Intertextual Exchange In Carmilla, Dracula And The Historian

1635 words - 7 pages

“Writers seldom duplicate their influential precursor(s); rather, they often work within a certain framework established by other writers or generic conventions, but vary aspects of it in significant ways” (Friedman 155). Sheridan Le Fanu’s, Carmilla, Bram Stoker’s, Dracula and Elizabeth Kostova’s, The Historian, clearly engage in this intertextual exchange, as evidenced by their use of narrative structure and striking character parallels.
Published in 1872, Le Fanu relates the story of Carmilla from a first person point of view, through four distinct perspectives. The first narrator, an unnamed assistant to Doctor Hesselius, prefaces the story as correspondence of scholarly interest between the Doctor and an “intelligent lady” (Le Fanu 87).
Subsequently, Le Fanu presents the second narrator, Laura. Relating her tale, Laura describes the vampire, Carmilla, as beautiful and with an alluring voice, capable of entrancing her. Repeatedly, Laura remarks that she is both attracted and repelled by the pretty Carmilla. Notwithstanding, Carmilla lavishes a lover’s affection upon Laura, at one point whispering, “You are mine . . . ” (105). Confused by Carmilla’s remark, Laura wonders if the two women are related. Unbeknownst to Laura, they are! As the story progresses, Laura experiences an unusual dream in which she encounters a “sooty-black animal” resembling a “monstrous cat” (115). Shortly thereafter, Laura complains of interminable dreams, exhaustion and melancholy that she attributes to “imagination” and “nerves” (119).
As Laura’s illness intensifies, Le Fanu introduces his third narrator, General Spielsdorf. The General relates a story concerning his niece, Bertha, whose affliction and experience bears a striking similarity to Laura’s. Frustrated with Bertha’s doctor and her continued deterioration, the General calls in a second physician from Gratz. The two doctors confer, disagreeing vehemently; whereby, the older physician remarks that his “skill and science . . . can be of no use”; Bertha is the victim of vampirism (140). Although skeptical, the General lies in wait for the vampire, Carmilla. He’s horrified to discover “a large black object, very ill-defined, crawl as it seemed to me, over the foot of the bed, and swiftly spread itself up to the poor girl’s throat, where it swelled, in a moment, into a great, palpitating mass” (Le Fanu 141). Despite the General’s efforts to rescue Bertha, she dies and Carmilla escapes. Concluding the General’s story, Le Fanu reverts the narration to Laura.
Through Laura, Le Fanu introduces Baron Vordenburg, a man highly knowledgeable of vampirism, having read a great many “works upon the subject” (146). From his studies, the Baron “extracted a system of principles that appear to govern . . . the condition of the vampire” (146). It is the Baron who provides the pivotal information needed to locate Carmilla’s gravesite. Following formal proceedings, Carmilla is found in her tomb, with her eyes open, faintly...

Find Another Essay On Intertextual Exchange in Carmilla, Dracula and the Historian

The Perversion and Triumph of Christian Ideas in Dracula

709 words - 3 pages eventually defeat him, Stoker might be suggesting that the power of the Christianity and the Christian God will always prevail in a match against evil and the devil. In the Christian religion, the devil is the not-as-powerful antagonist of God. There are many ways in which Count Dracula could be observed as either a symbol or incarnate of the devil. First, one may take into account Dracula’s name. In Romanian, the language of the country of Dracula’s

DRacula Chpt. In Depth Summary and Commentary

811 words - 3 pages Summary The novel begins with the diary kept by Jonathan Harker, an English solicitor, or lawyer, as he travels through Central Europe on the business of his firm. He is on his way to the castle of Count Dracula, a Transylvanian nobleman, to conclude a deal in which the Count will purchase an English estate. We learn that he has just qualified to be a solicitor, this is his first assignment as a professional, and he is engaged to a young

Mumps in the Columbian Exchange

875 words - 4 pages The Columbian Exchange was a trade network that was indisputably a major event in world history due to the exchange of ideas, crops, animals, and diseases between the Old World and the New World, making the world “smaller”; it is undeniable that had the Columbian Exchange not happened, all of our lives today would be drastically different. During 1450 to 1750 – the time period of the Columbian Exchange – the mumps, a virus that was originally

The roll of gender in Dracula

1437 words - 6 pages Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” is a story about a Vampire named Count Dracula and his journey to satisfy his lust for blood. The story is told through a series of individuals’ journal entries and a letters sent back and forth between characters. Bram Stoker shows the roll in which a certain gender plays in the Victorian era through the works of Dracula. This discussion not only consists of the roll a certain gender takes, but will be discussing how a

Comparing the Nature of Terror in the Gothic Novels, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

702 words - 3 pages The two Gothic novels, Dracula and Frankenstein, introduced two of the most terrifying characters throughout all of literature. Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, and Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, both present elements of terror and create a tense mood and a gruesome picture. In both of these novels the other characters are not able to see these evil creatures actions. Although both of these novels depict truly evil minds, Dracula

