Why Adapt Dracula?

Dracula_Archibald_Constable_and_Company_1901Bram Stoker’s Dracula was published in 1897. It is fairly readable today, though there are some old words that are no longer in common use, and the sentence structure is convoluted in places. The original text is available for free from Project Gutenberg. I wanted to create a version that was more easily approachable by modern readers: Dracula in Modern English.

One of the most annoying features of the book is that it’s an epistolary novel, something I personally think of as “the diary trope”. By giving the text as a series of diary entries by various characters, Stoker is able to write the book in the first person. As pointed out by Stephen King, one of the problems with the first person is that, for us to be hearing the story, the narrator (or in this case, the author of the diary or at least the diary itself) must have survived whatever adventure they are recounting, killing any tension their peril might otherwise create. This led me to make the significant change of rewriting book in the third person, with the diary entry’s author as the viewpoint character.

There are many minor changes as well. One of the minor characters has an incomprehensible Scottish accent which I’ve tried to make somewhat readable. I’ve moved some of the sections of the text around to make the story more cohesive. Due to the odd structure, the original narratives tend to jump around in time, and I’ve tried to fix this. Finally, like Lovecraft with his “sort ofs”, Stoker continually weakens his writing with “seemed to”. Where these were used in cases where the narrating character probably wouldn’t have been in doubt, I’ve removed them.

As I’ve done with most of my modern English adaptations, I’ve tried to stay as close to the source as possible. Hope you all enjoy.

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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4 Responses to Why Adapt Dracula?

  1. Pingback: Dracula in Modern English: Chapter V | Jim's Jumbler

  2. Pingback: Dracula in Modern English: Chapter VIII | Jim's Jumbler

  3. Pingback: Dracula in Modern English: Chapter XI | Jim's Jumbler

  4. Pingback: Dracula in Modern English: Chapter XVII | Jim's Jumbler

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