Saturday 7 July 2012

Thoughts on the Bram Stoker Centenary Conference (Trinity College Dublin, July 5-6, 2012)

Three themes emerged from this stimulating conference. First, Stoker's Dracula is masterpiece and should be recognized as a work of literature rather than relegated to the Gothic genre. At the same time, the Stoker oeuvre is much larger and his other works deserve a wider recognition and appreciation. Secondly, the early short stories and novels contain seeds that came to full fruition in his most well-known novel, and that a reader can find in some of those works the influence of his early life, in his short stories Under the Sunset the writing of his mother on the 1830's cholera epidemic. Finally, and perhaps most important, authors of future Stoker studies need to be more rigorous about limiting themselves to empirical evidence (as little as there may be) in relating Stoker's life to his fiction and relying less on speculation.