Musings of Navigating The Finite remainder of life from Porchville, with the hope of a glimpse of The Infinite

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Google Doodle Bram Stoker's 165 Birthday

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Today is the 165th birthday of the author of Dracula, Bram Stoker.  Stoker didn't invent vampires which are from Eastern European mythology, but he certainly popularized the notion and in the process invented a literary genre.  You can read more about Bram Stoker and Dracula at Wikipedia:

Women's fascination with vampires has been something of a mystery to me.  There seems to be something very sexy about vampires.  Biting and sucking, of course, has a built in eroticism and perhaps the bite is a metaphor for the loss of innocence.  Modern vampire literature is often highly eroticized, but apparently there have been numerous attempts to assign eroticism  to Stoker's original novel, some that attain ludicrous depths of hidden meaning.   Here is an essay which looks at these various epic metaphoric journeys into Stoker's novel and debunks most of them.

Miller comes to the conclusion that most of this:

 "may be a product of the late twentieth century’s voyeuristic obsession with sexuality, coupled with a determination to project (sometimes in condescending fashion) its own self-proclaimed sophisticated and liberated views onto a Victorian text - and its author".  

Yes there may have been some hidden metaphor for Victorian anxieties of sex contained within Stoker's Dracula, but her essay points to the dangers of trying to mine too much psychological meaning out of a novel and trying to guess what was buried in the author's psyche when he wrote it.  Indeed as Miller points out sometimes a stake is just a stake. 

One thing I found interesting in the Wikipedia article above was that the original manuscript was found in a barn in Pennsylvania during the 1980's.  The co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, purchased it.  How in the world did the manuscript which was written in the 1890s in England end up in a barn in Pennsylvania?  I am sure that Allen must have investigated the authenticity of the document, but it seems rather suspect to me.       

Here is Google's archive of all Doodles:

Not to be outdone by the NFL Official Licensed Products, there is even a Google Doodles store, where you can buy tee-shirts, mugs, and poster with your favorite doodle:

Amazon has various editions of the book ranging from somewhat expensive limited run hardback editions to inexpensive paperbacks and various free editions available for the Kindle:


  1. It doesn't last though. At least I tire of the vampire thing very quickly

    1. Olga,

      I am too big sissy, generally there is too much gore in vampire novels for my liking.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. Glad to see that your still interested in the Google Doodles. Saves me having to research all the background info and you put it into a nice capsule.
    But, what else would a retired guy do in his spare time? Keeps you from a life of crime.

    1. Shat

      I am a little more discerning with my doodles than I used to be, and I am too damned lazy for my own good, well maybe not...certainly too lazy for a life of crime.

      This one did take me by surprise. Of course I had heard of Dracula, but I never realized it was a novel. I just thought it was myth that Hollywood picked up on back in the heyday.

  3. I saw the doodle several times today but never had a chance to click on it and see what it was all about, but I knew the name Bram Stoker so I knew it had to be about vampires, but I too never knew it was a book.

    I think as women it's just the typical "bad boy" thing that we like. And we like being possessed and you don't get much more possessive than becoming one of the living dead forever for a man.

    But that's just my humble opinion. Nice post, off to visit doodle store, I never knew about that either.

    1. Alicia,

      Well like I say it has always been beyond me, although I don't read the genre so it will probably remain a mystery to me.

      Here you go, all explained:

      Except I still don't understand this or the Christian Grey BDSM thing. Sex, domination, death, and immortality. Clear as mud.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  4. I did not know this info about vampires...165 is a long way back it seems

  5. Kim,

    I never knew much more than what Bella Lugosi taught us in his films. The modern versions of Dracula are a bit too gory for my liking. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  6. I always felt that women have to have a relationship to "blood"-because once a month they get to revisit their river of vulnerability. So I think that's why with the vampire. Connected to the moon, to night. Believe me it has such a primitive part of us. When I was having these massive bleeds I'd read vampire stories. It took me forever to "get" it. Those were due to a tumor infiltrating my main artery, but...somehow that was contained in the vampire literature. Well enough it worked psychologically on some level.

    But after watching this program on lions last night-that predator bite-boy-that goes way back in our unconscious.

    1. Sarah,

      An in the closet romanticization of menses? Perhaps the vampire's physical need for blood is a metaphor for a desire for, if not an attraction, at least a male appreciation for the rigors of menstruation rather than the typical revulsion that some of my brute brethren seem to exhibit. That would make a lot sense, especially with the early teen crowd that goes for Twilight and who are trying to come to grips with menstruation and their sexuality.

      We definitely have some fears and attractions hardwired into us. If I come upon a snake in the woods it sets off an automatic fear response that is only slightly moderated by the recognition that it is only a harmless garter snake. My cerebral cortex may know that it is harmless, but something far deeper and far older says run for your life. The slithery bastards give me a chill up my spine. Hmmm. If I start looking for metaphors for the fear of snakes, God only knows where that could go. Is it any accident that Eve was tempted by a serpent? Well as Fraud er Freud said sometimes a snake is just a snake.

      As always, a pleasure to have you stop by and comment.

  7. I once had a dream, a snake but in water that was in the entire spaces of my supposed home wound through everything.
    Good grief it was a message about sexuality? Oh yikes.
    well it fits.
    there is a book, by John Fowles, The Magus. Have you read it?
    Some of it talks about the cycles of the moon, women's cycles....but, it's oddly from a male perception. Quite a work actually.
    The movie however, despite Micheal Caine, is rather hard to take.

    1. I don't know Sarah, again Fraud...sometime a snake is just a snake!

      No I have never heard of The Magus. I will have to check it out.