Some thoughts on a particularly striking monologue in Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula that I thought chimed with some of my writing of late.
Deeply disturbing Morgoth when I listen to this deep dive and combine it with my own burgeoning fears for our future. It has always struck me when watching films like Gladiator or Braveheart, how every man ran courageously towards an almost certain brutal agonising death. I rationalised it by believing that these men had 100% conviction that they would live on with their loved ones in an afterlife. Compare that today with a typical US military engagement, where a very small percentage will be killed, or lose a limb.
What concerns me, is that in Western Europe, we have two factions heading for medieval war and barbarism. One that contains a large proportion certain of the above mentioned paradise - they display this by suicide bombing. The other, the descendants of those violent men of whom Dracula speaks, who for the most part now have nothing, no belief, no courage, no brotherhood and no real sense of honour, history and pride. It's not their fault, it has been deliberately stripped away from Western man, certainly at increasing pace since WW2 by our masters, leaving us, the white race at the mercy of the imported Barbarians now in the city walls. The spirit of Vlad Tepes needs to emerge again in the white man - and quickly!
I don't find the possibility of a rebarbarization so much frightening as heartening. Extremes, in general, are dangerous things. We've become entirely too civilized, with everything that comes along with that - soft, tractable, lacking in confidence. We've lost even the higher advantages of civilization, for the most part: no longer able to produce or appreciate great art, for example. Our spirits have become jaded and exhausted.
Perhaps the only way out of to embrace the Jungian shadow represented by Vlad Dracul - that savage spirit of a more heroic age that, try as we might to extirpate it, haunts our nightmares. But to whatever degree we are no longer in alignment with whatever this civilization has degenerated into, perhaps its nightmares should be our dreams.
And on that note, is it accidental that a society that has lost the will to live, and indeed pursues death, has for decades now been depicting Dracula's narrative descendents not as figures of horror, but of erotic fascination?
I loved the novel. If anyone reading gets the opportunity, please visit the Abbey at Whitby, which sits above the little fishing town. Bram Stoker was inspired to write his masterpiece, viewing the Abbey at twilight shrouded in mist. In the novel of course, Dracula’s ship is run aground at Whitby, and he takes the form of a large dog to bound ashore and disappear into the countryside. The crew all dead, the only cargo on the strange Russian vessel is a set of 50 boxes of earth from Castle Dracula. There’s a Gothic festival held in Whitby annually in the week running up to Halloween, I’ve attended it and it’s great fun for enthusiasts of all things Gothic.
It’s been a long time since I read Dracula, that monologue is a gem, all the better for being read by you. Eastern Europe still has a grip on the imagination, Orban has made it seem like a refuge for European Christians in the coming hard times. If I didn’t have ties of affection holding me here on the liberal US east coast I would move, though the peace is likely only temporary.
Seasonal and thoughtful, thank you!
The interesting mechanic of Stoker's storytelling via Jonathan Harker's Journal springs to mind,
"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.)"
Watched it on youtube 45 min after the upload. It left a sour taste in me for hours so thanks for the halloween mood. Sometimes you make it seem like the world is hopeless. Now now, i'm not a fan of copium, but jesus publish something uplifting for once.