Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Legacy with Fangs - Dacre Stoker's Dracula: the undead

Two popular fiction trends meet in Dacre Stoker's Dracula: The Undead. It's Fan Fiction and Vampires, but with a twist.

Dacre Stoker (born in Montreal) is the great grand-nephew of Bram Stoker. CBC has a article about this new book in their Arts section. Stoker co-authored the book with Ian Holt with the intention of creating a new Dracula based movie. Stoker had the the unique opportunity, not readily available to most fan fiction, of access to the original author's handwritten notes. His intention was to re-create Stoker's original Dracula, unattractive and unrefined.

It is 1912, twenty five years after Dracula's demise in the original story. Bram Stoker, now a character in the novel, is writing a theatrical adaptation. The original characters are being hunted down one by one. Did Dracula crumble to dust that day 25 years previous, or has a new evil been unleashed?

Jane Austen and Joan Austen-Leigh are an example of another literary dynasty. Jane Austen is Joan Austen-Leigh's three times great aunt and, like Stoker, was also born in Canada. Austen-Leigh wrote a continuation of Emma and, like Stoker, is very protective of her aunt's legacy. (No zombies here!). Rather than tinker with Austen's beloved characters, Austen-Leigh picks up a relatively minor character in Emma and tells the story through chatty letters between two sisters.

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