The events of the book so far are summarized and discussed. Spoiler Warning.
The events so far (from memory, going forward I will keep my own running summary notes): For other posts in the series, see here.
- We meet Harker on his first night in the Carpathian mountains of Romania. It is the eve of the final leg of his jouney.
- Harker departs the hotel with a quite singular scene of the hotelier and townfolk trying to pusuade him from finishing the journey. I have never seen, heard, witnessed, experienced, nor participated in such an event in all of my travels or life.
- The transfer from the coach to the carriage is quite strange, and the ride to the castle is also beyond experience, and harrowing. I find it troubling that Harker is so matter of fact about what he witnessed. Perhaps he is questioning what he truly saw, or perhaps at this time over a century ago there was more credibility about this type of thing.
- Harker meets the Count. They talk to the morning.
- They discuss the Count’s new London property. Evidently the Count is planning to move.
- Harker determines that the Count is without servants.
- Harker understands that he is captive.
There we have it, things have gone quite badly for Harker it would seem. A few things are worth it to me to note about this reading.
First, the immediacy and intimacy of the writing is quite successful. The food, the experience of travel, the scenery. The layer of reading it on the same day as it was written helps to build the connection with the character. I noticed that upon entering the castle, discussion of the particulars of the food stop being listed. It makes sense to drop that sort of trivia given other factors.
Second, Harker seems oddly lucid and accepting about these experiences that he is having. Even upon noticing that he is imprisoned, he doesn’t list his options for escape. Maybe Stoker thinks readers will accept that all the avenues are in fact closed. Maybe readers in that day did. I am not satisfied with the short discussion of cliffs and locked doors.
Third, I am quite satisfied with my own interest and engagement level. Of course having never been interested in horror as a genre, or in Dracula in particular, I was quite surprised at my own interest level. Glad to see it hasn’t waned yet. It’s quite possible that the novelty of real time reading is keeping my engangement level up.