Book by Stoker Bram
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From the Introduction
By Joan Acocella
'Unclean, unclean!' Mina Harker screams, gathering her bloodied nightgown around her. In Chapter 21 of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Mina's friend John Seward, a psychiatrist in Purfleet, Essex, tells how he and a colleague, warned that Mina might be in danger, broke into her bedroom one night and found her kneeling on the edge of her bed. Bending over her was a tall figure, dressed in black.
His right hand gripped her by the back of the neck, forcing her face down on his bosom. Her white nightdress was smeared with blood, and a thin stream trickled down the man's bare breast which was shown by his torn-open dress. The attitude of the two had a terrible resemblance to a child forcing a kitten's nose into a saucer of milk to compel it to drink.
Mina's husband, Jonathan, lay on the bed, unconscious, a few inches from the scene of his wife's violation.
Later, between sobs, Mina relates what happened. She was in bed with Jonathan when a strange mist crept into the room. Soon, it congealed into the figure of a man — Count Dracula.
With a mocking smile, he placed one hand upon my shoulder and, holding me tight, bared my throat with the other, saying as he did so: 'First, a little refreshment to reward my exertions...' And oh, my God, my God, pity me! He placed his reeking lips upon my throat!
The Count took a long drink. Then he drew back, and spoke sweet words to Mina. 'Flesh of my flesh', he called her, 'my bountiful wine-press'. But now he wanted something else. He wanted her in his power from then on. A person who has had his — or, more often, her — blood sucked repeatedly by a vampire turns into a vampire too, but the conversion can be accomplished more quickly if the victim also sucks the vampire's blood. And so, Mina says,
he pulled open his shirt, and with his long sharp nails opened a vein in his breast. When the blood began to spurt out, he ... seized my neck and pressed my mouth to the wound, so that I must either suffocate or swallow some of the — Oh, my God!
The unspeakable happened — she sucked his blood, at his breast — at which point her friends stormed into the room. Dracula vanished, and, Seward relates, Mina uttered 'a scream so wild, so ear-piercing, so despairing ... that it will ring in my ears to my dying day'.
That scene, and Stoker's whole novel, is still ringing in our ears. Stoker did not invent vampires. If we define them, broadly, as the undead — spirits who rise, embodied, from their graves to torment the living — they have been part of human imagining since ancient times. Eventually, vampire superstition became concentrated in Eastern Europe. (It survives there today. In 2007, a Serbian named Miroslav Milosevic — no relation — drove a stake into the grave of Slobodan Milosevic.) It was presumably in Easter Europe that people worked out what became the standard methods for eliminating a vampire: you drive a wooden stake through his heart, or cut off his head, or burn him — or, to be on the safe side, all three. In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, there were outbreaks of vampire hysteria in Western Europe; numerous stakings were reported in Germany. By 1734, the word 'vampire' had entered the English language. In 1750 the first scholarly treatise on the subject appeared — the work of Dom Augustin Calmet, a French Benedictine monk who devoutly believed in these monsters.
In those days, vampires were grotesque creatures. Often, they were pictured as bloated and purple-faced (from drinking blood); they had long talons and wore dirty shrouds and smelled terrible — a description probably based on the appearance of corpses whose tombs had been opened by worried villagers. These early undead did not necessarily draw blood. Often, they just did regular mischief — stole firewood, scared horses. (Sometimes, they helped with the housework.) Their origins, too, were often quaint. Matthew Beresford, in his recent book From Demons to Dracula: The Creation of the Modern Vampire Myth, records a Serbian Gypsy belief that pumpkins, if kept for more than ten days, may cross over: 'The gathered pumpkins stir all by themselves and make a sound like "brrl, brrl, brrl!" and begin to shake themselves.' Then they become vampires. This is not yet the suave, opera-cloaked fellow of our modern mythology. That figure emerged in the early nineteenth century, a child of the Romantic movement.
In the summer of 1816, Lord Byron, fleeing marital difficulties, was holed up in a villa on Lake Geneva. With him was his personal physician, John Polidori, and nearby, in another house, his friend Persy Bysshe Shelley; Shelley's mistress, Mary Godwin; and Mary's stepsister Clair Clairmont, was angling for Byron's attention (with reason: she was pregnant by him). The weather that summer was cold and rainy. The friends spent hours in Byron's drawing room, talking. One night, they read on another ghost stories, which were very popular at the time, and Byron suggested that they all right ghost stories of their own. Shelley and Clairmont produced nothing. Byron began a story and then laid it aside. But the remaining members of the summer party went to their desks and created the most enduring figures of the modern horror genre. Mary Godwin, eighteen years old, began her novel Frankenstein (1818), and John Polidori, apparently following a sketch that Byron had written for his abandoned story, wrote The Vampyre: A Tale (1819). In Polidori's narrative, the undead villain is a proud, handsome aristocrat, fatal to women. (Some say that Polidori based the character on Byron.) He's interested only in virgins; he sucks their necks; they die; he lives. The modern vampire was born.
