HAVANA, Cuba.- On May 26, 1897, the novel was published dracula, Irish writer Bram Stoker. More than a passionate story of terror and romance, closely linked to the character of Modernity as an aesthetic movement, the work became one of the great literary milestones of the turn of the century.
Although some aspects of the seductive vampire are based on Vlad III —known as The Impaler—, prince of Wallachia in the fifteenth century, the truth is that the novel has no historical relationship with the fearsome aristocrat. It has also been said that Bram Stoker was inspired by the figure of the Hungarian Countess Erzsébet Báthory, who supposedly drank the blood of virgin maidens to stay young.
Suffering from poor health since childhood, Bram Stoker never traveled to Romania. To write his novel, he drew on the knowledge of Arminius Vámbéry, a Hungarian orientalist scholar, and other literary and historical works that allowed him to recreate nature, folklore, and the customs of the inhabitants of the Carpathian Mountains. To establish the appearance of Count Dracula, he was inspired by the physical appearance of the British actor Henry Irving and the Austro-Hungarian pianist Franz Liszt. His fertile imagination took care of the rest.
The novel received acclaim from the public and critics, but also from famous writers such as Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde, who called it “the best-written horror work of all time.”
Narrated in the form of an epistolary, Bram Stoker’s novel captivates the reader from the first pages. Its mystique is as powerful as the psychologism of the characters is deep. For all his evil, the ruthless vampire has fascinated generations of readers, eventually becoming an acclaimed (anti)hero of contemporary pop culture.
Dracula is the most portrayed fictional character in cinema, including television movies. In 1992, Francis Ford Coppola directed the most successful film adaptation to date, with actor Gary Oldman as the Count, Anthony Hopkins as the scientist Abraham van Helsing, Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker and Winona Ryder in the role of Mina Harker.
Become a horror movie classic, Coppola’s feature film had the strange virtue of inclining the sympathy of the audience in favor of the vampire who arrives in London metamorphosed into an elegant aristocrat willing to expand his kingdom of darkness and conquer Mina Harker, who she finally redeems him with her love.
The film was a great commercial success, with a very good reception by specialists, despite the fact that Keanu Reeves’ performance was widely criticized and until today considered one of the director’s mistakes. Gary Oldman’s superb performance, by contrast, earned him the Saturn Award for Best Actor.
dracula won three Oscars in the categories of Best Costume Design, Best Sound Editing, and Best Makeup.