence multiple movies, novels and other forms of literature and art, is an incredible achievement.
Dracula will forever be known one of the greatest masterpieces of the gothic horror genre.