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Bram Stoker pp 151-172 | Cite as

A Crucial Stage in the Writing of Dracula

  • Joseph S. Bierman

Abstract

In this essay I shall examine a crucial stage in the writing of Dracula in which Bram Stoker changed the English port of entry of his vampire from Dover to Whitby, the name of his vampire from ‘Count —’ to ‘Dracula’, and the locale of the vampire’s castle from Styria to Transylvania. The understanding of these changes may be enhanced through the application of certain psychoanalytic ideas. My argument here is that Stoker was influenced to make these changes whilst he was on vacation at Whitby because certain features of the town recalled to him three stories, and the central fantasy they contained, originally published by the author in a volume of stories for children, Under the Sunset.1 This was dedicated to Stoker’s two-year-old son and only child, Noel, and in many instances seems to reflect the author’s own childhood. These stories were influential to the changes in Dracula because they contain, from a psychoanalytic point of view, an organising childhood fantasy of the enclosed space, or claustrum, which represents the interior of the mother’s body as an orally regressive safe haven from anxieties, especially sexual anxieties. Once he had put his childhood fantasies into the form of the eight stories of Under the Sunset, Stoker would then use references to those stories, both directly and covertly, to express his fantasies in subsequent stories and novels, even those he wrote 30 years later.

Keywords

Crucial Stage Subsequent Reference Sexual Anxiety Personal Reminiscence Beautiful City 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Bram Stoker, Under the Sunset [1882] (London: Sampson, Low, Marston & Co., 1882). All subsequent references are to this edition, and are given in the text.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bram Stoker, Dracula [1897], ed. Maud Ellmann (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996) p. 70. All subsequent references are to this edition, and are given in the text.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Joseph Bierman, ‘Dracula: Prolonged Childhood Illness and the Oral Triad’, American Imago 29 (1972) 186–98.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    William Wilkinson, An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1820).Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Bram Stoker, Miss Betty (London: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd, 1898) p. 4.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    C. Boner, Transylvania: Its Products and its People (London: Longman, Green, Reach and Dyer, 1865).Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    A.F. Crosse, Round About the Carpathians (London: Blackwood, 1878).Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    Bram Stoker, The Lair of the White Worm, in Dracula and The Lair of the White Worm: A Bram Stoker Omnibus Edition (London: W. Foulsham & Co., 1986), p. 341.Google Scholar
  9. 11.
    Bram Stoker, A Glimpse of America (London: Sampson, Low, Marston & Co., 1886). All subsequent references are to this edition, and are given in the text.Google Scholar
  10. 12.
    See Bram Stoker, The Snake’s Pass (Dingle: Brandon, 1990) p. 230. All subsequent references are to this edition, and are given in the text.Google Scholar
  11. 13.
    Bram Stoker, Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving, 2 vols (London: William Heinemann, 1906) Vol. 2, p. 94.Google Scholar
  12. 14.
    H. Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 1961) Vol. 4, pp. 184–5.Google Scholar
  13. 15.
    See B. Lewin, The Psychoanalysis of Elation (New York: The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 1961) pp. 108–20.Google Scholar
  14. 18.
    Bram Stoker, Dracula’s Guest [1914] (London: Arrow Books, 1974). All subsequent references are to this edition, and are given in the text.Google Scholar
  15. 19.
    Walter Scott, ‘Marmion’, in Scott, Poetical Works, ed. J. Logie Robertson (London: Oxford University Press, 1967) p. 110, Canto II, verse xxv, lines 2–4.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph S. Bierman

There are no affiliations available

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