Comparing Sexuality and Power in Dracula and Buffy the Vampire Slayer

1678 words - 7 pages Comparing Sexuality and Power in Dracula and Buffy the Vampire Slayer   At first glance, Joss Whedon's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," the hour-long TV series which premiered in 1997 and is now in its third season, bears little resemblance to the book which started the vampire craze -- Bram Stoker's Dracula, published a century earlier. And yet, looks can be deceiving. Although the trendy -- and often skimpy -- clothing and bandied about pop

Comparing the Duty of the Physician in Dracula, Frankenstein, and Awakenings

3715 words - 15 pages   Through close analysis of the respective physicians illustrated within Bram Stoker's Dracula, Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, and Oliver Sack's Awakenings, one is able to comment upon their respective duties. The duty of the doctor, as portrayed in these texts, can be seen to be highly varied and immensely diverse. Bram Stoker's Dracula deals with the role and duty of the doctor, and with the relationship between them and their patient

The Gothic Tradition in Stoker's Dracula and Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray

2382 words - 10 pages The Gothic Tradition in Stoker's Dracula and Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray Gothic Literature was a natural progression from romanticism, which had existed in the 18th Century. Initially, such a ‘unique’ style of literature was met with a somewhat mixed response; although it was greeted with enthusiasm from members of the public, literary critics were much more dubious and sceptical. Gothic writing is a style of literature that relies upon

The Derivation of Incest and Pedophilia as a Repressed Societal Fear in Dracula

1457 words - 6 pages The Derivation of Incest and Pedophilia as a Repressed Societal Fear in Dracula Franco Moretti provides a cogent argument for a particular understanding of societal fears existing in the Britain mind of the Victorian Era manifest in the gothic novel, Dracula. In his reading of Dracula, he chooses to extrapolate these fears along the lines of Marxist and psychoanalytic interpretative frameworks. Though Moretti admits that “it is hard to

Dracula, Appropriate Halloween Icon? Examines the theme of sexuality in Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and what it implies about Stoker's view of sexuality

872 words - 3 pages referred to as "kisses," and not "bites." Those attacks actually constitute one of the major elements in the book that convey strong sexual meaning. For example, Jonathan Harker's encounter with the three women vampires of Castle Dracula in chapter 3 is very evocative of an erotic experience, and although his life is supposed to be at stake, Jonathan clearly acquiesces to the woman's advances: "The fair girl went on her knees....waited with

10 Dimensions for Dracula by Bram Stoker The aesthetic and psychological views on Dracula

1029 words - 4 pages stereotypical view of Count Dracula. We see that the antagonist is a very intelligent, and powerful man in the novel. Yet many of the movies and materials based on the book show Count Dracula as a blood-lusting madman.Stoker for the most part set the story up amazingly well. Throughout the book Count Dracula himself is rarely seen, yet he makes the readers feel the presence of an evil being throughout the entire novel. Stoker has also been very careful to

Similar Essays

Intertextual Exchange In Carmilla, Dracula And The Historian

998 words - 4 pages “Writers seldom duplicate their influential precursor(s); rather, they often work within a certain framework established by other writers or generic conventions, but vary aspects of it in significant ways.” (Clayton, 155). Sheridan Le Fanu’s, Carmilla, Bram Stoker’s, Dracula and Elizabeth Kostova’s, The Historian, clearly engage in this intertextual exchange, as evidenced by their use of narrative structure, striking character parallels and

Intertextual Exchange In Carmilla, Dracula And The Historian

1355 words - 5 pages “Writers seldom duplicate their influential precursor(s); rather, they often work within a certain framework established by other writers or generic conventions, but vary aspects of it in significant ways.” (Clayton, 155). Sheridan Le Fanu’s, Carmilla, Bram Stoker’s, Dracula and Elizabeth Kostova’s, The Historian, clearly engage in this intertextual exchange, as evidenced by their use of narrative structure, striking character parallels and

The Lilith In Dracula, Carmilla, Christabel, Geraldine And The Hunger

1541 words - 6 pages The Lilith in Dracula, Carmilla, Christabel, Geraldine and The Hunger For centuries Lilith, the Queen of the Night, has been blamed when a child or man dies without certain cause or when a woman refuses to be submissive to her husband.  While the Legend of Lilith is not widely known today, it is not difficult to find information about the demoness. However, there are slight variations found from story to story.  Here we will focus on

Carmilla And Dracula Essay

1515 words - 6 pages Gothic Essay o A querying of normative gender behaviour and sexuality pervades the 19th century gothic fiction text. What does this reveal about the cultural context within the tale exists? This essay will attempt to discuss the two gothic tales ‘Carmilla’ and ‘Dracula’ in relation to cultural contexts in which they exist as being presented to the reader through the gender behaviour and sexuality that is portrayed through the texts. Vampire