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Dracula & Sherlock Holmes

Date: 10-11-08
Host: Ian Punnett
Guests: Leslie Klinger

Ian was joined by writer Leslie Klinger, one of the world's foremost experts on two major literary icons of the Victorian period, Dracula and Sherlock Holmes. Klinger touched on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective, particularly noting Holmes' habitual use of drugs (cocaine, morphine) to keep him stimulated between cases. Klinger also mentioned some upcoming movies about the crime fighting resident of 221B Baker Street, as well as the theory that Sherlock Holmes was actually a woman.

Klinger spoke about some of the unconsciously psycho-sexual aspects of Bram Stoker's Dracula, and how the image of the vampire has evolved in literature and popular culture over the ages. Originally vampires were hideous walking corpses that prowled the night, he explained, noting how this image changed when nineteenth-century writer John Polidori made the title character of "The Vampyre" a suave British nobleman. In stage plays of the 1920s vampires became even more attractive, and quite unlike the monster with halitosis, pointy ears and hairy palms from Stoker's work, Klinger continued.

Stoker's book is "carefully ambiguous" about the nature and activities of Dracula, Klinger said, pointing out that while Dracula does go after Lucy Westenra and Mina Harker, he does not actually kill anyone. Rather than a being a creature of pure evil, perhaps Dracula is merely misunderstood, he speculated. Klinger also discussed the symbolism of Dracula and the religious emblems that can ward off vampires, as well as discussed Jack the Ripper, theories about who he was, and his connections to the Dracula myth.

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Bumper music from Saturday October 11, 2008

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