TIFTON — Dacre Stoker, great-grandnephew of Dracula author Bram Stoker, will be giving a presentation on his relative’s journey to write one of the most enduring horror stories of all time.
Stoker, who is an author of both a prequel and continuation of “Dracula,” is set to present as part of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s lecture series on Oct. 8. at 7 p.m. in Howard Auditorium.
His presentation is more than a lecture, he said.
“There are pretty cool slides and film clips and that sort of stuff,” he said. “The presentation is called ’Stoker on Stoker: The Mysteries Behind the Writing of Dracula’ by Bram Stoker and the research and writing of “Dracul,” by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker. “‘Dracul’ is the prequel that just came out last year.”
Stoker presents his own research, conducted over the past 12 years, into Bram Stoker’s live events and research into writing the classic “Dracula” novel.
“I found his lost journal in 2010 and had that published,” Stoker said. “That’s allowed me to get to know him so well. I’ve gone through libraries, university archives all over this country and found all kinds of cool things that have given me tremendous insight into Bram Stoker and his writing of Dracula.”
The presentation weaves together Stoker’s family lore with Bram Stoker’s contemporary worldview to give attendees insight into what inspired Bram Stoker to write “Dracula.”
“It’s amazing how the things we found… will convince the folks in the audience that there is more than a 50/50 chance that Bram was a believer in vampires,” Stoker said.
Stoker said that while many people think there was something wrong with Bram Stoker for him to come up with such a horror story, he actually married his own life experiences with meticulous research, which he showcases in his presentation.
When talking about the long-lasting cultural impact of “Dracula,” Stoker said that the complexity of the book and the timeless, universal themes in it is what keeps people coming back to it.
“It’s not straightforward,” he said. “Its style, being written in the epistolary style, makes the reader think and figure out the mystery as the story goes along. Bram inserted so many what we would call today Easter eggs that reflect some of the issues of the people in Victorian England reading the book. Issues like reverse colonization, women’s sexuality… it was a very risqué book at the time. Another thing is that it was representing something at the time that was really scaring people, and that was these unknown people coming in from another part of the planet that they didn’t know much about. The civilized world in the time that Bram was writing this really ended at Budapest, Hungary.”
“Dracula” also taps into something that touches every person at some point: death, and its cousin, immortality.
“It’s a basic human concept that Bram was tapping into,” Stoker said. “That’s why it’s got such a long life.”