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Parasha: Dracula, November 16th reading


The undertakers... igh! "A credit to our establishment"? Granted, I'm sure she doesn't know he was in love with her and all, but still!

I can only imagine how puzzling all this must have been to someone who didn't really know about vampires and hadn't read the (relatively little, compared to today) stuff already written about them. All the talk of cutting off the head, the garlic flowers, the crucifix...Then again, I wonder just how much vampires and their legends may have already passed into common knowledge, and how much background the average reader would have been expected to have. I mean, there have been superstitions about them for aaaages, so....

I wonder what's "wrong" with Jonathon walking and holding Mina's arm? Huh.

And Mina and Jonathan just happen to bump into the Count. And luckily Dracula doesn't notice them, after Jonathan's escape...

Sheesh, and Mina doesn't even wonder how Lucy came to die? Oooh, right, I'd forgotten that she was "ill" when Mina left her.

Hah, "She [America] will be a power in the world indeed."

Ah, poor poor Seward. He thinks his story is all done with, and he can close out his diary because it's all the end. Poor Seward.

What the hell is a "bloofer lady"? I can't figure that one out!

Huh, from the way Seward describes Van Helsing (and from Van Helsing's own speech) he's an old man, but from the way Mina describes him he's not so old yet.

And Abraham Van Helsing? I wonder if he's an author insert, or something? Or if Stoker just felt some kinship with him and decided to give him his name, or what?

Huh, okay, turtles I know live loooong, but parrots I think only have the same lifespan as mankind more or less, and elephants less? Hrm, wiki Pete says elephants "typically live for 50 to 70 years, but the oldest recorded elephant lived for 82 years." So also vaguely around man's lifespan. I guess maybe that's long enough for an animal to seem mystical and endless? Especially an exotic species that most people probably wouldn't have much contact with at the time? And the bit about toads... really now.

And great, now suddenly in my mind I hear singing.... "Lucy Westenra's dead (undead undead undead!)"

And now things begin to be explained (not that us modern readers needed as much explaining), and the young (and older) adventurers go forth... to the tomb! *dun dun dun!*

Comments

( 8 Notes — Write a Footnote )
khedron
Nov. 17th, 2011 05:06 am (UTC)
Quickly, before Time Warner hiccups again...

Bloofer lady: I thought it was kind of goofy, but didn't think much of it one way or another until you brought it up. A web search turns up pages like this, which repeats what seems to be a vague consensus that it's very-young-child-speak for "beautiful lady". Huh! OK, I guess I'll buy it.

Abraham Van Helsing: I only found out that "Bram" was short for Abraham this morning when I looked him up to verify that he wasn't secretly a woman writing with a man's name. Could definitely be authorial insert, he has all the answers.

I wonder what's "wrong" with Jonathon walking and holding Mina's arm? Huh.

Maybe it's because they're supposed to act like an old married couple and be proper in public?

Ah, poor poor Seward. He thinks his story is all done with, and he can close out his diary because it's all the end. Poor Seward.

I liked that bit. Actually, I liked a lot of the bits here -- I'm really enjoying reading through this. I want to see a movie or two again, because I don't think they hit the same notes. We've spent a lot of time (several chapters, months of book time) without seeing Dracula directly, but instead following the trail of his influence (the zoo) or watching him via the effect he has on Lucy. I generally think it's best to portray the Evil Bad Guy in books, because it seems like so often when you get to see them more closely, they turn out to be pathetically wretched instead of malignant & frightening. (Frightening: Sauron. Pathetic: Every Forsaken in the Jordan books, once you get to know them.) So, anyway, I like that we're only seeing Dracula at a remove. And I like Mina. Hopefully she'll keep doing things even though her guy is back in town (and no longer disabled).
khedron
Nov. 17th, 2011 05:07 am (UTC)
stormfeather
Nov. 17th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
Huh, I... guess? Although I'm not convinced that "bloofer" is such a natural mis-speaking of "beautiful" for kids. That's me, the cynic.

And yes, indirect Dracula. Aside from being a cool band name, it's... effective!

And at least he's not emo'ing all over the place about oh woe is him, and his unlife is so tragic and all.
vizsludraugas
Nov. 22nd, 2011 11:03 am (UTC)
Try to think of it with a Cockney accent. (Well, what we Yanks think of as a Cockney accent, anyway.)
stormfeather
Nov. 22nd, 2011 06:13 pm (UTC)
Somewhat more plausible, but still...

I dunno, maybe I'm just being picky.
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vizsludraugas
Nov. 22nd, 2011 11:25 am (UTC)
A lot of the vampire backstory most of us have in our heads was created by stoker. There's a fair amount of it in the book that would have made Transylvanians of the time scratch their heads in puzzlement.

There were earlier English legends of something like a vampire, written down by folks like William of Newburgh, but the creatures described in them were very different.

The thing I most love about this is Van Helsing ordering garlic from Amsterdam. What, you couldn't find any in London?
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