Bummed about my genetic problems; blame it on Stoker’s novel
I’m not really a fan of Dracula. As a work of literature, Stoker’s novel is well written, and I can see why people enjoy it. However, Stoker essentially stole my name to use for his vampire-count character, with the result that, in this incarnation, I was born with a host of genetic problems. I’m not saying that I didn’t earn the karma of suffering all on my own. It’s just that the form that suffering has taken in this incarnation is, among other things, a blood disorder with occasional anemia, ocular sun sensitivity, pale skin, easily burt in the sun, naturally nocturnal, etc., etc.. No fun. I’m suffering the consequences of what that book (together with all its film-adaptations) has done to my image in the world’s collective unconscious.
I suppose it could have been worse, however. I was born in 1969, just a couple of years before the publication of In Search of Dracula (Florescu and McNally). Ever since that book came out, the association between me and Stoker’s vampire character has strengthened in the collective unconscious, resulting in the fact that nearly every new Dracula pastiche, novel, or movie has merged us into one character. But that isn’t who I really am, or rather, that isn’t who I want to be. Yes, I realize there are plenty of sympathetic portrayals of vampires in modern literature, so being a vampire wouldn’t be such a bad thing — especially since even Stoker’s version of “me” isn’t anywhere near as bad as I was in real life, back in 15th Century Wallachia — but I’m not entirely comfortable with the notion, all the same. I wouldn’t want to be “that old creep who stalks young women (or young people in general) for their blood”. Ewww! Thank heavens at least it only manifested in me having some genetic problems: it could have been worse, much worse.
More on why it matters that people check for reliable sources before believing just anything….
Free online documentary about Vlad the Impaler. Don’t be easily impressed by modern-day killers. If you’re interested in gore and murderous stories, go for the historical figures. They were exponentially more fascinating and did so much more damage.
Vlad is especially interesting to me, I’ve been reading every article I could find on the man for a few years now. I have fond memories staying up all night with my good friend Madison just reading aloud stories of Vlad.
This was in response to a post made by someone called hellray, but rather than just re-blogging it to post my thoughts, I removed the link to the video because it was yet another peace of non-journalism based on the sensational claims of the Transylvanian Saxon propaganda of the 15th century that was, in part, responsible for me losing my throne in 1462. *rolls eyes*
Now, I don’t want to diminish that many of the things I actually did were terrible in their own right, but I never even came close to killing 40,000 of my own people, let alone 100,000. At most, I was responsible for the deaths of about 15,000 of my own people, well over 90% of whom fell in battle against the Turks. And as to the Turks themselves, yes, I was likely responsible for about 30,000 of their deaths in battle.
Regarding torture, what non-history-buffs fail to understand is that all of us princes of the era used it as a tool of governance. Yes it was cruel and yes it was a crime against humanity, but I had no “driving need to torture”, as one of the “experts” on this so called “documentary” termed it. And, outside of impalement — a technique I learned from the Transylvanian Saxons, which I knew would be terrifying to the Turks who had not been accustomed to its use (again, I am in no way defending my actions, here, I am only trying to give an historical context) — outside of impalement, I doubt I used the many other forms of torture spelled out in the German propaganda pamphlets. I say “I doubt” as I can’t speak with certainty here because I don’t remember much from that incarnation and I’m basically going on what little reliable evidence exists from that time in history.
It bothers me immensely that people not only repeat the exaggerations and outright false accusations against my character, that were begotten by those German propaganda pamphlets, but that many of those same people are still — for reasons I cannot fathom — attracted to me-as-an-historical-figure. If you seriously believe I did all those things and took some sadistic pleasure in doing them, then why aren’t you running in the opposite direction? I could see taking an interest in someone equally as “evil” as you and others seem to think me, but who was actually an important historical figure — say, Henry VIII, Genghis Khan, or for that matter my personal Voldimort, Mehmet II the Conquror of Constantinople, as he liked to style himself.
But why me?
Think about this for a minute: I was ruler of a small principality, one of several that existed between two large powers, Hungary and the Ottoman Empire; I ruled for only six years (which was, granted, longer than most of my immediate predecessors); and I didn’t accomplish anything like what I could have accomplished had I been in power for much, much longer. No, I think the reason, ultimately, why people find me fascinating has little to do with me, and everything to do with that Bram Stoker novel and its repeated Hollywood adaptations. I know there are many who will protest that they are genuinely interested in me and not the vampire Count, really, cross their hearts and hope to die (and then rise from the grave), but I am not unaware that I carry a mystique that I can only attribute to the World’s collective unconscious having conflated Stoker’s vampire with me. And this process of merging my identity with the fictional character has been aided and abetted by various novels, movies, and anime, such that I doubt anyone is immune to seeing me through the filter of a supernatural fiction.