Powers of Darkness by Bram Stoker

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Powers of Darkness by Bram Stoker

Jun 21, 2020, 11:22am

Centipede Press is proud to announce the forthcoming publication of Powers of Darkness, the first complete translation of a Swedish version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which appeared in a Swedish newspaper in 1899-1900. The book has been translated by Rickard Berghorn and edited by S. T. Joshi and Martin Andersson. This title is in production, and will be published in January 2022.

At almost 300,000 words, Powers of Darkness (Mörkrets makter) is almost twice as long as the standard text of Dracula published in 1897. In addition, it contains numerous scenes not included in the 1897 text, along with a new ending and significant alterations of character names (Jonathan Harker becomes Thomas Harker; Dracula himself is referred to as Mavros Draculitz). This edition of Powers of Darkness should not be confused with a book of the same title published by Abrams in 2017, which was an English translation of a highly truncated Icelandic translation of Dracula that is about half the length of the 1897 text.

There is a strong possibility that this version of Dracula was founded on an early version of the novel that found its way to Sweden in the 1890s. This version does not survive in English, and Berghorn in his lengthy introduction makes a plausible conjecture as to who the Swedish translator could have been. The translator may have added scenes and episodes to the text (especially passages where it is suggested that Dracula is conducting a fascist political conspiracy).

The text has been translated by Rickard Berghorn, a leading Swedish scholar and publisher of weird fiction, and edited by S. T. Joshi and Martin Andersson, who are both experts on the weird fiction of the turn of the 20th century. As John Edgar Browning has written: “Mörkrets makter (Powers of Darkness) is among the most important discoveries in Dracula’s long history.” Now, more than a century after its initial publication, it appears unabridged in English for the first time.

Jun 21, 2020, 12:43pm

Difficult to know what to make of this one. It certainly has high curiosity value and is possibly a must buy for Stoker enthusiasts if they don’t turn up their noses at the alleged ‘improvements’ made by the original Swedish translator. The size of the thing is a bit of a put-off as I think our own revered version is overlong and somewhat tedious anyway. I can’t help feeling this is something of a joke but given a set of good illustrations of the new material and at the right price it might be worth taking seriously but I’m not sure I can find the space for another fat tome on my bookshelf.

Jun 21, 2020, 2:43pm

If there was a general consensus that Bram Stoker wrote a longer draft that was subsequently shortened by his editor for publication, and that shortened version is what I and everyone else has read, this would be very intriguing. However, if this longer version is simply the work of some enthusiast or overzealous translator, in modern parlance, wouldn't it just be the original augmented with "fan fiction"?

Jun 23, 2020, 5:09am

It's basically someone reading Dracula and saying "hey! I can do better"


Powers of Darkness is an incredible literary discovery: In 1900, Icelandic publisher and writer Valdimar Ásmundsson set out to translate Bram Stoker’s world-famous 1897 novel Dracula. Called Makt Myrkranna (literally, “Powers of Darkness”), this Icelandic edition included an original preface written by Stoker himself. Makt Myrkranna was published in Iceland in 1901 but remained undiscovered outside of the country until 1986, when Dracula scholarship was astonished by the discovery of Stoker’s preface to the book. However, no one looked beyond the preface and deeper into Ásmundsson’s story.In 2014, literary researcher Hans de Roos dove into the full text of Makt Myrkranna, only to discover that Ásmundsson hadn’t merely translated Dracula but had penned an entirely new version of the story, with all new characters and a totally re-worked plot. The resulting narrative is one that is shorter, punchier, more erotic, and perhaps even more suspenseful than Stoker’s Dracula. Incredibly, Makt Myrkranna has never been translated or even read outside of Iceland until now.Powers of Darkness presents the first ever translation into English of Stoker and Ásmundsson’s Makt Myrkranna. With marginal annotations by de Roos providing readers with fascinating historical, cultural, and literary context; a foreword by Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker’s great-grandnephew and bestselling author; and an afterword by Dracula scholar John Edgar Browning, Powers of Darkness will amaze and entertain legions of fans of Gothic literature, horror, and vampire fiction.