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Dracula's Guest (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Bram Stoker

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Extrait

Chapter I
Jonathan Harker’s Journal
(Kept in shorthand.)

3 May. Bistritz.1–Left Munich at 8:35 p. m., on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse which I got of it from the train and the little I could walk through the streets. I feared to go very far from the station, as we arrived late and would start as near the correct time as possible. The impression I had was that we were leaving the West and entering the East; the most western of splendid bridges over the Danube,2 which is here of noble width and depth, took us among the traditions of Turkish rule.
We left in pretty good time, and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh.3 Here I stopped for the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner, or rather supper, a chicken done up some way with red pepper, which was very good but thirsty. (Mem., get recipe for Mina.) I asked the waiter, and he said it was called “paprika hendl,” and that, as it was a national dish, I should be able to get it anywhere along the Carpathians.4 I found my smattering of German very useful here; indeed, I don’t know how I should be able to get on without it.

Having had some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the British Museum,5 and made search among the books and maps in the library regarding Transylvania: it had struck me that some foreknowledge of the country could hardly fail to have some importance in dealing with a nobleman of that country. I find that the district he named is in the extreme east of the country, just on the borders of three states, Transylvania, Moldavia and Bukovina,6 in the midst of the Carpathian mountains; one of the wildest and least known portions of Europe. I was not able to light on any map or work giving the exact locality of the Castle Dracula, as there are no maps of this country as yet to compare with our own Ordnance Survey maps;7 but I found that Bistritz, the post town named by Count Dracula, is a fairly well-known place. I shall enter here some of my notes, as they may refresh my memory when I talk over my travels with Mina.

In the population of Transylvania there are four distinct nationalities: Saxons in the South, and mixed with them the Wallachs, who are the descendants of the Dacians; Magyars in the West, and Szekelys8 in the East and North. I am going among the latter, who claim to be descended from Attila and the Huns. This may be so, for when the Magyars conquered the country in the eleventh century they found the Huns settled in it. 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.)

I did not sleep well, though my bed was comfortable enough, for I had all sorts of queer dreams. There was a dog howling all night under my window, which may have had something to do with it; or it may have been the paprika, for I had to drink up all the water in my carafe, and was still thirsty. Towards morning I slept and was wakened by the continuous knocking at my door, so I guess I must have been sleeping soundly then. I had for breakfast more paprika, and a sort of porridge of maize flour which they said was “mamaliga,” and egg-plant stuffed with forcemeat, a very excellent dish, which they call “impletata.” (Mem., get recipe for this also.) I had to hurry breakfast, for the train started a little before eight, or rather it ought to have done so, for after rushing to the station at 7:30 I had to sit in the carriage for more than an hour before we began to move. It seems to me that the further east you go the more unpunctual are the trains. What ought they to be in China?

All day long we seemed to dawdle through a country which was full of beauty of every kind. Sometimes we saw little towns or castles on the top of steep hills such as we see in old missals; sometimes we ran by rivers and streams which seemed from the wide stony margin on each side of them to be subject to great floods. It takes a lot of water, and running strong, to sweep the outside edge of a river clear. At every station there were groups of people, sometimes crowds, and in all sorts of attire. Some of them were just like the peasants at home or those I saw coming through France and Germany, with short jackets and round hats and home-made trousers; but others were very picturesque. The women looked pretty, except when you got near them, but they were very clumsy about the waist. They had all full white sleeves of some kind or other, and the most of them had big belts with a lot of strips of something fluttering from them like the dresses in a ballet, but of course there were petticoats under them. The strangest figures we saw were the Slovaks, who were more barbarian than the rest, with their big cow-boy hats, great baggy dirty-white trousers, white linen shirts, and enormous heavy leather belts, nearly a foot wide, all studded over with brass nails. They wore high boots, with their trousers tucked into them, and had long black hair and heavy black moustaches. They are very picturesque, but do not look prepossessing. On the stage they would be set down at once as some old Oriental band of brigands. They are, however, I am told, very harmless and rather wanting in natural self-assertion.

It was on the dark side of twilight when we got to Bistritz, which is a very interesting old place. Being practically on the frontier–for the Borgo Pass leads from it into Bukovina–it has had a very stormy existence, and it certainly shows marks of it. Fifty years ago a series of great fires took place, which made terrible havoc on five separate occasions. At the very beginning of the seventeenth century it underwent a siege of three weeks and lost 13,000 people, the casualties of war proper being assisted by famine and disease.
Count Dracula had directed me to go to the Golden Krone Hotel, which I found, to my great delight, to be thoroughly old-fashioned, for of course I wanted to see all I could of the ways of the country. I was evidently expected, for when I got near the door I faced a cheery-looking elderly woman in the usual peasant dress–white undergarment with long double apron, front, and back, of coloured stuff fitting almost too tight for modesty. When I came close she bowed and said, “The Herr Englishman?” “Yes,” I said, “Jonathan Harker.” She smiled, and gave some message to an elderly man in white shirtsleeves, who had followed her to the door. He went, but immediately returned with a letter:–
“My Friend.–Welcome to the Carpathians. I am anxiously expecting you. Sleep well to-night. At three tomorrow the diligence9 will start for Bukovina; a place on it is kept for you. At the Borgo Pass my carriage will await you and will bring you to me. I trust that your journey from London has been a happy one, and that you will enjoy your stay in my beautiful land.

