Blurb: Powers of Darkness is an incredible literary discovery: In 1900, Icelandic publisher and writer Valdimar Ásmundsson set out to translate Bram Stoker’s world-famous 1897 novel Dracula. Called Makt Myrkranna (literally, “Powers of Darkness”), this Icelandic edition included an original preface written by Stoker himself. Makt Myrkranna was published in Iceland in 1901 but remained undiscovered outside of the country until 1986, when Dracula scholarship was astonished by the discovery of Stoker’s preface to the book. However, no one looked beyond the preface and deeper into Ásmundsson’s story.In 2014, literary researcher Hans de Roos dove into the full text of Makt Myrkranna, only to discover that Ásmundsson hadn’t merely translated Dracula but had penned an entirely new version of the story, with all new characters and a totally re-worked plot. The resulting narrative is one that is shorter, punchier, more erotic, and perhaps even more suspenseful than Stoker’s Dracula. Incredibly, Makt Myrkranna has never been translated or even read outside of Iceland until now.
Powers of Darkness presents the first ever translation into English of Stoker and Ásmundsson’s Makt Myrkranna. With marginal annotations by de Roos providing readers with fascinating historical, cultural, and literary context; a foreword by Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker’s great-grandnephew and bestselling author; and an afterword by Dracula scholar John Edgar Browning, Powers of Darkness will amaze and entertain legions of fans of Gothic literature, horror, and vampire fiction.
Christine's review: This is an Icelandic rewrite of Dracula, or shall we say, fanfiction. It's been some years since I've actually read the original, so I can't speak on a lot of differences. Definitely there is more focus on Harker and the blonde bride in the castle, and a lot more description of the castle itself. It's not at all erotic or romantic. The Count is portrayed as more evil, but the last third is more of a synopsis than anything else. What I found I enjoyed a lot more than I expected was the introduction and the notes in the margins of the story itself with all the history, interesting Stoker and Asmundsson facts, and translation reasons. So while the rewrite wasn't all I had hoped for, the book as a whole is well put together.
Sounds interesting. I bought Dracula when I was about 10 years old, but it was waayy over my head. LOL. Thanks for the review of this take on it.ReplyDelete
I find it fun to go back and reread books that I read many years ago and see how my perception of them has changed. :)Delete
Hi Christine - I think I'd thoroughly enjoy reading this ... it sounds so interesting - thanks for highlighting it for us. I've made a note to read/listen to at some stage ... All the best - HilaryReplyDelete
Hi Hilary! Thanks for dropping by. I think you'll really like all the history references. It's fascinating.Delete
I'm not into "fan" fiction, but still this sounds fascinating. I'm just surprised that Bram Stoker himself did an introduction to the book since much of it seems to have been taken from his novel. Interesting, though.ReplyDelete
I felt reading some of the notes that maybe Stoker wanted this particular rewrite and directed Asmundsson in that way.Delete
Cool! And it must have been a fun treat to read those margin notes.ReplyDelete
It was! I love seeing all the things writers dig up while they're researching. :)Delete