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Leslie S. Klinger

Notice that at this time, Renfield is crazy without any help from anyone else. Dracula is still far away in his castle. Renfield's zoophagy is his own invention.

Elizabeth Miller

In her introduction to "Bram Stoker's Dracula Omnibus", Fay Weldon makes this outrageous comment: "If a man's bitten by Dracula, he turns into a raving lunatic.... It happened to the unfortunate Penfield [sic]" (x).

Just goes to show - you can't believe everything you read!!!

Michael Gordon

So is it the zoophagia that facilitates the link between Dracula and Renfield or, as many version has espoused, there was some previous contact?

While it's unlikely, perhaps Renfield did have some form of vampiric infectious that causes the zoophagia and allowed him to sense Dracula's presence. No one in the novel seems concerned that Renfield will rise as a vampire.

Martin Powell

One of the most subtle and disturbing passages of the novel. Renfield is a fascinating, often sadly over-looked part of the Dracula mythos.

Leslie S. Klinger

I think that the zoophagia is only a symptom of Renfield's madness and that it's the madness that's made him susceptible to Dracula. (Certainly the idea of zoophagia makes Dracula's powers over lower life-forms attractive to Renfield.)
Dracula seems to project some sort of powerful telepathic communications, and he connects with people with a predisposition to pick up those kinds of communications. I believe that Lucy's inherited trait of sleep-walking is evidence of her susceptibility and the reason for her telepathic connection with Dracula. However, the mechanism is unclear, and this is one of the mysteries of Dracula that bear further study.

Martin Powell

I believe you've hit on it, Les. I touch upon this "inherited trait" of susceptibility of Dracula's influence over Renfield in an upcoming story. Lots of territory to still be explored there.

Elizabeth Miller

Meanwhile, what is happening to Jonathan Harker? Excruciating, isn't it?

Michael Gordon

Harker's silence is unsettling. Especially when one begins to wonder what daily life was like as a prisoner in the castle for weeks and weeks. Did the count still cook him dinner and change his sheets or was he left to his own devices?

Luke O'Brien

Think about it this way: Renfield is obsessed with being immortal. He eats creatures to attempt to absorb their life-force to extend his life, but it doesn't work that way. He was so susceptible to Dracula because Dracula had the secret to consuming the life-force of creatures he so desired. his insanity seems to be the result of fearing death so much and suspending his social inhibitions to escape from it.


We're getting ahead of ourselves, especially for the 2010 blogging of the novel, which is only up to 10 May. However, at some later date, probably when the group has met up with Van Helsing, they are informed that Dracula has power over the weak minds of women and the insane. That's why living next to a sanitarium was no problem for Drac.


Funny story. The first time I read Dracula, I got it from the library, and when I was conosihg which edition I saw "Introduction by Neil Gaiman" so I picked that one. But then I was an idiot and didn't investigate where all of these footnotes were coming from, so for a while I thought they were TOTALLY LEGIT, and then I finally tilted my head and investigated what, exactly, was happening with the footnotes, and then I LOLed. But I didn't stop reading them until most of the way through the book. I kinda regret it, because reading it the first time WITHOUT footnotes would have been way better because I could have drawn my own conclusions...now all of the weird theories are inextricably wrapped up with the plot in my head, although I've reread it since then without footnotes. XD


aobut "Love at First Bite", which doesn't claim to be anything but a paodry. Really, when you get right down to it, what with the versions that have rolled Lucy and Mina into one, and conflated Arthur and Jonathan or Arthur and Dr. Seward or left out Quincy or whatever, and jumped over so many plot points, it could be just to say that nobody has really ever filmed the book itself at all, just people's IDEA of the book.


I love reading Dickens. It rdinmes me that a novel can be fun and engaging and interesting even when it's going off on a tangent about characters you'll rarely see. The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird seem like perfect novels to me. I just get lost in them. I also love Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy because it has a cast of characters who are all amazingly well-fleshed out and as flawed and ordinary as they can be in many ways and yet you find yourself identifying with them. It's like the anti-Twilight.


One book that never fails to inspire me, from the sci-fi end of the sputrcem, is Expendable by James Alan Gardner. Ditto for most of the books in the resulting series. He's fast-paced, well-written, has fantastic characters (with lots of good female characters AND characters of color, thankyouverymuch!), and interesting ideas. And he's not, y'know, scary intimidating like some other books I passionately adore (I'm looking at you, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.)Also, omg Dracula. Wonder how much of that I can get through tomorrow at work before it goes down...


Buffy. Definitely. I had a hard time with Firefly (though I loved Serenity, go figure). I'm told that I'm misnisg the point and that it's quite good, so I'll probably give it another chance.

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