May 11

The next entry does NOT bring us back to Jonathan! Lucy Westenra replies quickly to Mina’s previous letter saying she’s not as bad a correspondent as Mina would imply. Besides, she has absolutely nothing to write about, except for boys.

As to the tall, curly-haired man, I suppose it was the one who was with me at the last Pop.


I think my favorite thing about this book is that everyone’s just being mundane and ridiculous in a way that isn’t too far off from modern blogging, except that it also shows how far out 100 years is since the book was written. Cat meat man? Pop with a capital P? What are these people talking about? In my local dialect “pop” is our “soda pop” but I doubt she means that.

Lucy says that the “tall curly-haired man” was Mr. Holmwood who gets along well with her mother. She also says that Mr. Holmwood introduced her to another guy who would be just perfect for Mina, if not for Jonathan. He’s a doctor and runs his own insane asylum! Lucy goes on about how cool this guy is and how interested in each other they are. Apparently he thinks her an interesting psychological project because she doesn’t care about fashion. Ladies, if any man out there “you’re not like other girls”es you, get the hell out.

Lucy drops that his name is Arthur and confesses to Mina that she’s in love with him, blushing as she writes.

I wish I were with you, dear, sitting by the fire undressing, as we used to sit; and I would try to tell you what I feel.

Sometimes I read lines like this and… People in the modern age aren’t this affectionate toward each other right? These old-timey people aren’t really always flirting, right? Or are they?

Lucy begs Mina to get back to her ASAP after engaging in the ancient and timeless gushing style. I don’t know about Mina but I hesitate to find a dude who runs an insane asylum to be a particularly compelling bachelor but maybe I just hate men and heterosexuals.


Speaking of hating men and heterosexuals, I thought it might be fun to inject a few apt things to this Let’s Read so we can give it a place in time and history.

I’m a big fan of the manga Trigun, so imagine my surprise when I’m minding my own business and I find it’s gone viral in relation to a tweet recommending a book.

Anyone reading this as I post it might be like “ugh I can’t get away from Bigolas Dickolas” but everyone else is going to be like “ha ha what a great time to be on the internet,” and everyone else will say, “what the fuck?”

Anyway, a few weeks ago I posted this here essay on Christianity in Trigun for the website, and as you do on the internet you try to jump on a bandwagon and so they made this tweet to include me in all of this nonsense.

tweet from "wwacomics" reading "So you've heard of bigolas dickolas, but what about #Trigun? peep @playerprophet's deep dive into the Christian influence on the space western anime.

So now I’ve earned my place in internet history. And also, I bought the book too.


May 12

Last we saw Jonathan, he was losing his shit and now he’s hunkering down to process empirical data, so it seems he’s still pretty fucked up.

He writes that Dracula asked him about some legal junk. He asks Jonathan if he can have more than one solicitor, so it seems he will not be satisfied with simply one Jonathan.

I want to note that I don’t really know what a solicitor is or why he would need one or twenty. Jonathan appears to be his real estate agent but I guess they do all kinds of things. Is he actually just… a lawyer?

Dracula asks about some longwinded hypothetical that I can’t follow because it’s Friday and I’ve had a cider, but it seems to come down to asking Jonathan if he has to have a middleman solicitor or if he can be his own middleman when shipping goods. Jonathan says he can, and Dracula is pleased. Dracula goes on about more hypotheticals and Jonathan says he might have been a great solicitor himself.

Dracula then asks if Jonathan has been able to write to anyone, such as Peter Hawkins, his boss, since he arrived. Jonathan says he has not.

“Then write now, my young friend,” he said, laying a heavy hand on my shoulder: “write to our friend and to any other; and say, if it will please you, that you shall stay with me until a month from now.”

“Do you wish me to stay so long?” I asked, for my heart grew cold at the thought.

“I desire it much; nay, I will take no refusal. When your master, employer, what you will, engaged that someone should come on his behalf, it was understood that my needs only were to be consulted. I have not stinted. Is it not so?”

