The children of the night, what tuneful tones!
In the May 2017 issue of Locus, Stefan Dziemianowicz reviews an alternative (or “lost”) version of Bram Stoker’s classic vampire novel, Dracula. Published in Iceland(!) in the early 1900s, with the title Powers of Darkness (Makt Myrkranna), it differs from the traditional edition of Dracula published in England in 1897, in ways both small and large. The post title is the PoD quote better known in English as “Listen to them, the children of the night – what music they make!” The events in London are compressed into fewer chapters, while a Europe-wide conspiracy of the elites lead by the Count is added. But, the Icelandic edition boasts an introduction written by Bram Stoker himself for its publication, so it bears some level of authenticity.
For Dracula scholars, then, the question comes what text was the basis for the Icelandic version? An earlier draft, from which Stoker removed many of the “potboiler” political thriller elements and characters? Stoker’s wife published the story “Dracula’s Guest” as a chapter edited out of the final draft, but vampire fiction students speculate that it, too, is part of an earlier draft and not the final manuscript. So, horror fans may take an interest in this (possibly earlier) take on the iconic vampire of modern literature to glean insight into how the Count arose from the fertile ground of Bram Stoker’s imagination to stalk our nights.