Well Chop Off My Head and Shove Garlic Down My Throat
Kul‘s Aaron asks if I’m finding the novel as ridiculous as he does. Not ‘ridiculous,’ per se. But I’m finding that good ol’ Van Helsing has sucked a lot of the life out of the story with his putatively Dutch tortured syntax. A couple lines of this stuff is cute, but now Stoker’s treating us to paragraph after paragraph of exposition in this style and it makes me want to drive a sharp wooden stake into my own heart. I was in the Netherlands recently and can say with 100% certainty that Dutch people do not, in fact, talk this way. Even when they’re speaking English.
Plus I’m finding all the tragic deaths and subsequent outpourings of love and goodwill and declarations of eternal love, trust and friendship between the surviving characters to be a bit much. My feelings on this are best summed up by a quote from our own dear departed David Foster Wallace:
Let’s not all sit around and give each other handjobs.
I think half the problem is that Stoker drags out the Big Reveal About Lucy for about a million chapters, with Van Helsing hand-feeding Seward from his little Dutch Pez-dispenser of clues every step of the goddamn way. This is particularly irksome because I know the story, and usually when you know the story you can try to find interest in the style or whatever, but since we’re getting most of this section in Van Helsing’s words as recorded by Seward, and Van Helsing and Seward aren’t exactly the Johnson and Boswell of the Victorian era, the going is a bit rough.
But let’s keep our chins up — Van Helsing keeps abruptly asking people for permission to chop Lucy’s head off and stuff her mouth with garlic, and that’s gotta lead to something interesting, right?