“Your friend,
“Dracula.”

Revue de presse

"Those who cannot find their own reflection in Bram Stoker's still-living creation are surely the undead."

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Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  128 commentaires
55 internautes sur 57 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Terrific stories from a true master of horror 11 septembre 2001
Par Daniel Jolley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Even had Bram Stoker not penned the fabulously successful Dracula, efforts such as the stories in this book would more than qualify him as a gifted, masterful writer, with a special penchant for writing horror. The most prominent story in these pages is of course "Dracula's Guest," a story excised from the final manuscript of Dracula. This is an interesting, well-told tale, but its exclusion from the aforementioned novel seems to me to be rather inconsequential. The real jewel of this collection is "The Judge's House." I have read this story several times over the last decade or so, and I must say that this is my favorite horror story of all time. It somewhat chagrins me to make such a pronouncement, thinking of the masterful tales of Lovecraft, Poe, and King, yet I am compelled to make it. The ending may be somewhat cliched , but the dark, brooding, smothering atmosphere Stoker creates in this house is powerful and brilliant. The Judge's House may well be the most haunted house in literature.
The other seven stories are less noteworthy but eminently readable. Again, there are some cliches to be found among them, but they all "work." "The Squaw" is my least favorite--it is, to some degree, silly n terms of its characters and ending. I should also add that animal lovers such as myself may well be somewhat traumatized by one incident in the story--I certainly was. "The Secret of the Growing Gold," "The Gypsy Prophecy" and "The Coming of Abel Behenna" are pretty standard fare. "The Burial of the Rats" presents a thrilling, well-thought-out story of danger and escape (as well as a grim portrait of some of society's underbelly). "A Dream of Red Hands" is a sort of moralistic story that puts me in mind of some of Hawthorne's work. Finally, "Crooken Sands" is a good doppelganger tale whose presentation and overall air seem different, if not unique, from the other tales in this book. If you love old Scottish dialogue, you will reap some benefits from this story--for the rest of us, though, it makes for some slightly harder reading (but I think the story would be much less effective without it).
All in all, Stoker was a more than capable short story writer, even though he did sometimes stick too closely to the classic form; cliches and predictable plot points do diminish the quality of a few stories but by no means do they seriously hamper the effectiveness of them. It is unfortunate that many people think Stoker wrote Dracula and nothing else. The selections in this book are classic horror stories that only help to grant legitimacy to the genre.
51 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Well researched, but the 'gentle fiction' is more than distracting. 23 février 2009
Par M. Bean - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I've always wanted to read Dracula, and I've thoroughly enjoyed the other annotated versions in this series. I've also been eyeing editor Leslie Klinger's three-volume annotated Sherlock Holmes for a while. Upon seeing this edition in a book store, I thought that a little hand-holding and behind-the-scenes insight would make this a fun read.

While this book is both gorgeous and thorough, and I applaud Klinger's exhaustive efforts, I was surprised and disappointed upon discovering that in both this edition and the Sherlock Holmes series, he employs the 'gentle fiction' that the stories are based on actual fact while preparing his annotations.

For me, being a casual but curious reader, an annotated edition should be a one-stop-shop to discover the facts behind the tales, without the reader having to do research. Instead I found that these two series superimpose the idea that they are based on true events. At first I thought I could just ignore the superfluous annotations (which would have trimmed or altered them by a full quarter.) But as I got further into it, they are not so easily ignored. There came a grey area where I began to wonder if what I was distilling from the fictionalized annotation was even close to the facts. For example, at one point early on it is insinuated that the story didn't actually happen in Transylvania, and that this was simply a cover up contrived by Stoker. I would instead have been more interested to know if Stoker had considered other locales and what course he took to finally choose Transylvania. Unfortunately, I may never know without reading a future annotated edition which dispenses with the 'true story' fiction, or without reading the other books mentioned and used by Klinger. Being a casual reader of Dracula I have no interest in delving into these other works and had instead hoped to discover more from this edition.