The public adored him. In England and France, Polidori's tale spawned popular plays, operas, and operettas. Vampire novels appeared, the most widely read being James Malcolm Rymer's Varney the Vampire, serialized between 1845 and 1847. Varney was a penny dreadful, and faithful to the genre. ('Shriek followed shriek....Her beautifully rounded limbs quivered with the agony of her soul....He drags her head to the bed's edge.') After Varney came Carmilla (1872), by Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu, an Irish ghost-story writer. Carmilla was the mother of vampire bodice-rippers. It also gave birth to the lesbian vampire story — in time, a plentiful subgenre. 'Her hot lips traveled along my cheek in kisses,' the female narrator writes, 'and she would whisper, almost in sobs, "You are mine, you shall be mine."' Varney and Carmilla were low-end hits, but vampires penetrated high literature as well. Baudelaire wrote a poem, and Théophile Gautier a prose poem, on the subject.
Then came Bram (Abraham) Stoker. Stoker was a civil servant who fell in love with theatre in his native Dublin. In 1878, he moved to London to become the business manager of the Lyceum Theatre, owned by his idol, the actor Henry Irving. On the side, Stoker wrote thrillers, one about a curse-wielding mummy, one about a giant homicidal worm, and so on. Several of these books are in print, but they probably wouldn't be if it were not for the fame — and the afterlife — of Stoker's fourth novel, Dracula (1897). Dracula was not an immediate success. Its star rose only later, once it was adapted for the stage and the movies. The first English Dracula play, by Hamilton Deane, opened in 1924 and was a sensation. The American production (1927), with a script revised by John. L. Balderston and with Bela Lugosi in the title role, was even more popular. Ladies were carried, fainting, from the theatre. Meanwhile, the films had begun appearing: notably, F. W. Murnau's silent Nosferatu (1922), which many critics still consider the greatest of Dracula movies, and then Tod Browning's Dracula (1931), the first vampire talkie, with Lugosi navigating among the spider webs and intoning the famous words 'I do not drink...wine.' (That line is not in the book. It was written for Browning's movie.) Lugosi stamped the image of Dracula forever, and it stamped him. Thereafter, this ambitious Hungarian actor had a hard time getting non-monstrous roles. He spent many years as a drug addict. He was buries in his Dracula cloak.
From that point to the present, there have been more than 140 Dracula movies. Roman Polanski, Andy Warhol, Werner Herzog, and Francis Ford Coppola all made films about the Count. There are subgenres of Dracula movies: comedy, pornography, blaxploitation, anime. After film, television, of course, took on vampires. Dark Shadows in the 1960s and Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the '90s were both big hits. Meanwhile, the undead have had a long life in fiction. The most important entrant in the late twentieth century was Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire (1976), with its numerous sequels. Rice's heir was Stephenie Meyer, with her series of four Twilight novels, which, born in 2005, have sold an astonishing 85 million copies and generated a number of even more profitable movies. A runner-up was Charlaine Harris's collection of Sookie Stackhouse novels ( Dead Until Dark and its sequels), about the passion of a Louisiana barmaid for a handsome revenant named Bill, and what she wore on each of their dates. This series, too, sold in the millions, and it spawned a television series called True Blood, with copious blood. In 2009 Dutton published Dracula: The Un-dead, co-authored by the fragrantly named Dacre Stoker (reportedly a great-grandnephew of Bram). It made the New York Times's extended best-seller list.
Outside the mass media, as well, Dracula has had a strong following. There is a Transylvanian Society of Dracula, based in Bucharest, with chapters in several other countries. If you travel to Romania there are several Dracula-country tours you can take. (The Count has been a gold mine for the post-Ceausescu tourist industry.) Even if you go only as far as Whitby, the English seaside resort where, in Stoker's book, Dracula begins his Western campaign, you can have the 'Dracula Experience', an excursion through the sites of his malefactions there. On a blurred borderline with the fan action is vampire scholarship. In the 1920s, the English historian Montague Summers, a Roman Catholic priest (or, some say, a man impersonating a priest), published The Vampire: His Kith and Kin and The Vampire in Europe, obsessively detailed books that at times seem aimed not so much to inform readers as to give them bad dreams. At one point, Summers quotes a nineteenth-century source on ho certain Australian tribes treat their sick with the blood of the healthy. The latter open a vein in their forearms and let the blood run into a bowl: 'It is generally taken in a raw state by the invalid, who lifts it to his mouth like jelly between his fingers and his thumb.' Like Calmet, Summers believed in the existence of vampires, and pitied people who didn't.
