Gothic Fiction In Bram Stoker's Count Dracula

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Introduction

Literature has proved to be throughout time a powerful tool for creating enduring myths, legendary characters and fictional stories, making thus the truth irrelevant as long as the narrative was gripping. Such aspects, together with the context and period into which a novel was written brought to life stories that have become immortal and are going to last for eternity. This seems to be the case of the 19th century author Bram Stoker, who, upon fact, legend and fiction brought to life his eponymous vampire: Count Dracula, a sinister and monstrous predator who thrived on the blood of living souls. Regarded by many as the defining work of Gothic fiction, Stoker’s fin-de-sìecle novel achieved a pervasive hold on Western imagination, transforming it into one of the most lasting literary myths of all times. Hence, it comes as no surprise that when we say “vampire” we immediately think of Dracula, and such has been the superstition created around this character that nowadays it is impossible to allude to Romania, and particularly to Transylvania, without thinking of it as the home of Dracula. As Duncan Light so perfectly phrased it in his book The Dracula Dilema: “such is the mythology that has grown up around Transylvania that many in the West are surprised to learn that Transylvania is a real place” (2012: 28). The Occidental’s misconceived view of this unknown region on the very edge of Europe, together with Stoker’s sinister description of
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