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Building Castles in the Air: Adaptation and Death in Pere Portabella’s Cuadecuc, vampir

Upon finishing my first reading of Bram Stoker’s Dracula , I remember feeling distinctly underwhelmed. The moonlit, barren castle and shadowy, apocalyptically dreadful figures of my imagination had been replaced by a moralistic plot swamped down in dull, repetitious passages about friendship and perseverance. The characters seemed archaic and stilted – passionate only when serving one of Stoker’s many diatribes. I wanted something more… well, scary. Looking back, it’s hard to tell how great a reflection of the novel this is. If the words describing the Count didn’t frighten me, then it might be because the images they conjure have become so regurgitated in popular culture and in cinema that they have lost any potency. It is a book that degrades over time, constantly and ruthlessly stripped to its bare essentials. Indeed, despite remaining a widely read piece of fiction, the act of adaptation is key to its life and its own vampiric proliferation. Films 59 A testament to this is that the

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