Sunday, September 19, 2010
A Dish Straight Out of Dracula
In the second paragraph of Stoker's Dracula, Harker talks about eating this concoction, which he calls "very good, but thirsty." He makes a mental note to get the recipe so that his wife can prepare it for him back at home. It's an early act of the kind of cultural transmission which fills the novel. The Count will later talk to Harker about his collection of books about English culture and politics, which he is studying to fit in, when he arrives in London. Information, like blood, must flow.
And the irony is that in the writing of Dracula, Stoker spent years studying folklore and history -- about Transylvanian legends, about vampire myths in New England, about werewolves -- and he mixed it all together deftly enough so that now people can scarcely talk about any of it without Stoker's handiwork leaking into the conversation. For the data is the life.