Wednesday, 11 February 2009


One of the civilised but fiercely argued debates we occasionally have at the Capuchin office is over the respective literary merits of books that are graced with the 'Classics' label.  A particular bone of contention between two of my colleagues (let's call them 'Max' and 'Christopher - and why not, as those are indeed their names) is whether, in terms of literary merit, Frankenstein wins out over Dracula.  Is it too obvious of me to point out that this conversation was originally inspired by Capuchin producing its own edition of Dracula?

There are many perspectives through which to look at this question: meaning and content, literary style, originality, and influence being perhaps the most obvious.  Moreover, the influence is not only of a literary nature but also on culture in general, with films, t.v. series (Buffy, Twilight) and language ('I have created a monster') all still rippling with the impact of these books.

On a more trivial note (it doesn't usually take long for me to dismount from the platform of lofty analysis) I began to wonder who would prevail in a physical contest between Frankie and The Count.  The imaginary pitting of one creature against another is now a cultural staple, to which literature should not be excluded from contributing.  Much for me seems to hinge on the relative speed and stamina of vampires, which I don't think this particular adversary could match.  On the other hand, does Frankenstein have any blood, and if not, what would be the consequences of Dracula attempting to grab a mouthful?  Of course, he might have the advantage of having read 'Frankenstein'.  And what of other possible matches?  Grendel versus Tarzan, for instance, or King Arthur duelling with D'Artagnan.

Your contributions welcome.

Quotation of the Day
"A king is always a king - and a woman always a woman: his authority and her sex ever stand between them and rational converse." Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.


1 comment:

Alma said...

Hi David, "A king is always a king - and a woman always a woman – and a classic always a classic." That's my definition of "classic". Best, Alex