Although it is rather a subjective idea, “literary merit” essentially means the really worth, quality, or excellence of the writing in accordance with other well-renowned literary masterpieces. In a Constitutional framework, the absence or presence of literary advantage would determine the government’s limits to freedom of expression. To enjoy literary advantage would mean the work is not indecent. The milestone case of Miller versus California enumerates key recommendations to ascertain the literary merit of a particular text, to wit:

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1) Whether the person with average skills, applying modern-day community requirements would realize that the work, as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest…

2)  Whether the work describes or explains, in a patently offensive method, sexual perform specifically defined by the applicable state rules, and

3)  Whether the task, taken as a whole lacks serious fictional, artistic, personal or scientific value.

(Miller vs . Cal, 37 T. Ed. 2nd 419, 431 (1973))

Fundamentally speaking, in different framework, to obtain literary worth is to have got value.

The popularity of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula features reached this kind of endemic ratios that it have been claimed to be the most recognized book next towards the Bible.

A Victorian novel with all the distinctive medieval appeal toward the sombre, Dracula has undeniably get a classic motorola milestone phone in apprehension fiction. Establishing its literary merit yet , is a different matter. An overview from The Athenaeum, an influential periodical in Victorian England referred to the novel as “sensational. ” The review further states:

Dracula is highly sensational, but it can be wanting in the constructive artwork as well as in the greater literary feeling. It scans at times such as a mere series of grotesquely amazing events; yet there are better moments that show more electric power, though possibly these are hardly ever productive with the tremor this kind of subjects stir up under the side of a learn. (The Athenaeum, 26 June 1897). Emphasis supplied.

The unremitting sequence of the strange, the gross and the great, as described in the review, would seem tantamount to a lack of refinement in the “higher literary sense. ” This declaration was supplemented by another review of a similar sentiment:

The plot is too complicated for reproduction, but it really says not any little pertaining to the author’s power that despite its absurdities the reader can follow the story with fascination to the end. It is, however , an artsy mistake to fill a complete volume with horrors. A little the strange, the awful, or the supernatural is much more effective and credible. (Manchester Guardian, 15 June 1897). Emphasis delivered.

As interpreted, instead of counting on the brains of the target audience to grasp by themselves the significance of subtle technicalities and take in the various alterations and changes in the tale as it advances, Stoker quickly and unceasingly bombards someone with and lots of of manifiesto and stunning horrific views as if someone is too untrustworthy and unsophisticated to deal with subtleties.

If there seems to be tiny literary advantage in the perceptive or academic sense, Dracula is still awarded for its common allure. The Pall Shopping center Gazette, in a commentary of Dracula says:

…the history deals with the Vampire California king, and it is terrible and scary to the last degree. It is additionally excellent, and one of the best issues in the supernatural line that we have been fortunate enough to hit upon. (Pall Shopping mall Gazette, you June 1897). Emphasis provided.

The universal allure of Dracula is most likely in its resurrection of the goule lore within a straightforward, sensible and illustrative fashion. A vivid and uncomplicated quotation from the story confirms this kind of: � “I shall stop her head and load her mouth with garlic, and I shall drive a stake through her body” (Stoker, 261). The novel’s refreshing convenience is also confirmed in the following review:

 Here, for the most up-to-date example, is usually Mr. Bram Stoker ingesting hand the old-world legend of the Were-wolf or goule, with all the weird and exciting groups of blood-sucking and human flesh devouring, and interweaving it while using threads of the long tale with a great earnestness, a directness, and a simple good faith which must go considerably to induce readers of fiction to surrender their very own imaginations in to the novelist’s hands. (The Daily News, 28 May 1897). Emphasis delivered.

While Bram Stoker’s Dracula is bad in literary refinement, that non-etheless is recognized as to have fictional merit by virtue of the fact it captures male’s imagination. That certainly has value for having the extraordinary ability to fascinate multitudes across period. Ultimately, their worth, quality or superiority is confirmed by the ceaseless recognition.

Works Mentioned


Callier, Elizabeth. Bram Stoker’s Dracula: A Documented Volume. Detroit: Gale, 2004.

Stoker, Bram. Dracula. Greater london: Penguin Catalogs, 1994.

Articles or blog posts

“Dracula. ” The Athenaeum 26 Summer 1897: 235.

“Dracula. ” The Daily News 28 May 1897.

“Dracula, by simply Bram Stoker. ” Manchester Guardian 12-15 June 1897.

“For Night time Reading. ” Pall Shopping mall Gazette you June 1897.


Burns vs . California, 37 M. Ed. next 419, 431 (1973).


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