A month! Poor Jonathan. And Dracula is using his job to convince him too. Time to form a union and strike for better work terms. Jonathan laments and accepts that there’s nothing he can do but accept for the sake of his employer.

[…] while Count Dracula was speaking, there was that in his eyes and in his bearing which made me remember that I was a prisoner, and that if I wished it I could have no choice. The Count saw his victory in my bow, and his mastery in the trouble of my face, for he began at once to use them, but in his own smooth, resistless way […]

Clip from the Good Place of Jason Mendoza leaning against a poster of Ariana Grande saying

The paralysis with which Jonathan is unable to act out of social and professional obligation is both fascinating and uncomfortably familiar. Meanwhile, Dracula is thrilled to ensnare his prey. He gives Jonathan letter paper to write to his boss and friends and warns Jonathan—as if he’s got him by the collar and holds it taut—to not say anything to make them worry. Silently, Jonathan understands that Dracula will read anything he writes through the thin paper.

Jonathan writes his letters, one to his boss while telling us he’ll write a longer one in secret later. The second he writes to Mina in his shorthand, which Mina will understand and Dracula will not. Dracula writes some notes of his own and collects all the letters and puts them in a pile together and leaves.

Jonathan spies on the addresses but dares not to tamper with anything. He writes to Samuel F. Billington in Whitby, Herr Leutner in Varna, Coutts & Co. in London, and the last to Herren Klopstock & Billreuth, bankers in Buda-Pesth. I don’t know if these are relevant or not but maybe copying them out will help me remember.

Dracula walks back in with a fifth letter, stamps them all, and leaves Jonathan alone for the rest of the night, but not before warning him not to fall asleep outside of his rooms in the castle, OR ELSE. He gestured “washing his hands” which is a little weird to me but Jonathan is properly terrified so I can only assume that he means that Jonathan will get got.

Jonathan resumes writing a little more later. He’s set the crucifix over his bed for protection.

After Dracula left, Jonathan snuck out to go to the south end of the castle, overlooking the cliff. He seems to be resolved that he has every right to be scared shitless of the place, but staring out of the cliff still somehow makes him feel better.

Jonathan sees something out of the corner of his eye and looks down to where he presumes Dracula’s rooms would be.

What I saw was the Count’s head coming out from the window. I did not see the face, but I knew the man by the neck and the movement of his back and arms. In any case I could not mistake the hands which I had had so many opportunities of studying. I was at first interested and somewhat amused, for it is wonderful how small a matter will interest and amuse a man when he is a prisoner. But my very feelings changed to repulsion and terror when I saw the whole man slowly emerge from the window and begin to crawl down the castle wall over that dreadful abyss, face down with his cloak spreading out around him like great wings. At first I could not believe my eyes. I thought it was some trick of the moonlight, some weird effect of shadow; but I kept looking, and it could be no delusion. I saw the fingers and toes grasp the corners of the stones, worn clear of the mortar by the stress of years, and by thus using every projection and inequality move downwards with considerable speed, just as a lizard moves along a wall.

I genuinely love this because it’s so bizarre. The early motions of the count’s head make me visualize as if it’s been drawn by Junji Ito, but then he scutters down the wall and the image breaks for me. This scene skirts that lovely boundary between horror and comedy depending on how an adaptation might choose to see it through.

Though Dracula has shown him to finally be a proper monster, a monsterfucker Jonathan is not. Or at least, not yet. Or maybe he’s just pretending he doesn’t have a boner. Regardless, he seems to accept what he sees and that rationalizing all the crazy shit going on is no longer necessary, and he’s not going to assume that the crazy one is him. At least for now.

Speaking of monsterfucking, Eurovision is tomorrow! Go Finland! You should check out this cool Dracula guy from Romania 2013.

<Part 4 | TOC | Part 6>