It’s horny vampire o’clock again!
I’ve missed out on noting that these entries note if Jonathan is using longhand (normal, readable by everyone) or shorthand (simplified, a bit like code to be able to write faster). Usually his journals are in shorthand but it seems appropriate to note this now since he said before that Mina understands his shorthand and it might otherwise be difficult to understand. Therefore, Dracula cannot read his diary.
Jonathan tells us that he has again seen Dracula “go out in his lizard fashion”, describing going down the outside wall sideways. If I saw this in real life I’d probably also be terrified, but reading it is just funny.
After seeing Dracula leave this way, Jonathan decides it’s time to explore, Silent Hill-style, verifying all the locked doors and perhaps marking each one with a squiggly red line. Jonathan notes that all of the locks are “comparatively new.” He goes to the front door where he came in and finds a bunch of bolts and chains he can undo manually, but the actual door is locked with the key nowhere to be found. Jonathan assumes it must be in Dracula’s room, and swears to keep his eyes peeled in case he can catch that door unlocked. I believe that if Jonathan butters up Dracula he might find it easier to get into his room that way. Maybe cut himself shaving again, whoopsie-daisy!
Jonathan investigates the stairways and adjoining rooms, mostly finding empty offices with dusty furniture. He does push into a room at the top of a stairway that he assumes is locked but instead discovers is just broken and off its hinges. This leads to a whole new wing of the castle.
I stopped reading here to see if I could find a legit map of this castle and found the adventure more difficult than anticipated. This one is really cool but full of SPOILERS. Maybe it seems stupid for me to care about spoilers for a book over 100 years old but when I was tabbing out my copy of the book for reference (with little kitty cat page flags) I had more spoilers than I wanted to see at all. I want this book to surprise me like any other if I can help it! Maybe I should make my own map but I’m genuinely terrible at that kind of thing. Leave a comment if you want to see me struggle to do just that.
Regardless, the text description is very cool.
The castle was built on the corner of a great rock, so that on three sides it was quite impregnable, and great windows were placed here where sling, or bow, or culverin could not reach, and consequently light and comfort, impossible to a position which had to be guarded, were secured. To the west was a great valley, and then, rising far away, great jagged mountain fastnesses, rising peak on peak, the sheer rock studded with mountain ash and thorn, whose roots clung in cracks and crevices and crannies of the stone.
Jonathan notes that the place is so cozy that it must have been where women lived (sigh). He finds it comforting compared to the rooms Dracula assigned him to.
Here I am, sitting at a little oak table where in old times possibly some fair lady sat to pen, with much thought and many blushes, her ill-spelt love-letter, and writing in my diary in shorthand all that has happened since I closed it last. It is nineteenth century up-to-date with a vengeance. And yet, unless my senses deceive me, the old centuries had, and have, powers of their own which mere “modernity” cannot kill.
The media analysis nerd part of me wants to take apart this section as a metaphor for internalized homophobia or something. He finds comfort in spending time in the rooms he believes belonged to women, as opposed to the male space of Dracula that he inhabits and is bestowed upon Jonathan. I’m not sure I can square it with the last two sentences where he expresses a sense of sitting outside of time, in a place impenetrable by it, but maybe I actually just solved it myself writing that. He sits in a female space, unpenetrated by the male one. But if he sees himself as modernity, it is that which he hopes, I think, to penetrate history. Or perhaps that he is afraid that the past will penetrate the present rather than the other way around.
In other words, Jonathan is an omega and Dracula is alpha.
Jonathan picks his journal up again in the wee hours of May 16th, thoroughly shook by something or other and deeply questioning his sanity.
If I be sane, then surely it is maddening to think that of all the foul things that lurk in this hateful place the Count is the least dreadful to me; that to him alone I can look for safety, even though this be only whilst I can serve his purpose.
This is a great book and probably reveals the kind of fanfiction I read in my free time.
Like in an earlier chapter, Jonathan is trying to get his bearings by recounting the facts after whatever he experienced. After the previous journal entry he was tired and, rejecting Dracula’s advice not to sleep anywhere but his room, decided to sleep right where he was. There was something comforting about those rooms, after all.
I determined not to return to-night to the gloom-haunted rooms, but to sleep here, where, of old, ladies had sat and sung and lived sweet lives whilst their gentle breasts were sad for their menfolk away in the midst of remorseless wars.
Jonathan pulls out a couch and lays down on it, ignoring the dust. He assumes he slept but seems unsure if what he saw was a dream or not. He was aware that he wasn’t alone, and three young women were in the room with him, but cast no shadows. He says that two were “dark” with “high aquiline noses like the Count” and “dark, piercing eyes” that looked red in contrast to the pale yellow moon. The third woman was fair with “great wavy masses of golden hair and eyes like pale sapphires.” Jonathan thinks he knows her from somewhere, but he can’t remember. They each have gleaming white teeth and ruby red lips and Jonathan is honest this time that it gives him a boner.
There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear. I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips. It is not good to note this down, lest some day it should meet Mina’s eyes and cause her pain; but it is the truth.
The girls urge the fair one to go first for a kiss while Jonathan watches them through his eyelashes “in an agony of delightful anticipation.” This book is SO horny. I feel like I could just copy paste this whole section for you, but here’s a summary instead: girl hot. She leans in for a kiss but goes to his neck instead. She gets close enough to press her teeth against his skin, and suddenly Dracula is there. He grabs the woman by the throat and throws her away, shooing the women with the same gesture as he used with the wolves before.
oh my god hahahsdkfjha Dracula yells at the girls for touching Jonathan, for even looking at him when he forbade it. “This man belongs to me!” Wow!
The fair girl argues “You yourself never loved; you never love!” Which is a little weird. I wonder if she’s criticizing him for literally never having been in love or for being a virgin, but Dracula disagrees. He says he can love and they should already know that, I assume because they’re also vampires. He tells the girls to get lost and they can kiss Jonathan when he’s done with him.
The girls make off with something that might have been a “half-smothered child” that Dracula brought back with him in a bag, and disappear. Jonathan passes out, cutting off the chapter.
When Jonathan wakes in chapter IV, he’s in his own room, presumably princess-carried there by Dracula. He tries to reason that his memory is incorrect and that he brought himself to bed, but he can’t prove it either way. The good news is, Dracula didn’t find his diary, which Jonathan is sure he would have taken or destroyed regardless of whether he could read Jonathan’s shorthand.
Jonathan now finds himself reassured that he is back in his bedroom prison now instead of having his blood sucked out by hot women.
I feel like there must be an academic book somewhere about how queer this book is but I don’t know if I want to spoil myself by reading too far ahead. This is some spicy shit.
Oh and in real-world news, Finland should have won Eurovision. #itscrazyitsparty