Bram Stoker’s Dracula is one of the most read and most reimagined novels of the past one hundred years. Its plot has not only fueled retellings in media as far ranging as comics, popular novels, and films but also has given rise to spin-offs of multiple kinds. The narrative core of Dracula is examined here with a focus on the axes of time that collide within the novel. Bram Stoker employs the Middle Ages, available as a European narrative resource, to generate a contrast with the modern world his narrators reside in. But Stoker’s references to the Middle Ages do not merely fulfill the function of creating an atmosphere of thrill, fear, and terror as former studies mostly assumed. In contrast, by drawing on Yuri Lotman’s notion of semiospheres and narrative borders, I will show first how semiotically charged temporal contact zones collide and, second, how this collision allows readers to transgress two different narrated times and at the same time feel alienated by them. Through this analysis of Dracula, it is possible to postulate more generally the resource nature of medieval imaginaries as a way to encounter, or more specifically: to produce cultural otherness at all.
"Killing Fear by Killing Time: Stoker’s Dracula as an Epochal Conflict Narrative,"
Narrative Culture: Vol. 3:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/narrative/vol3/iss2/4