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A Childrens’ Treasury of Hilarious Dracula Fan Fiction

October 29, 2009

So I finished Dracula yesterday. Meh. That ending: I mean seriously. Fifty-some-odd goddamn pages of shipping manifests and the adventures of a peripatetic box of dirt?? Are you fucking kidding me, Bram?

But! The wise and all-knowing editors of my Norton Critical Edition thought they should end things on a lighter note, so they appended a selection of The Best Academic Essays Ever at the end of the book. Most of these were written in the 70s and 80s, which as you know were the halcyon days of Literary Theory in American English departments, when professors were contractually obligated to snort 20 mgs of pure pharmaceutical-grade Bolivian cocaine from the open pages of Derrida’s Of Grammatology before writing anything for peer review. I’ve waded through 70 pages of turgid academic prose to bring you the “best of” selections below. You will not be disappointed: this is why they invented blogging.

Important Note #1: Most English professors, due to the high demands of obtaining tenure and the solitary nature of their work, have little to no experience with sexual intercourse as performed by two live human beings. They are confused and frightened by the idea of coitus, but also fascinated by it. Knowing this may help you approach the excerpts below in a spirit of charity.

Important Note #2: This is not parody. Everything below was written by actual professors, who were probably awarded tenure for their efforts.

Maurice Richardson:

[Dracula is] a quite blatant demonstration of the Oedipus complex… a kind of incestuous, necrophilous, oral-anal-sadistic all-in wrestling match.

Maurice Richardson, again:

[Dracula is] a vast polymorph perverse bisexual oral-anal-genital sadomasochistic timeless orgy.

Oral-anal-sadistic wrestling match or oral-anal-genital orgy? Maurice Richardson reports, you decide.

Phyllis A. Roth:

The fantasy of incest and matricide evokes the mythic image of the vagina dentata evident in so many folk tales in which the mouth and the vagina are identified with one another by the primitive mind and pose the threat of castration to all men until the teeth are extracted by the hero. The conclusion of Dracula, the “salvation” of Mina, is equivalent to such an “extraction”: Mina will not remain the vagina dentata to threaten them all.

Holy fucking shit.

Franco Moretti:

If the vampire is a metaphor for capital, then Stoker’s vampire, who is of 1897, must be the capital of 1897. The capital which, after lying ‘buried’ for twenty long years of recession, rises again to set out on the irreversible road of concentration and monopoly. And Dracula is a true monopolist: solitary and despotic, he will not brook competition. Like monopoly capital, his ambition is to subjugate the last vestiges of the liberal era and destroy all forms of economic independence.

Franco Moretti, again:

In killing Dracula, Quincy P. Morris, the American who has been helping his British friends to save their nation, dies too, almost by accident. The occurrence seems inexplicable, extraneous to the logic of the narrative, yet it fits perfectly into Stoker’s sociological design. The American, Morris, must die, because Morris is a vampire.

Really? Which page was that on, again?

Marie Bonaparte:

We know that babes which, while toothless, are content to suck the breast, no sooner cut their first teeth then they use them to bite the same breast. This, in each of us, is the first manifestation of the aggressive instinct.

Toothless Predator: Breast-Feeding as Sexual Assault, anyone?

Christopher Craft:

With its soft flesh barred by hard bone, its red crossed by white, this mouth compels opposites and contrasts into a frightening unity, and it asks some disturbing questions. Are we male or are we female? Do we have penetrators or orifices? And if both, what does that mean? And what about our bodily fluids, the red and the white? What are the relations between blood and semen, milk and blood?

This is Christopher Craft’s thesis statement. I am not kidding.

Christopher Craft:

This rather pathetic hunt for the penis-in-absentia denotes a double anxiety: first, that the penis shall not be erased, and if it is erased, that it shall be reinscribed in a perverse simulacrum; and second, that all desire repeat, under duress of deformity, the heterosexual norm that the metaphor of inversion always assumes. Medical professionals had in fact no need to pursue this fantasized amazon of the clitoris, this ‘unnatural’ predator, so vigorously, since Stoker, whose imagination was at least deft enough to displace that dangerous simulacrum to an isomorphic orifice, had by the 1890s already invented her. His sexualized women are men too.

Ellis Hanson:

The chapel has become the anal orifice of castration and death, littered as it is with Dracula’s fecal/phallic coffins.

Well, duh. Thank you, Professor Obvious.

Talia Schaffer:

Stoker’s Dracula is a kind of basin in which images of [Oscar] Wilde-as-monster float, and it makes sense that a vision of Wilde’s body as repulsive, which Harris claims to be universal, would be one fluid in the Dracula solution.

Talia Schaffer:

Dracula undresses Harker and folds his clothes yet somehow overlooks the prize in Harker’s trousers. (Similarly, Harker magically feels all over Dracula’s body without finding Dracula’s key.)

In conclusion: Dracula is Oedipus, but he is also that guy from the Monopoly game. He is like a baby with confusing orifices. Somebody’s penis is about to be erased by a clitoris Amazon. Dracula is Oscar Wilde, too, and he shits coffins, which are also his dick(s). Quincy Morris is a vampire, Mina has teeth in her cooter, and the prize, in case you were wondering, is in Jonathan Harker’s pants.

Q.E. to-tha-mothafuckin D.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Joan permalink
    October 29, 2009 12:53 pm

    This is simply fantastic. I should know better by now than to read your posts during lunch in my cube! I laugh, I snort, my neighbors ask if I’m ok. I loved this one and I thank you – I’m also reading the Norton Critical edition and now I know all I need to from the critical essays!! I’ve got 12 pages to go and will probably finish tonight. I think my final reaction will be the same as yours – meh.

  2. October 30, 2009 11:52 am

    Yeah you know, usually with the Nortons they’ll include one or two douchebaggy essays laden with all sorts of theory jargon and outrageous sweeping claims, but with Dracula they went hog-wild: pretty much every single writer is like “SEX SEX SEX!! DEVIANT SEX!!”

  3. Joan permalink
    October 30, 2009 12:21 pm

    I shudder to think what they would have made of Carmilla, the Sheridan Le Fanu novella that was an influence for Stoker. I read it and it’s much more overt in its eroticsm between the female characters. In the words of your lovely letter writers, a one-hander!

  4. October 30, 2009 1:18 pm

    Great summary! Had me laughing aloud, natch, even though I wasn’t up for the Dracula reading. The competition between Moretta, Richardson, and Craft for absolutely worst excerpts is a very close one. On the other hand, I love the Schaffer analysis of Dracula and Harker feeling all over one another but not finding the prize in the pants! That line alone makes me almost wish I had participated in this Infinite October.

  5. darthvadersmom permalink
    October 1, 2012 2:14 pm

    My class is reading Dracula now, and I’m telling my class not to read your post. Loved it….

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