Patrick was having trouble posting, so I’m posting this on his behalf. This “detoured” mediation seems appropriate (for both Poe and Stoker) . . .
In relation to our discussion of Lacan last week and my recent research for my course paper I have found several new angles to view a text which has held my interest since before my first reading of the Dracula in seventh grade. As I have often argued the epistolary nature of the text makes the book feel like what it claims to be; a transcription of primary sources testifying to an actual event while the closing of the novel begs off “We have no proofs; we ask that none believe us!”.
On this latest reading a few cracks have developed in the veneer of faux reality for me. Making a concerted effort to read the chapters as journal entries and letters rather than chapters in a book has drawn particular notice to the full transcription of letters from second authors within the “primary texts” of chapters. Of particular note are notes from dracula in Jonathan Harker’s journal. Perhaps this can be excused and taken as communicating to the reader Harker’s feelings of isolation as he has no other outlet for his feelings about the Count and his castle than his journal and had nothing better to occupy his time than transcribing notes.
I have also the role of mediation and interruption in the novel. There is of course the issue that despite the novel being a collection of primary sources, most of these have been mediated many having been transcribed by Mina from shorthand journals and Phonograph and then having to be copied from only one of the three carbon paper copies after the other two were destroyed. The then were mediated again in their organization and editing for its intended audience who we are standing in for.
There is also Dracula’s mediation and interruption of Harker’s letters home. He tells Harker who is in power the nature of what he is to write and when the gypsy delivers the letters Harker gave him to Dracula. It is interesting to consider that Dracula was the destination of those letters, which unlike so many others are not reproduced in the novel.When Harker accepted the Count’s invitation to “Enter freely and of your own will” did he consent to this mediation, sending messages only through the count subject to his approval? This situation reminds me of public officials e-mails which come to the public not through leaks, but through FOIA requests in which ultimate ownership of the “private” documents by the government and by extension the citizenry was a known factor, though one that could easily leave one’s conscious thoughts.