Later scholars, free of Christian faith, have bent the material to newer orthodoxies. In the mid-twentieth century, Freudian critics, addressing Stoker's novel, did what Freudians did at the time. More recently, postmodern critics, intent instead on politics — race, sex, and gender — have feasted at the table. Representative essays include Christopher Craft's '"Kiss Me with Thos Red Lips": Gender and Inversion in Bram Stoker's Dracula', Stephen D. Arata's 'The Occidental Tourist: Dracula and the Anxiety of Reverse Colonization', and Talia Schaffer's '"A Wilde Desire Took Me": The Homoerotic History of Dracula'. There is a Journal of Dracula Studies.
What is all this about? One could say that Dracula, like certain other works — Alice in Wonderland, the Sherlock Holmes stories — is a cult favorite. But why does it have a cult? Well, cults often gather around powerful works of popular art. Fans feel that they have to root for them. What, then, is the source of Dracula's power? A simple device, used in many notable works of art: the deployment of great and volatile forces within a very tight structure.
Jonathan Harker’s Journal
(Kept in shorthand.)
3 May. Bistritz.1–Left Munich at 8:35 p. m., on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse which I got of it from the train and the little I could walk through the streets. I feared to go very far from the station, as we arrived late and would start as near the correct time as possible. The impression I had was that we were leaving the West and entering the East; the most western of splendid bridges over the Danube,2 which is here of noble width and depth, took us among the traditions of Turkish rule.
We left in pretty good time, and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh.3 Here I stopped for the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner, or rather supper, a chicken done up some way with red pepper, which was very good but thirsty. (Mem., get recipe for Mina.) I asked the waiter, and he said it was called “paprika hendl,” and that, as it was a national dish, I should be able to get it anywhere along the Carpathians.4 I found my smattering of German very useful here; indeed, I don’t know how I should be able to get on without it.
Having had some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the British Museum,5 and made search among the books and maps in the library regarding Transylvania: it had struck me that some foreknowledge of the country could hardly fail to have some importance in dealing with a nobleman of that country. I find that the district he named is in the extreme east of the country, just on the borders of three states, Transylvania, Moldavia and Bukovina,6 in the midst of the Carpathian mountains; one of the wildest and least known portions of Europe. I was not able to light on any map or work giving the exact locality of the Castle Dracula, as there are no maps of this country as yet to compare with our own Ordnance Survey maps;7 but I found that Bistritz, the post town named by Count Dracula, is a fairly well-known place. I shall enter here some of my notes, as they may refresh my memory when I talk over my travels with Mina.
In the population of Transylvania there are four distinct nationalities: Saxons in the South, and mixed with them the Wallachs, who are the descendants of the Dacians; Magyars in the West, and Szekelys8 in the East and North. I am going among the latter, who claim to be descended from Attila and the Huns. This may be so, for when the Magyars conquered the country in the eleventh century they found the Huns settled in it. I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting. (Mem., I must ask the Count all about them.)
I did not sleep well, though my bed was comfortable enough, for I had all sorts of queer dreams. There was a dog howling all night under my window, which may have had something to do with it; or it may have been the paprika, for I had to drink up all the water in my carafe, and was still thirsty. Towards morning I slept and was wakened by the continuous knocking at my door, so I guess I must have been sleeping soundly then. I had for breakfast more paprika, and a sort of porridge of maize flour which they said was “mamaliga,” and egg-plant stuffed with forcemeat, a very excellent dish, which they call “impletata.” (Mem., get recipe for this also.) I had to hurry breakfast, for the train started a little before eight, or rather it ought to have done so, for after rushing to the station at 7:30 I had to sit in the carriage for more than an hour before we began to move. It seems to me that the further east you go the more unpunctual are the trains. What ought they to be in China?
All day long we seemed to dawdle through a country which was full of beauty of every kind. Sometimes we saw little towns or castles on the top of steep hills such as we see in old missals; sometimes we ran by rivers and streams which seemed from the wide stony margin on each side of them to be subject to great floods. It takes a lot of water, and running strong, to sweep the outside edge of a river clear. At every station there were groups of people, sometimes crowds, and in all sorts of attire. Some of them were just like the peasants at home or those I saw coming through France and Germany, with short jackets and round hats and home-made trousers; but others were very picturesque. The women looked pretty, except when you got near them, but they were very clumsy about the waist. They had all full white sleeves of some kind or other, and the most of them had big belts with a lot of strips of something fluttering from them like the dresses in a ballet, but of course there were petticoats under them. The strangest figures we saw were the Slovaks, who were more barbarian than the rest, with their big cow-boy hats, great baggy dirty-white trousers, white linen shirts, and enormous heavy leather belts, nearly a foot wide, all studded over with brass nails. They wore high boots, with their trousers tucked into them, and had long black hair and heavy black moustaches. They are very picturesque, but do not look prepossessing. On the stage they would be set down at once as some old Oriental band of brigands. They are, however, I am told, very harmless and rather wanting in natural self-assertion.
