The Great Turks vs. Dracula: Exploring National Identity in Ali Riza Seyfi’s Vlad the Impaler (1928)

Bicakci, Tugce (2014) The Great Turks vs. Dracula: Exploring National Identity in Ali Riza Seyfi’s Vlad the Impaler (1928). In: Locating the Gothic Conference and Festival, 2014-10-22 - 2014-10-25, Mary Immaculate College and Limerick School of Art and Design. (Unpublished)

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The most popular vampire story of all time, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), has been frequently adapted in several mediums in Judeo-Christian countries. However, when Dracula travelled to Turkey, only thirty years after Stoker wrote it, a new impulse was given to Dracula’s story which has never been fully analysed either in Western Dracula studies or in Turkish literature studies. This paper discusses Ali Riza Seyfi’s novel adaptation of Dracula, Vlad the Impaler (1928), in terms of its representation of Turkish national identity in the 1920’s through the Gothic genre and the vampire figure. In the paper, I will specifically be referring to Stephen D. Arata’s article “The Occidental Tourist: Dracula and the Anxiety of Reverse Colonization” (1990) and argue that the adaptation reflects Arata’s idea of ‘reverse-colonisation’, but as two-sided. While Arata claims that Dracula is the face of the dangerous East which Britain tries to colonise, Seyfi sees Dracula as the embodiment of dangerous West who tries to colonise his lands in the World War I as well as the avenger of Wallachians who were once colonised by the Ottoman troops. Seyfi’s novel serves not only as an inception point for the birth of the Gothic genre in Turkey but also as an embodiment of Turkish nationalism on which the fears and desires of Turkish people of the post-war era were depicted through the vampire figure.

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Contribution to Conference (Paper)
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Locating the Gothic Conference and Festival
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27 Jan 2016 11:58
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15 Jul 2024 08:28