A recent discussion I had with a chum online inspired these ruminations. Knowing that Bram Stoker had already to a large extent crafted his fictional “Count Wampyr”, villain of the forthcoming novel DRACULA, before he ever learned about the historical Dracula (the degree to which he knew details of the life of that Dracula is a whole other topic lending itself to endless discussion) inspired a discussion of what form the character would have taken had Stoker *not* made that discovery. Surely we would have ended up with a novel titled THE UN-DEAD, as was Stoker’s original intention, and “starring” a character named Count Wampyr. But how much would that character have resembled the Dracula we know today? Would it have been the same character, just with a different name, a rose by any other name smelling as garlicy?
I theorize that there would have been stark, even if subtle, differences. I would attribute this to serendipity, to, if I let my imagination run freely, the spirit of Dracula inspiring the writing of the novel. It’s like how Bram Stoker probably never saw that painting of Vlad Dracula, yet the physical description he provides for Dracula in the book fits that painting to the proverbial T. Branding the character with the name “Dracula” infused it with the magic, man.