Monday, 10 September 2007

The Transylvania Chronicles - Day One

31st August 2007,
Sabadell, SPAIN

"We are in Transylvania; and Transylvania is not England. Our ways are not your ways, and there shall be to you many strange things."*

The words of the world's most famous vampire, from the pen of the Irish writer who put Rumania on the map. And here, at 1.20am, with my case finally packed, I ask which ways the infamous count is referring to, ways which shall become known to me tomorrow evening when we touch down in the mysterious Rumania for day one of our summer break.

I've read Stoker's novel and scared the living daylights out of myself the other evening with Francis Ford Coppola's cinematic interpretation of the story (despite Keanu Reeve's put-on British accent truly grating on me, not to mention Winona Ryder's). Both raise questions: were people in Stoker's time truly much braver in the face of mortal danger? It would seems more so than they are today, I feel. Yes, the traditional literature of the English-speaking world was one of heroes.

My other question is, what is Rumania like? Is it as foreboding and dangerous as painted by Stoker and Coppola? I know not what to expect. Stoker's work has bestown such a novel kind of mystery upon the country, the prospect of a clash between fiction and reality. Will Stoker's reality, which we imagine to be fiction, have been preserved in modern Rumania and actually therefore be fact? Or will it all have changed and his work remain the fiction we've always taken it to be?

I look forward to finding out and to sharing my thoughts with you, my dear reader.

Your friend,

* (Stoker, Bram, "Dracula," Oxford Uni Press, Oxford, 1995, pg 21: 10-12.)

No comments:

Post a Comment