Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to by David J. Skal

By David J. Skal

The primal snapshot of the black-caped vampire Dracula has develop into an indelible fixture of the fashionable mind's eye. It's acceptance issue competitors, in its personal perverse manner, the familiarity of Santa Claus. such a lot folks can recite with out prompting the salient features of the vampire: sound asleep through day in its coffin, emerging at nightfall to feed at the blood of the dwelling; the power to shapeshift right into a bat, wolf, or mist; a mortal vulnerability to a wood stake in the course of the middle or a shaft of sun. during this seriously acclaimed expedition during the lifetime of a cultural icon, David Skal maps out the archetypal vampire's relentless trajectory from Victorian literary oddity to motion picture idol to cultural commidity, digging in the course of the populist veneer to bare what the prince of darkness says approximately us all.

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Osborne's portrait, judging magazine reproduction of the time, was a good likeness but one with a subtle air of languorous decadence. sion, reclines against the skin The subject, with a sly, knowing expres- of a dead animal, a visual motif that had become Fm de Penot's Steele feminine ertl: painter Albert 1890 concept of a bat-woman. HOLLYWOOD GOTHIC 32 The beauty and the beast: Florence Stoker mapped the skin herself of a wild animal for fashionably ambiguous m this 1895 portrait by Walter Frederick Osborne.

Nosferatu, conversely, would draw criticism — for its use of naniral, rather than contrived settings.

That if tory misogyny, focusing is the in 1906. Other, unmemor- once-more struggling author, The Lair of the White Worm (1911 word he write, two-volume account of a is ), — by imagery of an almost hallucina- on the vampire-like Lady Arabella and her noxious and transparently emblematic "snake's hole," the smell of which Stoker compares to "the drainage of war dissecting rooms . hospitals, of slaughterhouses, the refuse of sourness of chemical waste and the poisonous the . " The destroyed phallic worm of the novel's title image of physical corruption: "The whole surface of the fragments, once was covered with pBram Stoker Dracula's Guest was to be the worms and vermin of insects, The kinds.

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