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Parasha: Dracula, November 7th reading

Hey, I actually remembered! Hopefully other people are ready to go too!


Long section is long! This book is going to be a challenge, I think!

Ah, good old Transylvania. It immediately evokes thoughts of the supernatural, but I wonder if there was anything to cement that aside from Dracula itself?

And gee, Harker seems somewhat uneasy after his hosts being frightened for him re: his impending journey, being begged not to go and having religious icons pressed upon him, and pretty much all of the townsfolk looking at him pityingly and crossing themselves and suchlike. You think? (Although you'd also think it might be helpful if some brave soul at least said "yo, don't go there, your host is an evil fiend from hell!" But I guess they're afraid the walls have ears. Which then makes one wonder why they say as much as they do.

(Also, I am once more flashing back to Discworld during one of our Parasha readings, this time to Dontgonearthe Castle.)

And think things like the matched team of black horses are overdoing things just a tad? Eesh.

So, gleaming teeth, red eyes, power over wolves, incredible strength. Check. Must be just a normal schmuck. *cough*

Wow, the "pinch me to see if I'm dreaming" thing is that old? Huh.

"Enter freely and of your own will"? I thought that was supposed to be said TO the vampire. :p And sheesh, all in black. How... stereotypical.

"I have dined already, and I do not sup." Yeah, I guess this time period might still be using the old terms, where dinner was more around lunchtime (although probably creeping later by that point, or even having been replaced maybe in England? I don't know how much of it is time and how much location) while supper would be later in the evening.

"A sufficient substitute"? "full of energy and talent in his own way?" And Harker is thrilled to read this? Easily satisfied, yeesh. Although at least I guess it's better than "he sucks, but it's all I can send you."

Oh good grief. "the children of the night. What music they make!" I was thinking that was something... hyperbolic? Or something. I didn't remember it was a direct quote.

-D? I thought that was his son? (Sorry, anime joke...)

You can tell that this is one of the first of the vampire novels, since Harker would otherwise have a nice little checklist to tick off. Hairy, thick eyebrows, pointed canines, pale, likes the night, doesn't eat or drink, can't be seen in mirrors, controls wolves... are we missing anything? At least he hasn't said "I do not drink... wine...." yet.

Ah, and here we have the mention of garlic, although amongst other things as well. Wonder why that got singled out? Maybe because it's more common than wild rose or mountain ash?

And good grief, what a nasty place to stop. A half-smothered child brought in a sack? Ugh, no wonder the peasants are all fearful and hateful and all. I mean, other than having supernatural creatures living in their midst.

Comments

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stormfeather
Nov. 9th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
I have my Vincent icons, I guess that's close to a vampire icon?
khedron
Nov. 9th, 2011 04:27 am (UTC)
I was surprised by how new some of the things seemed too, but looking, 1897... that's not *so* long ago, right?

"Enter freely and of your own will"? I thought that was supposed to be said TO the vampire. :p

Heh, I had that thought too.

And sheesh, all in black. How... stereotypical.

I was going to say, "But wait, this created the stereotype!", like I would about something now-cheesey from Shakespeare, say. But, wait! Harker refers to vampires in chapter 1, along with werewolves. So this isn't / oughn't be the first ever vampire story, right? Or is the story creating a mythology within itself? Looking.... okay, this here has references going back to the 1730s, or 170 years before, give or take. So I think that by all accounts, Harker should know what's up almost immediately...


I am astounded that so much happens in the first three chapters. He goes there, he realizes he's in a prison, he meets the Three Dames, he sees Dracula scuttling down the side of the tower, he gets his shaving mirror broken because D can't stand it. Damn.

Speaking of which...

-D? I thought that was his son? (Sorry, anime joke...)

Heh!


Edited at 2011-11-09 04:41 am (UTC)
stormfeather
Nov. 9th, 2011 07:09 pm (UTC)
I was surprised by how new some of the things seemed too, but looking, 1897... that's not *so* long ago, right?

Oh, only over a century. :p Not long to Dracula, anyhow...

I think this was not the first vampire story, but probably the one that really drew attention to and kicked off the interest in them, and set up a lot of the tropes. But I'm not sure!
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vizsludraugas
Nov. 22nd, 2011 11:28 am (UTC)
Varney the Vampire is the most famous of the penny dreadfuls about vampires, but before him, you had Polidori's The Vampyre, which got attributed to Byron, who was read by respectable types even though he had a strong whiff of scandal and dis-reputability attached to him.

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