Another reviewer has stated that Klinger must not like the novel Dracula, and I have to disagree. Klinger clearly loves this book with all the efforts he put into his edition. However, the annotations do come across a bit on the terse side, even chastising Stoker at times, certainly when taking the fictional stance that Stoker altered the original words of the players. I can imagine that to sustain this fiction that the story actually happened must have been a monumental task for Klinger, but these accomplishments are lost on this reader. On a lesser note, it was a little distracting that Sherlock Holmes seemed to be mentioned so often in the annotations. I'd also like to note that the publishers did a disservice in their reproduction of Klinger's once-beautiful photographs. They are often dark, lacking contrast and detail.

Dracula was an enjoyable book, and Klinger's insight was thorough. Unfortunately, while this edition could have been the de facto annotated edition of Dracula, by taking the position that this is a true story, the editor has ensured that the book will sit merely as a curiosity until such time that his annotations can be re-edited to remove the 'gentle fiction.'
36 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A Repackaging of Other, Better Annotated Editions. 9 juin 2009
Par mirasreviews - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
"The New Annotated Dracula" offers annotations and supplementary material by Leslie S. Klinger, who annotated the 3-volume "The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes" for Norton. This is a handsome, cumbersome volume, 8 "w x 10 "h x 1 "d, weighing a hefty 3 pounds. There are color and black-and-white illustrations scattered throughout: photos of people, movies, stage productions, posters, and Dracula paraphernalia. Annotations run in a column beside the text, in slightly smaller font, and some pages fill up with nothing but annotations. This format makes the annotations easier to read than nanofont at the bottom of the page, but it makes the text of the novel more difficult to read.

There is an introduction by Neil Gaiman, followed by a 32-page essay by Klinger on "The Context of Dracula". Here he provides some basic information about Victorian England, "Dracula"'s reception in 1897, a brief history of vampire literature, and some biographical information on Bram Stoker. And Klinger introduces his gimmick: For the sake of his essays and annotations, Klinger assumes that "Dracula" is a historical document written by Bram Stoker to get the word out about Dracula -or perhaps to make people believe the vampire dead- based on the accounts of his acquaintances, who are the characters in the narrative. Stoker is supposed to have gotten his information from the (fictional) "Harker Papers", in which Jonathan Harker described the events of the novel. This silly fiction of Klinger's turns out to be annoying and confusing.

There are over 1500 annotations, and, to put it bluntly, most of them are taken from Clive Leatherdale's annotated "Dracula Unearthed" (1998), which is the most extensively annotated edition ever produced. Some are taken from Leonard Wolf's groundbreaking "The Essential Dracula" (published as "The Annotated Dracula" in 1975), which was the first annotated edition of "Dracula". I compared a few chapters note-for-note with "Dracula Unearthed". Most of the annotations came from Leatherdale, to the extent that his name should be on the cover. Klinger has re-worded them and, in cases where Leatherdale referred to source material, he has quoted from the source where Leatherdale only indicated page numbers.

The annotations that originate with Klinger -and they are the minority- fall into a few categories: comparisons between the published text of "Dracula" and a manuscript currently held by Paul Allen, comparisons with a 1901 abridged edition of the book, comparison to films, the occasional piece of Victorian trivia, and speculation on the text per Klinger's "gentle fiction" of it being based on the "Harker Papers". Annotations in the latter category are confusing, as the reader must stop and think about whether he is reading information or a further fiction. Comparisons to the manuscript are a curiosity, but we don't know what stage of the novel's development it represents. Klinger doesn't explain that the 1901 abridgement was aimed at a more popular audience and eliminated 15% of the text. The deletions remove some of the novel's subtext, making it more fluid but less interesting and perhaps less controversial. Klinger annotates only some of the deletions, however, not all of them.

Supplementary material follows the novel: "Dracula's Guest", which was a false start to the novel, later published as a short story. "The Dating of Dracula", which spins a fiction about the dates the events of the novel took place. "The Chronology of Dracula" charts the novel's major events. "Fictional Accounts of the Count" talks about book's that have taken up Stoker's Dracula character. "Sex, Lies, and Blood: Dracula in Academia" is a cursory presentation of the fashions of academic interpretations of the novel. "The Public Life of Dracula" lists stage and film productions of "Dracula". "Dracula's Family Tree" is a light treatment of vampire folklore in Eastern Europe and a look at modern-day fictional representations (speaking, of course, as if they are real).

