This paper analyses Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula as a literary document which reflects important scientific and technological developments of the fin-the-siècle era, ranging from blood transfusion and virology via psychotherapy and psychoanalysis up to brain research and communication technology. These developments not only herald a new style of scientific thinking, but also foreshadow a number of developments still relevant for contemporary culture. In other words, I read Dracula as a window into biomedical and bio-political challenges surfacing in the 1890s, but evolving into major research areas. Rather than seeing science and literature as separate cultures, moreover, Dracula as a case study reveals how techno-scientific and literary developments mutually challenge and mirror one another, so that we may use Stoker’s novel to deepen our understanding of contemporary science-related developments and vice versa. Dracula provides a window into fin-de-siècle research practices, collating various disciplines (haematology, virology, psychotherapy, neurology) into a genealogic Gesamtbild. Thus, Stoker’s novel elucidates the techno-scientific and socio-cultural constellation into which psychoanalysis was born. The common epistemic profile of this maieutic backdrop, I will argue, is that both psychoanalysis and Dracula reflect a triumph of the symbolic over the imaginary as a techno-scientific strategy for coming to terms with the threatening real.
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Addiction Aggression Applied psychoanalysis Architecture Art Body Case study Child analysis Collecting Death death drive desire ethics Fantasy Freud Gaze Identity Institution Institutional Psychotherapy interpretation Jacques Lacan Jouissance Lacan Language Literature Memory Narcissism Object a Oedipus Outsider Art Psychoanalysis Psychose Psychosis Real Repetition Repression Sade Signifier Subject Sublimation Transference Trauma Unconscious Violence Writing