DRACULA Finds a New Translation, in a Series of Emails

Folks have retold the story of Dracula in dozens, if not hundreds, of ways over the past 125 years. Whether it’s movies, TV, comics, or even podcasts, folks keep finding new ways to tell the story of the undead Transylvanian count. But now, via Boing Boing, we’re learning that there is yet another way to tell Bram Stoker’s classic horror tale. And it’s all via a series of emails. It may sound wild, but to anyone who had read Stoker’s original novel? They can instantly imagine how such a thing would work.

Bela Lugosi as Dracula in 1931's Universal film.
Universal Pictures

The entire endeavor comes from web designer Matt Kirkland. See, Stoker’s original book was an epistolary novel, a fictional story told entirely through letters, clippings from newspapers, diary entries, etc. In Dracula, the dates fall between May 3 and November 10. Dracula Daily will post a newsletter on the date it corresponds with in the novel. Almost no media adaptation of the book has stuck to this epistolary format. Only Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula film adhered to it.

So what Kirkland is doing is taking the book and converting the entries into a Substack newsletter, with each section sent to your email inbox on the concurrent date in the novel. It’s genius. If you take part in this project, we imagine you’d receive emails from Jonathan Harker, Mina Murray, and Abraham Van Helsing. And maybe some “news alerts” about the fate of the ship Demeter. Because of the unusual format, Stoker’s 1897 novel is often a hard read for modern audiences. But converting the text into a series of emails seems like the perfect way to modernize an outdated format.

You can sign up for Dracula Daily now, and the first entry will appear in your inbox on May 3. Just be sure to check your spam settings. The Lord of Vampires may be “undead,” but he may not take kindly to the indignity of being left “unread.”

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