It's difficult to say what audience "The New Annotated Dracula" is suited to. If you are looking for a scholarly annotated edition that offers more than the Norton Critical Edition, get Leatherdale's "Dracula Unearthed" (it is available in the UK). If you want something packed with interesting tidbits but a little lighter, try Leonard Wolf's "The Essential Dracula". The drawback is that it was written before the discovery of Bram Stoker's working notes, so some of the information is outdated. If you just want to read the novel, I recommend the Norton Critical Edition. This "New Annotated Dracula" is too big and heavy for that. "Dracula" aficionados are going to balk at "The New Annotated Dracula". I think it's intended for people with a casual interest in the novel who don't mind the bulk or the nonsense, but this edition contributes nothing to "Dracula" scholarship.
77 internautes sur 86 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 BEWARE. 7 juillet 2009
Par Andrew Babino - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I just purchased THE NEW ANNOTATED DRACULA for the tidy price of $40, overcome with the desire to seek out and purchase the definitive edition of what may very well be the greatest horror story ever told. DRACULA has been in continuous publication since its debut in 1897, and that fact alone is a testament to the narrative's (like its primary protagonist's) immortality.

So did this edition measure up?

No.

Why?

Well, first of all, let me just say that by no means does this edition claim to be anything it is not--the sinlge most exhaustively annotated version of DRACULA ever. A good third of the book is entirely removed from the novel altogether, including prefaces and introductions in front of it, and numerous, NUMEROUS appendecies and afterwords after it.

However, that aside, I cannot really sanction this as the best version of DRACULA ever published, as many of the press reviews printed on the back of the jacket will tell you.

I have two main problems with this edition.

First of all, the lesser problem is that of the annotation itself. If you're the kind of fastidious person I like to think I am, you'll want to sit and read through every note on every page. Once you get through the first page of the novel, however, you'll have most likely changed your mind about that. I took me no less than two hours to read all the way through the preface, introduction, and introductory essay THE CONTEXT OF DRACULA before I even got to the novel, at which point I spent another half hour reading every single notation and, feeling really freakin' tired by this point, came to the somewhat depressing realization that I had only gotten through the first page of the novel.

The problem is that this edition is so heavily, HEAVILY annotated that it's virtually impossible to keep track of the actual narrative if you bother to read all the notes, which can go on for pages all on their own, and number up to three or four in a single sentence. However, it should be said that this is nothing less than I suppose you'd expect to find in the most heavily annotated version of DRACULA ever published; still, I found I was a little unprepared for the work that went into reading it.

My second problem, and my main problem, with this edition is that it proceeds under the ludicrous concept that DRACULA is not a work of fiction, but in fact a collection of real documents edited together by Stoker himself.

Oh yes. You read that right.

Right from the preface, Leslie Klinger the author of the notes and the novel's supplementary material, tells us that he will be annotating DRACULA as though it were a real story. When I first read this, it seemed like and interesting idea, and I was curious to see just how he would go about doing it. Unfortunately for myself, I was not pleased to find out.

Klinger goes on to say that Bram Stoker actually knew the Harker characters socially, and, having learned of their horrifying tale and believing that Dracula was not destroyed, resolved to publish their papers in order to warn the world of the threat of vampires, at which point Count Dracula himself appeared to Stoker and forced him to make changes to the narrative so as to make it seem more ficticious and to misinform the public about vampires, in order to protect himself from reprocussions.

Once again, I assure you that you read that right.

In taking this preposterous approach, Klinger not only effectively nullifies his own notations, making all that excessive reading pointless since it proceeds from a ficticious concept anyway, but also actually manages to lessen the effect of the novel as a great work of fiction. By taking the authorship away from Stoker and placing it in the hands of people who have never existed, you destroy that which makes DRACULA so remarkable in the first place: it is a book crafted out of a mightily massive mess of vampiric folklore and mythology combined with the social climate of the Victorian era as well as Stoker's own love of Gothic horror and the macabre. It may be difficult to believe that a simple Irish scholar could have crafted the single most influential piece of horror literature in history on his own, but it's sure as hell a lot easier to swallow than the idea that a 500-year-old vampire helped him do it.

Overall, this edition is NOT the way to read DRACULA if you've never read it before. I can only reccomend this to those who already know the novel inside and out, and want to know even more while toying with the possibility that it really could have happened. Which, incidentally, it didn't.

I honestly got more out of thumbing through the $4 pocket-sized paperback edition of DRACULA I first read when I was 10 than I got from dragging myself through THE NEW ANNOTATED DRACULA.

You have been warned.
33 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Replacement Chapter 14 août 2000
Par Daniel Stanfield - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This "short story" was originally part of "Dracula." It was left out at the behest of the publisher and published after Stoker's death by his wife. I've read "Dracula" many times in my life, and enjoy "Dracula's Guest" as a "lost chapter". It is obvious where the account fits into the book because it builds up to the letter from D. to the innkeeper which *is* in the book.
In defense of the original publisher's ax to the chapter, the story is much more rapid paced and has less of the "haunting realness" that rest of "Dracula" has - it is more in the pulp style of Stoker's "Lair of the White Worm".
SPOILER >> It adds a little depth to Jonathan Harker's journey to the castle in the form of a foreshadowing encounter with another vampire. << SPOILER
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