TRANSYLVANIAN SOCIETY OF DRACULA
TSD Press-release/June, 2001
The world is full of wonders and here is one of them: "Libertatea" daily (Bucuresti, Romania) reported on the intention of a "group of US businessmen" to clone Dracula, Count Dracula, the vampire. To that purpose they plan to dig up the remains of Prince Vlad Dracula, the Impaler (XV century) at the monastery of Snagov.
The news was picked up by various media worldwide - some of which asked the Transylvanian Society of Dracula, Romania, to comment on it - so here is what TSD has to say:
One shouldnt confuse a supernatural category of the folklore (then of the literature, then of the cinematography) with a historical personality. This mistake alone brings doubts on the wisdom of resurrecting a man who would regard this confusion as an insult to his intelligence and punish the ignorants.
The historical Vlad Dracula
Bram Stokers working notes show that his book had long been written before he stumbled over the names Transylvania and Dracula (so much for the "inspiration" offered by the historical man). At the beginning, the novel was entitled "The Undead", the story was placed in Austria and the name of the count was "Count Wampyr". A sentence in William Wilkinsons changed it all: "Dracula in Romanian means devil". Had Stoker chosen the name Jefferson to re-name the Count, our group of US businessmen would need to dig up Jeffersons bones to clone a vampire, correct?
The sad thing about Prince Vlad Dracula is that no one knows where he was buried. The claim of archaeologist Dinu Rosetti that he uncovered Vlads remains at the monastery of Snagov (1931-33) could not be substantiated by documentary or archaeological evidences.
Besides, the un-named skeleton had a head, and we know from solid Ottoman chronicles that Vlads head was severed and taken to Constantinopole for the Turks to see and relax (folklorically, that would have been enough to prevent him from becoming a vampire to the general dismay!)
In the 1980s, Vincent Hillyer - an American writer on vampires, kept a prize of $10,000 at the disposal of the person who could prove vampires exist. In 1987, he scared the peaceful town of Los Banos with his intention to declare "The Vampire Days in Los Banos" (the fear that the vampires might actually come and attack the inhabitants created a mass hysteria there which ended Hillyers intention - proof enough that vampires exist).
"The vampire is a necessary folkloric category" said Prof.dr. Silviu Angelescu, leading Romanian folklorist. Before police and tribunals were invented, the reinforcement of the community laws had been entrusted to guardian spirits of the vampire/ghost type, standing at the border between Good and Evil. As long as one obeyed the laws, nothing wrong could happen; but if one contemplated to break the laws, or didnt know them (ignorance was no excuse), the malefic spirit, the vampire struck.
Later, the role and duties of the vampire were taken over by the devil, but the two categories co-existed to this day.
Meaning that cloning a vampire might pose some problems.
The Transylvanian Society of Dracula has long been aware of the frantic search of the meaning of the vampire on the part of the western researchers whose folkloric roots were cut by industrialization and post-industrialization, by Cartesian upbringing. Thus, explanations of the vampires were sought in rare blood diseases (porphyry), in premature burial states, in rabies-like conduct, aliens and other such blind alleys of research.
TSD hopes, to honour human intelligence, that the said report in "Libertatea" is at best a hoax. As for the "group of US businessmen", they dont want to know what happened to 41 Saxon merchants who marched into Vlads territory without researching the whereabouts properly, 500 years ago.
The contents of this press-release can be reproduced mentioning the source: Transylvanian Society of Dracula, Romania, e-mail: email@example.com
Forthcoming Society events
(The events above are imbedded in a "Classic" society tour starting on October 26, from Bucuresti)
CESNUR Home Page - DRACULA Library