It was on the dark side of twilight when we got to Bistritz, which is a very interesting old place. Being practically on the frontier–for the Borgo Pass leads from it into Bukovina–it has had a very stormy existence, and it certainly shows marks of it. Fifty years ago a series of great fires took place, which made terrible havoc on five separate occasions. At the very beginning of the seventeenth century it underwent a siege of three weeks and lost 13,000 people, the casualties of war proper being assisted by famine and disease.
Count Dracula had directed me to go to the Golden Krone Hotel, which I found, to my great delight, to be thoroughly old-fashioned, for of course I wanted to see all I could of the ways of the country. I was evidently expected, for when I got near the door I faced a cheery-looking elderly woman in the usual peasant dress–white undergarment with long double apron, front, and back, of coloured stuff fitting almost too tight for modesty. When I came close she bowed and said, “The Herr Englishman?” “Yes,” I said, “Jonathan Harker.” She smiled, and gave some message to an elderly man in white shirtsleeves, who had followed her to the door. He went, but immediately returned with a letter:–
“My Friend.–Welcome to the Carpathians. I am anxiously expecting you. Sleep well to-night. At three tomorrow the diligence9 will start for Bukovina; a place on it is kept for you. At the Borgo Pass my carriage will await you and will bring you to me. I trust that your journey from London has been a happy one, and that you will enjoy your stay in my beautiful land.
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Description du livre W. W. Norton & Co. 1997-02-05, 1997. État : New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. N° de réf. du libraire NU-BER-00067819
Description du livre WW Norton & Co 1997-02-05, New York, 1997. paperback. État : New. N° de réf. du libraire 9780393970128
Description du livre W. W. Norton and#38; Company, 1997. PAP. État : New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. N° de réf. du libraire IB-9780393970128
Description du livre W W Norton & Co Inc, 1997. Paperback. État : Brand New. 1st edition. 492 pages. 8.25x5.00x1.25 inches. In Stock. N° de réf. du libraire z-0393970124
Description du livre 1996. PAP. État : New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. N° de réf. du libraire KS-9780393970128
Description du livre WW Norton & Co. Paperback. État : new. BRAND NEW, Dracula, Bram Stoker, Nina Auerbach, David J. Skal, A rich selection of background and source materials is provided in three areas: Contexts includes probable inspirations for Dracula in the earlier works of James Malcolm Rymer and Emily Gerard. Also included are a discussion of Stoker's working notes for the novel and "Dracula's Guest," the original opening chapter to Dracula. Reviews and Reactions reprints five early reviews of the novel. "Dramatic and Film Variations" focuses on theater and film adaptations of Dracula, two indications of the novel's unwavering appeal. David J. Skal, Gregory A. Waller, and Nina Auerbach offer their varied perspectives. Checklists of both dramatic and film adaptations are included. Criticism collects seven theoretical interpretations of Dracula by Phyllis A. Roth, Carol A. Senf, Franco Moretti, Christopher Craft, Bram Dijsktra, Stephen D. Arata, and Talia Schaffer. A Chronology and a Selected Bibliography are included. N° de réf. du libraire B9780393970128
Description du livre 1996. PAP. État : New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. N° de réf. du libraire IB-9780393970128
Description du livre WW Norton Publishers. État : New. Brand New. N° de réf. du libraire 0393970124
Description du livre W. W. Norton & Company. Paperback. État : New. Paperback. 512 pages. Dimensions: 8.2in. x 5.0in. x 1.0in.This Norton Critical Edition presents fully annotated the text of the 1897 First Edition. A rich selection of background and source materials is provided in three areas: Contexts includes probable inspirations for Dracula in the earlier works of James Malcolm Rymer and Emily Gerard. Also included are a discussion of Stokers working notes for the novel and Draculas Guest, the original opening chapter to Dracula. Reviews and Reactions reprints five early reviews of the novel. Dramatic and Film Variations focuses on theater and film adaptations of Dracula, two indications of the novels unwavering appeal. David J. Skal, Gregory A. Waller, and Nina Auerbach offer their varied perspectives. Checklists of both dramatic and film adaptations are included. Criticism collects seven theoretical interpretations of Dracula by Phyllis A. Roth, Carol A. Senf, Franco Moretti, Christopher Craft, Bram Dijsktra, Stephen D. Arata, and Talia Schaffer. A Chronology and a Selected Bibliography are included. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. N° de réf. du libraire 9780393970128
Description du livre W. W. Norton & Company, 1996. Paperback. État : New. book. N° de réf. du libraire 0393970124