Reading Dracula

09.29.09 | 25 Comments

One advantage Dracula has over Infinite Jest (at least from our perspective): it is broken up into actual chapters, of roughly equal length. Thus, we can provide a schedule without having to resort or page numbers or Kindle locations. Thanks, Bram!

Each row in the table below shows a date followed by the chapter you should have finished by that date.

Date Chapter Completed
Fri, 10/02 Chapter 1: Jonathan Harker’s Journal
Sat, 10/03 Chapter 3: Jonathan Harker’s Journal
Sun, 10/04 Chapter 4: Jonathan Harker’s Journal
Mon, 10/05 Chapter 5: Letter From Miss Mina Murray To Miss Lucy Westenra
Tue, 10/06 Chapter 6: Mina Murray’s Journal
Wed, 10/07 Chapter 7: Cutting From “The Dailygraph”, 8 August
Thu, 10/08 Chapter 8: Mina Murray’s Journal
Fri, 10/09 Chapter 9: Letter, Mina Harker To Lucy Westenra
Sun, 10/11 Chapter 10: Letter, Dr. Seward To Hon. Arthur Holmwood
Mon, 10/12 Chapter 11 Lucy Westenra’s Diary
Tue, 10/13 Chapter 12: Dr. Seward’s Diary
Wed, 10/14 Chapter 13: Dr. Seward’s Diary
Thu, 10/15 Chapter 14: Mina Harker’s Journal
Sat, 10/17 Chapter 15 Dr. Seward’s Diary
Sun, 10/18 Chapter 16: Dr. Seward’s Diary
Mon, 10/19 Chapter 17 Dr. Seward’s Diary
Tue, 10/20 Chapter 18: Dr. Seward’s Diary
Wed, 10/21 Chapter 19: Jonathan Harker’s Journal
Thu, 10/22 Chapter 20: Jonathan Harker’s Journal
Fri, 10/23 Chapter 21: Dr. Seward’s Diary
Sun, 10/25 Chapter 22: Jonathan Harker’s Journal
Mon, 10/26 Chapter 23 Dr. Seward’s Diary
Tue, 10/27 Chapter 24: Dr. Seward’s Phonograph Diary
Wed, 10/28 Chapter 25: Dr. Seward’s Diary
Thu, 10/29 Chapter 26: Dr. Seward’s Diary
Sat, 10/31 Chapter 27: Mina Harker’s Journal

So, for example, you should have finished chapter 20 on Thursday, October 22nd.

Note the absence of “Dracula’s Guest”, which appeared in the manuscript as the first chapter but was excised from the published novel. Some editions include this chapter and you are welcome to read it, but I’m afraid you’ll have to do so on your own time. (You can read “Dracula’s Guest” online here.)

In the forums, someone asked “Is there an edition that we’ll consider canon?” Not canon, per se, but the three Guides (whom we’ll announce tomorrow, by the way) we all be reading Simon & Schuster’s Dracula: Enriched Classics Series. But please feel free to read whatever edition you prefer.

Speaking of which …

Another advantage Dracula has over contemporary novels is that it is in the public domain, and is free for anyone to read, publish, or adapt. And fortunately for us, we have Jonathan McNicol on board to do just that. Jonathan designed and writes for Chip Kidd’s website Good is Dead, and is a contributor to the group culture blog clusterflock. He has also, for the last year or so, been creating web-readable editions of classic novel and publishing them to his site Never mind that; never mind that now. He previously created beautifully typeset versions of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Stolen White Elephant, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds. He is currently serializing Ulysses.

Over the course of October, Jonathan will be supplying us with Dracula in PDF form, chapter by chapter. If you’d like to see a sneak peek of Chapter 1, you can find it here.

Chapter 1, from Jonathan McNicol

If you are allergic to PDFs, you can read a plain text version of Dracula here.