Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, March 30, 2013

"The Spectre of Doom" by Bram Stoker

"The Spectre of Doom" by Bram Stoker  (1881, 5 pages)

March 1 to April 7

Bram Stoker

Whether you love it or deplore it or find its power confusing, you can thank an Irish short story writer, Bram Stoker (1847 to 1912) for getting the world's fascination with vampires started.    He might not have been the first author to use a vampire as a central character but it is to him the credit belongs through his Dracula. If you have not yet read Dracula, it really is a fascinating book.   Stoker also wrote a number of paranormal short stories.  Last year during ISSW2 I posted on his story "The Gypsy Prophecy".  I feel I should not wind down ISSW3 without posting on a story by Stoker.

"Can somebody explain why
it took an American to write
the best Leprechaun story?"
"The Spectre of Doom" is written in a prose style similar to that of Lord Dunsany.   It is set in an ancient past in an unknown place.   As the story opens we meed a young orphaned girl whose father died long ago and her mother recently.  She survives by making flowers out of paper and selling them. Her temperament is so angelic that the birds love her and often come into her humble room to keep her company and sing.  The bullies of the community, knowing she has no one to protect her, bully and mock her, calling her "Big bird" (OK I know what this brings to mind now but try to block it out!).   One day she sees a giant form over the city.  She tells others about it but she is the only one who has seen it.  She is treated as if she is mad.    She meets a very old blind man.  His appearance is that of your classic wizard looking blind old man type with long flowing white hair and beard.   He believes the girl and they become very close.

The invisible giant is plague and the old man knows that.  Soon the giant comes into the city and more and more people begin to die.  It seems as if the whole city is under a spectre of doom from which there is no escape.   The giant does consent to leave the city but only after a great sacrifice is made.

This story and lots others by Stoker can be read here.

"Bram Stoker, a decent writer but my Daddy  Mr
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu had the
whole idea first"-Carmilla

Mel u

1 comment:

Maria said...

Bram Stoker is an amazing horror writer.Though, Dracula is my second favorite after The Jewel of Seven Stars