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It occurs to me that traveling to strange lands has changed very little over time.


One more thing for reference. Some recipes:

Paprika Hendl:

Can't vouch for how good any of them might be, but maybe someone else is brave enough and has a real kitchen available.

Elizabeth Miller

Why May 3 as starting date? Stoker's Notes include a calendar of events for the plot, drawn up in 1892 (using dates for 1893). He includes items back as far as March. But he decided to cut out the first sections of the planned story (what would have been Chapters 1-3) and begin with Harker's departure from Munich on May 1 (recorded on May 3).


From the Livejournal of VladDrac666:

Greets! I've been offline, cleaning up the basement, writing letters, getting ready for some visitors. BTW, I've cleaned up my Friends list, so if I cut you by mistake (LOL!) be sure to "ping" me.

Last night DarkMidnittte and I tried to get into the Krone Klub, where they play old Siouxsie tunes if you tip them, but they were having some kind of birthday party and wouldn't let us in, so we just hung out across the street and smoked bidis. We went to see if RageMonster was up, but he was watching some football he'd taped earlier, so we called it a night. L8r!


Note the attractive "red and white" food. Bram Stoker, you nutfreak.


Two notes and queries on method:

First, on this blog's form: I'm going to try to reserve posts for Stoker, and comments for myself. This should keep the experience of the front page as focused as possible on the novel, while allowing exploration through appended comments. This reflects one of my inspirations for this project, the excellent Pepys Diary blog (http://www.pepysdiary.com/).
I plan on making exceptions and posting occasionally to the main page, as spaces open up between entries this summer, and as special occasions require. That content will be grouped under a department: http://infocult.typepad.com/dracula/about_this_blog_project/index.html .
Any thoughts, o readers?

Second, May 3 vs May 1: I chose the published date, as it were, rather than the intended one, out of a methodological desire to reflect the texts' materiality, rather than the characters' intent. Put another way, this is the date Mina will read, later this year. I hope the novel's content, and appended comments (like Elizabeth's fine observation) will bring out these depths and details.
Will this work out? I can imagine a different blog approach, perhaps next year, which uses a nonmaterialist approach, posting on numerous other points.


I'm intrigued by the idea of a nonmaterialist approach. Would love to hear more.

I'm also intrigued by this approach. Terrific stuff, in all senses of the word. Perhaps "sublime" is the word I'm groping for, in the Burkean sense this time (not my usual Longinus sense).

Guillermo Cerceau

I have been reading this blog day by day, and have felt the chilling sensation of being a silent witness to the story, something that did not happen to me when I read the book. The fact that Bryan is following the calendar sequence of the original journal gives the blog an unexpected perspective.


This is my first time reading this book. I became interested after seeing parts of the movie by Coppola in '92. I also looked some stuff up online and found articles by Elizabeth Miller, which I found very interesting, and I saw the link to this page. (By the way, even though I am new to this field, I think it's AWESOME that Ms. Miller is taking the time to post comments on here. She seems like a very knowledgable source!) I also think that this is a wonderful idea, so that the reader can get a more realistic portayal of the time sequencing that the Stoker originally had in mind. It's like Jonathon is writing to us! It's cool that there is the postings too so you can discuss each day with other people who are interested.

Anyways, I had a couple questions for her or anyone else who may know:
*How accurate was Stoker in his accounts of geography and history?
*Where is this town Bistritz located?
*Has anyone ever tried to recreate a map of the journey? This could be helpful to the reader.

Ok, thanks alot!

language hat

"How accurate was Stoker in his accounts of geography and history?"

Pretty accurate, actually. I'm delighted to report that the Transylvania section of the 1883 edition of Baedeker's Austria-Hungary, which he undoubtedly used in his research, is online, which will save me a lot of laborious copying from my 1905 edition; I urge everyone interested in the geographical/historical background to bookmark it:
(It even reproduces the italics, which is nice and suggests it's been better proofread than many of these electronic text versions.)

The first thing you have to know is that Transylvania (which is now part of Romania) was until WWI part of Hungary, and thus part of the Austro-Hungarian (Habsburg) Empire, a decaying but still impressive power in 19th-century Europe. When Harker starts out by leaving Munich and arriving at Vienna early next morning, he is passing from the Kingdom of Bavaria (part of the loose, Prussian-dominated German Empire) into Austria-Hungary (whose capital was Vienna). He then proceeds east to Budapest, the capital of Hungary (which had fought fiercely for its autonomy within Austria-Hungary), and then further east to Klausenburg (the German name for the city the Hungarians call Kolozsvár and the Romanians Cluj, officially Cluj-Napoca, under which name you will find it in modern atlases -- pretty much every town and geographical feature in Transylvania has two or three different names). From there he heads northeast to Bistritz (the German name for Hungarian Besztercze, Romanian Bistriţa).

(I'll post this and start a new comment on the nationalities.)

language hat

The discussion of the "four distinct nationalities" is accurate, but leaves out a basic fact: the only ones who had a say in running things were the Saxons (Germans), Magyars (Hungarians), and Szekelys (a separate group of Hungarians) -- the Romanians (whom Stoker calls "Wallachians"), though the majority population, were merely the exploited peasantry, which accounts for the resentment Romanians feel towards Hungarians to this day.

