Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Teresa lives in Lake Park, Iowa with her husband and her two children. "My Vladislaus Dracula" is Teresa's third novel. Her first novel was "An Escape: A Secret Life" followed by her second novel "Prelude to a Christmas Carol: The Ghosts of Christmas".
The reason I wrote the book “My Vladislaus Dracula” is not easy to explain. But, I can try to sum it up in a couple of paragraphs.
When I was thirteen, I was very fascinated with vampire movies. My reason for liking these movies was not what one might think. I watched these movies for that connection they had, the way the character Dracula finds someone he wants, risks everything to get that someone, and then fights off everyone to keep that someone. But, the connection that is there between these two people is closer than any connection anyone could have with another person, alive or in this case, dead. They share their blood to form that bond, but it was that bond that they have that makes them risk everything to stay together. That connection to that individual is so powerful. In real life, we call it true love. As a teenager, I thought of it as the most romantic thing ever. Maybe that’s why a lot of teens like the twilight movies.
At the time I believed what I read under the woodcut to be true. But as I read more about the real man, and about why this picture was created, I had too many other questions. This is where I began my research. I looked everywhere to find out everything I could about this woodcut and Vlad Dracula. This is where I found out this woodcut, was just a made up lie.
First of all, there were three separate pieces of information that were used and mixed up to make this sentence under the woodcut.
What really happened? Many have their stories and at another time, if you are interested, I will tell you what I think happened. But for this articles purpose, back to the woodcut. Beheim was supposed to have talked with Brother Jacob. After talking with this monk, Beheim began writing his poem. This is where the exaggerated number of 30,000 impaled people comes in. There are more manifestations in this mans poem, especially the one that says “he dipped his bread in the blood of his victims and slurped it down“. This came from McNally and Florescu’s interpretation of this poem but was not correctly translated by them. The only reason they said this, was to make a connection to the vampire myth. But, when the poem is translated from German to English, it means “he dipped his hands in the blood of his enemies, because it was custom to do so”. Beheim’s poem has always been one of the most used documents in regards to Vlad Dracula and has always been poorly translated. I couldn’t see how anyone could use his poem as any evidence of his character. Yet, many still use Beheim’s poem as some sort of historical document.
The last piece of information used for the sentence under the woodcut, is from a Greek historian named Laonicus Chalcondyles. The ‘forest of impaled’ was what the Greek described as the scene outside of Targoviste when the Sultan’s army invaded Wallachia, not Brasov.
As I was researching, it struck me, if Bram Stoker could write a fictitious story and use ‘Dracula’s’ name to create a mythical creature so believable, in what has become the most popular mythical creature of all time, then what could I do to change that? I did not want to change Bram Stoker’s story at all. I enjoy vampire movies. But the man called Vlad Dracula was not a vampire, and to his people he was a hero. I decided I needed to tell these answers to those people who look at that woodcut and believe it as truth. People need to see that Dracula was not the monster he has been made out to be, but in fact, a courageous, intelligent, true hero to his people. To change centuries of spreading lies and deceit about him will take a long time. But I am up for the challenge, so let it begin with “My Vladislaus Dracula”.
Posted by Taliesin_ttlg at 7:03 AM