The fall portion of the 2020-2021 The Trouble Begins Lecture Series presented by the Center for Mark Twain Studies begins Wednesday, October 7, with “Mark Twain Meets Dracula,” presented by author Mark Dawidziak. The lecture is free and will be available to the public on marktwainstudies.org.
Does Mark Twain make a cameo appearance in Dracula, Bram Stoker’s landmark horror novel published in May 1897? Is he lurking somewhere in the shadows of that incredible 161,000-word book? Is there a moment in this epic vampire tale when main-street Hannibal intersects with the Borgo Pass? Well, at the very least, best evidence suggests that the reports of Mark Twain being mentioned in the novel are not greatly exaggerated. Dawidziak, whose many books include Mark My Words: Mark Twain on Writing and The Bedside, Bathtub and Armchair Companion to Dracula, will examine this bloody intriguing literary mystery, as well as the long friendship shared by Twain and Stoker, in this expanded version of the paper he delivered at the Eighth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies in 2017. Five of Dawidziak’s books are about Mark Twain, but several of his books, non-fiction and fiction, fall on the spooky side of the street. The combination makes this an ideal talk for Quarry Farm and the Halloween season.
Dawidziak is the author or editor of about 25 books, including five about Mark Twain. He has given papers at the last five International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College and has three times before given a “Trouble Begins” at lecture at Quarry Farm. He also has been portraying Mark Twain on stage for more than 40 years. The many books on the spooky side of his resume include The Night Stalker Companion, The Bedside, Bathtub and Armchair Companion to Dracula, Everything I Need to Know I Learned in the Twilight Zone, and the horror novel Grave Secrets.
About The Trouble Begins Lecture Series – In 1984, the Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies initiated a lecture series, The Trouble Begins at Eight lecture series. The title came from the handbill advertising Mark Twain’s October 2, 1866 lecture presented at Maguire’s Academy of Music in San Francisco. The first lectures were presented in 1985. By invitation, Mark Twain scholars present lectures in the fall and spring of each year, in the Barn at Quarry Farm or at Peterson Chapel in Cowles Hall on Elmira College’s campus. All lectures are free and open to the public.