Infinite Summer: Dracula


1. Full disclosure: I did see the Francis Ford Coppola/Keanu Reeves version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, in the theater, on opening night, but the only thing I remember about it is the fact that I listened to Concrete Blonde’s “Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)” on repeat all the way there and back. Clearly, I’ve been coming at vampires wrong-headedly since at least 1992.

2. In Infinite Jest, which you may have recently read, there’s an essay about the passive, or “reactive” hero, so it’s an interesting coincidence to find one front-and-center in our follow-up book.

3. Mary Sue-ism is one of the criticisms often leveled at Stephanie Meyer for her limp characterization of Bella, the protagonist in the Twilight series, which I’m on record as being no fan of. But this correlation between the characters of Harker and Bella is suddenly very interesting to me, and one wonders if it could have been intentional on Meyer’s part—an attempt to place her protagonist squarely within the historical vernacular of the vampire canon? Maybe?

4. When Dracula mentions the “hairs in the centre of the palm”, Joseph Valente, annotator of the Simon & Schuster “Dracula (Enriched Classics Series)” edition, writes:

Dracula’s overall appearance is said to conform to the type of the malefactor in Victorian Criminolgy. But his complexion and his hands conform to to the type of mastubator in Victorian sexology. Either figure was seen as both an example and an agent of racial and species-wise degeneration,which was a matter of intense and widespread anxiety in fin-de-siecle Europe.

5. In the “Victorian Mythmakers” chapter of Woman and the Demon: The Life of a Victorian Myth (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982, pp. 15-34), Nina Auerbach suggests that Trilby influenced Stoker’s narrative. As is evident from Stoker’s notes, however, the book was far along by the time Trilby was published.

6. That anger is presumably on the horizon, if Van Helsing ever quits with the coy.

7. Just to be clear: I am not saying that this is accurate portrayal of the Wall Street bailouts. I am saying this is how those who are angriest about the program tend to characterize the program and, if you buy into the premise, it’s easy to see why they are so worked up.

8. For more information on this topic please see Johnathan Hughes’ seminal work Pretty in Pink, Paramount Pictures, 1986.