Dracula and the Eastern Question


Reviewing Matthew Gibson’s Dracula and the Eastern Question, Ardel Thomas writes:

“Although we have seen a stunning amount of scholarship in the last two decades devoted to vampire narratives—and to Bram Stoker’s Dracula in particular—no literary theorist has taken on a full and extended study of vampire tales within the historic context of their actual location: the Near East. Prior to Matthew Gibson’s Dracula and the Eastern Question, gothic scholars have examined vampire narratives through various lenses such as psychoanalysis, postcolonial/imperial theory, queer theory, and with Stoker and Le Fanu in particular, theorists have pinpointed anxiety over the Irish Question as the raison d’être for their stories.
Past and current scholarship on vampire narratives has been rich and diverse, and the attention paid to reclaiming these stories as worthy [-p.341] of serious study has been incredibly important in helping to establish gothic studies as a serious academic field. Gibson’s beautifully researched and historically grounded text adds another complex voice to the discourse about gothic literature in general and vampire narratives in particular.” (pp.340-341)

“…not only does Gibson do an excellent job of looking at specific historic contexts surrounding the vampire stories, but he also makes the claim  that for many of the authors discussed in his study, the vampire narrative might have been one of the few ways they were able to write about their own politically unpopular views of the Near East Question.” (p.342)

Concluding his review, Thomas declares that “To my mind, the strongest contribution Dracula and the Eastern Question makes is that of a much needed study of vampire narratives in the context of relating events where they actually take place.” (p.343)

Ref: Ardel Thomas (2008) Dracula & the Eastern Question English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920, Volume 51, Number 3, pp. 340-343


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