From Baedeker:

"These three races have from an early period shared the govern­ment of the country among them, as being, in virtue of the rights of conquest and colonisation, the sole 'privileged nations'. Tran­sylvania, however, is peopled by various other races. Indeed the principal part of the population consists of Rumanians or Wallachians, of whom there are no fewer than 1,161,647. They regard themselves as the lineal descendants of the Roman colonists, but are in reality a heterogeneous race, made up of Dacian, Ro­man, Teutonic, Slavonian, and Bulgarian elements, which was formerly settled on the Balkans. Driven thence by the Greek Emperor Isaac Angelus, they migrated to the left bank of the Da­nube, and, after the power of the Kumans had been broken by the Teutonic Order, crossed the mountains and entered Transylvania. They named themselves Rumanians as members of the E. Roman Empire (Rum), and had adopted the Greek form of Christianity during their long subjection to the Greek emperors. According to other authorities the Rumanians were settled on the left bank of the Danube long before the advent of the Magyars, but were from the very first treated by their conquerors and the foreign colonists as people possessed of no political rights.

"Another element in the population is formed by the Armenians, 4344 in number, who first settled in Transylvania about the year 1660. They are almost entirely confined to the towns of Szamos Ujvar, Elisabethstadt, and Gyergyo Szt. Miklos. There are nearly 90,000 Gipsies in Transylvania, where they are heard of as early as 1417, when they were governed by a Woiwode of their own. At Haromszek, Torda, Ober-Weissenburg, and Innerszolnok many of them have become industrious husbandmen. The other races repre­sented are Jews (24,864), Bulgarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Ruthenians, and Greeks. — The total population is 2,115,024."

And Baedeker's description of Bistritz:

"Bistritz, Hungar. Bestercze (Town Hotel), a royal free town and capital of the district Bistritz-Naszod, with 8063 inhab., chiefly Germans of a different stock from the 'Saxons', perhaps the relies of a still earlier immigration. It was formerly called Nösen, and gave its name to the Nösner Land (p. 367). The town, which lies on the river Bistritz, formerly carried on a considerable trade, particularly in the 15th and the begin­ning of the 16th cent., but has long since lost its commercial importance. The walls and towers, with which it is still surrounded, give the town a quaint and medieval air, but it possesses no other attractions. The Gothic Protestant Church, finished in 1519, has lost almost the whole of its external embellishments in consequence of repeated conflagrations. The Burgberg, above the town, with the castle of John Hunyady, affords a beautiful view of Bistritz, embedded among orchards and vineyards, and of the Carpathians on the frontier of the Bukowina."

(I've corrected a few misprints.)

Elizabeth Miller

Re Stoker's sources for geography. There were many more in addition to Baedeker. His working papers contain many notes taken from Charles Boner, Transylvania: Its Products and Its People (1865), Andrew Crosse, Round About the Carpathians (1878), E.C. Johnson, On the Track of the Crescent (1885). His information about Bistritz is copied almost directly from Boner. He found Borgo Pass on a map inserted in the same book.

It's very easy to trace the route. I have traveled over quite a bit (though not all) of it - certainly the Budapest to Borgo Pass segment (though I did it in reverse).


Very interesting site, please keep me updateted.


I don't know if anyone else has seen this yet, but National Geographic has an article in their latest magazine about the Csángós, a race of Romanian peasants that live in the Carpathian Mountains, just south of the town Bistritz that Harker encounters in the novel. It is interesting to note their juxtaposed Christian-shamanistic religion, as well as other cultural curiosities that they have retained from their eastern origins.

Check it out:


Excellent link pitchperfect. Well done. I blogged it here with credit to you and Dracula Blogged, of course.


awww geeze, you're too kind...


Do not read Twilight. Gag. So so so so bad, all of them. By end of summer you'll wanna shoot yorsleuf.What about The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series? Three books will keep you busy for some time.The Help is light and fun. The Book Thief will break your heart. Anything by Lori Lansens.Lullabies for Little Criminals. A Town Like Alice, classic.The Ruins. Awesome scary summer read. The Time Traveler's Wife, my fave.I could go on. Let me know if you want me to.And all but the last Harry Potter are completely and totally wicked. I loved them. Except the last, I read two thirds and scrapped it. I couldn't take it anymore. I know, it's crazy.


, so I will just quickly meniton a few. Is this an erotic story? Certainly, to some extent, but there is certainly nothing overtly sexual in these pages. Is it really horrible? One might wonder how much blood one would encounter in this product of the Victorian age, but there are indeed some rather shockingly gruesome descriptions of events nothing to shock modern readers but probably quite surprising to Stoker's contemporaries. There are also subtle overtones of religion in these pages. Aside from the Christian objects that have the power to keep vampires at bay, the most striking scene in the novel is Dracula's perversion of the Lord's Supper in his own most nefarious deed. I cannot recommend Stoker's masterpiece highly enough. The impatient reader may encounter sections that move too slowly than he/she would like, but such lulls are always wiped away by sudden spurts of activity and drama. Feminists will dislike the Victorian characterization of the women but can find unexpected pleasure in the strength and intellect of Mina. Literary critics will surely find in these pages a deep ocean of issues ripe for analysis. Of most importance, the common reader will find an absorbing storyline which may horrify him/her to some degree in places but which will certainly offer great rewards of enjoyment. I think most individuals would be won over completely by the great humanity of these characters and the unexpected richness and complexity to be found in this story of a fiend they thought they already knew.


Chris: Me too. I think this was so frustrating beucase they were dumb enough to go through the trouble of filling out a blog submission form as if they thought I'd use it. Then I'd get an inbox full of submissions, which I thought I'd be able to use just to end up with that crap. Yes, it would have been fun and up my alley but I'll just continue on merrily with Short Story Mondays- they're far less frustrating.Tell-Tale Heart, eh? Bit of a dark side?

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