Tweetings about vampires and their deplorable sparkliness at some point circled round to the classic Dracula, and I remembered something that happened quite a while ago.
Over the years I’ve read Bram Stoker’s Dracula many times, and always find it captivating. But I’ve also always been intrigued by the fact that, except for one entry on Seward’s phonograph and the short Memorandum near the end of the book, Van Helsing’s voice is only ever heard second-hand, via the letters or diary entries of his co-conspirators.
I made the mistake of wondering out loud, what he would have written in his own letters, what his voice would have sounded like without the constraints of not speaking in his native language, what he might have had to say when there was no danger of being overheard. He’s a bit of an ambiguous character, clearly on the side of our heroes, but ruthless at times, troubled at others, and with an uncanny ability to put himself in his enemy’s shoes, begging the ancient question of how alike are the hunter and the hunted? Killer interesting. So why’s the story left to less interesting characters?
The muse’s eyes grew round with excitement. “I bet, he’s been cut out, so the morality of the heroes can stand unquestioned.” Did I mention she gets dramatic?
She waved my efforts at a reply aside. “I want to know,” she said, “why his wife ended up in an asylum.” And then, in her most blood-thirsty voice: “And how did his son die?”
She doesn’t ever budge from a quest. I mean, you can try. All I’m saying is, I’ve never managed. So we set out to find the missing missives (Ha!) and came up with a stack of private letters, very yellowed, and in Dutch. We decided to have them translated and found …
Well, if you’ve never read the novel, the letters are probably confusing. If you didn’t like the novel, you might not find them very interesting. But for the rest of you, I was thinking I’d let you see for yourselves. Starting Sunday, April 21st, I’ll publish the letters here every day. Looking forward to your comments.