martes, 25 de febrero de 2014
interview with the madafaka
Well; rivers of ink have been shed about Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I think that, in the perspective of the analysis of structure, the most interesting thing we find in this work is the letters, diary-entries and so on shaping of the story, which necessarily introduces further novelties like time step sizes and multiple first person narrators, between others. In the post-Enlightenment era, even with the freedom brought by Romanticism, the rules of narration were strictly draught, and the structure of Bram Stoker’s Dracula are clearly a step forward in this sense, a new way to follow in the future, as it were. But, was that the intention of Bram Stoker actually? Was he looking for new ways for narration in literature? In other words, was he a proto-modernist, trying to defy and broke the severe rules of the novel of the nineteenth century? As there are no clear statements by Stoker himself on this concern, it is hard to say, but mainly it is hard to say “yes”. We have a previous example of such a structure in English nineteenth century literature in Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, for which the influence on Stoker has been emphasized by many critics, even if they are very different works regarding to contents and attitude. Actually, Stoker is putting the traditional genre of Epistolary Novel (with prominent examples like Hyperion or Dangerous Liaisons, between many others) at disposal of his Gothic novel. So there is novelty in the work by Stoker, without any dude, but not such as seen by some critics. The great contribution by Stoker with Dracula is to have bequeathed a work of eternal value, more for the story itself than for the way to tell it, that can be considered a mere (and a smart) tool for narration, and not a conscious effort to formally innovate in literature.