QCQ-11 English 420, Victorian Monsters

QCQ-11 English 420, Victorian Monsters

Quotation

‘We Szekelys have a right to be proud, for in our veins flows the blood of many brave races who fought as the lion fights, for lordship. Here, in the whirlpool of European races, the Ugric tribe bore down from Iceland the fighting spirit which Thor and Wodin gave them, which their Berserkers displayed to such fell intent on the seaboards of Europe, ay, and of Asia and Africa too, till the peoples thought that they were-wolves themselves had come. Here too, when they came, they found the Huns, whose warlike fury had swept the earth like a living flame, till the dying people held that in their veins ran the blood of those old witches, who, expelled from the Scythia had mated with the devils in the desert. Fools, fools! What devil or what witch was ever so great as Attila, whose blood is in their veins?…Is it a wonder that we were a conquering race; that we were proud; that when the Magyar, the Lombard, the Avar, the Bulgar, or the Turk poured his thousands on our frontiers, we drove them back?…And when the Hungarian flood swept eastward, the Szekelys were claimed as kindred by the victorious Magyars, and to us…was trusted…endless duty of the frontier guard, for…‘water sleeps, and enemy is sleepless.’ Who more gladly than we throughout the Four Nations received the “bloody sword,’ or at its warlike call flocked quicker to the standard of the King? When was redeemed that great shame of my nation, the shame of Cassova, when the flags of the Wallach and the Magyar went down beneath the Crescent? Who was it but one of my own race who…beat the Turk on his own ground? This was a Dracula indeed! …Was it not this Dracula, indeed, who inspired that other of his race who…when he was beaten back, came again and again and again, though he had come alone from the bloody field where his troops were being slaughtered, since he knew that he alone could ultimately triumph? …we of the Dracula blood were amongst their leaders, for our spirit would not brook that we were not free. Ah, young sir, the Szekelys—and the Dracula as their heart’s blood, their brains and their swords—can boast a record that mushroom growths like the Hapsburgs and the Romanoffs can never reach. The warlike days are over. Blood is too precious a thing in these days of dishonorable peace; and the glories of the great races are as a tale that is told.” 

Connection

Johnathan Harker is as yet unaware that he is doomed. He has recorded in his journal the “most fascinating” of Dracula’s account of Transylvania history. Count Dracula speaks “as if he had been present.” Dracula’s war stories span at least 1,000 years if using the Honflogas, or “conquest of the homeland” of 895 CE as the timeline starting point, and longer still if using Dracula’s reference of the “many brave races” that originated the Szekeyls: various European races, Urgic tribespeople and the Huns.

I excluded from the above quote Dracula’s reference to his brother, who apparently sold their people into slavery. While this is a very important detail, what I wanted to capture is Dracula’s reverence of conquest and dominance and pride in his race.

Comment

It is interesting to me that the story of Dracula is heavily intertwined in the above quote with Norse gods, Thor and Wodin, werewolves, witches and devils. Woden is “patriarchal creator” and Thor is god of thunder, night and war. “Viking and Norse warriors who historically wore wolf or bear skins into battle” contributed to werewolf legend. Likewise to Szekelys origins, Dracula the monster is confluence of the gods of patriarchal creation, night, war, werewolves, witches and devils. A mega monster indeed!

Stoker, B., Browning, J. E., & Skal, D. J. (2022). Chapter 3. In Dracula: Authoritative text, contexts, reviews and reactions, dramatic and film variations, criticism (pp. 37–39). essay, W.W. Norton & Company.

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