A place for All Things Dracula and More

An Academic Site devoted to the History, Culture, and Literature of Romania and Eastern Europe.

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How Researching the Life of Dracula Changed My Life

by Kyle B. Stiff There’s nothing quite so humbling as finding out that your knowledge of history is based on movies and television, especially when you live under the illusion of being informed… unlike those other people! I was forced to confront my own ignorance when I decided to research the real-life Dracula for my next writing project. I knew next to nothing about him, but I assumed the story would be about a cruel tyrant who relished executing his own citizens in bizarre ways. I figured that once I looked into some history books I could find a hero, or at least someone halfway likeable, that I could shoehorn into the narrative. Of course, I wanted a “Gothic” atmosphere, too. Not Gothic as in, the culture of a particular ancient Germanic people. Gothic as in… Hot Topic, nu-metal cover bands, and twenty-somethings in black lipstick trying not to sweat as they wait for the bus. And yes, I am just as embarrassed to write this as you are to read it. Maybe I’m exaggerating my own ignorance. One thing…

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