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Authors: Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

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BOOK: Hotel Transylvania
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Probably Walpole and the French (and possibly Frederick the Great as well) used Saint-Germain as an unofficial diplomatic courier during his long stay in the European courts. He certainly had access to the very highest-ranking men of his time. After 1768 he was lodged in Chambourg so that he would be nearer to the King of France, who spent some time with Saint-Germain almost every day. Frederick the Great liked him as a musician as well as a courtier, and called him "The man who does not die."

His ambidexterity is well-documented, and his skill of writing two copies of the same thing at once was a trick he enjoyed doing. What is unusual, even among the very ambidextrous, is that Saint-Germain's signature was the same by either hand. This fact is useful when the question of his death arises, because there are two documents bearing his authenticated signature, dated 1791 and 1793, five and seven years after his supposed death. The original recipients of the letters at the time did not doubt the authenticity of the letters, and there are at least three people who had known him many years who claimed to have seen him and spoken with him in 1793, 1796, and 1802.

Whoever he was, he succeeded in bewildering everyone for quite a long time, and the mystery, even today, is not solved.

 

 

VAMPIRES

 

In deciding which of the general characteristics of vampires would be useful for this novel, I read a great many of the available books on the subject, ranging from scholarly studies to credulous reports. I made a chart of beliefs about vampires and whatever was true for 80% of the cultures, I accepted as true and put them into this novel. My conclusions are as follows: whatever it is that a vampire finds necessary in blood, nourishment is not the main purpose. Since vampires do not digest or eliminate the way living people do, blood, being drunk, must serve some other function. Apparently this is not circulatory, either, for it would seem that much of the function of the circulatory system is taken over by the lymphatic system, which would in part account for the increased sensitivity to sunlight (although fiction's two Grand Old Vampires, Dracula and Ruthven, run around in the sunlight without apparent harm). So blood provides food in only a very limited sense, and as long as that blood is mammalian, it provides what little sustenance the vampire requires.

The psychic element of vampirism is another matter. What most vampires seem to seek (at least the fictional variety) is not blood, but life ("For the blood is the life, Mr. Harker," says Dracula). It is the intimacy that makes the blood important, and the physical contact that the vampire truly seeks. In extension of this psychic element, vampires apparently are psychokinetic, for they are credited with the ability to influence human, animal and weather behavior.

There has been a tremendous amount written about the underlying sexuality of vampirism, and of course, most vampiric attacks occur at night, in bed, and leave one exhausted. Now — meaning in the last 500 years — in most cultures it is agreed that vampires are not capable of genital sexual contact, but that they express their desires through their biting, which will send any Freudian capering with glee. Thus, it is not the blood itself, but the act of taking it that gives the vampire nourishment. Certainly this is consistent with one Chinese vampire that does not take blood from the neck, but spinal fluid.

In European countries there has been a great tendency to attribute heretical and Satanic characteristics to vampires, but this is an inconsistent attitude. If vampires were truly frightened of the Cross, for example, it would be enough to bury them under one and leave it at that. So it is not the religious symbols that control vampires. Nor are they Satanic. There is no element of devil-worship in their behavior. And it is only in Christian countries that it is believed that being a sorcerer in life contributes to vampirism after death.

Whether regarded with horror or curiosity, vampires and the lore that surrounds them have exercised a powerful fascination on humanity for a long, long time, and it is obvious that there is something we find both compelling and repulsive about an undead being who attacks/seduces the living. Much of this stems from a generally ambivalent attitude about immortality, and a certain preoccupation with fears about death.

Varney, Dracula, Lord Ruthven, and their varied children (this Saint-Germain is certainly one of them) have held a very special place in macabre literature. If they did not speak to some hidden part of ourselves, they would not be there.

 

 

 

 

About the Author

 

 

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is the author of dozens of fantasy, horror, and young adult novels, including the 25 books of the Saint-Germain series. A frequent speaker at library, literary, and SF/fantasy conventions, she has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the Bram Stoker Award; she is the recipient of the Grand Master award from the World Horror Convention, is the firsts woman to be made a Living Legend by the International Horror Guild, and was awarded a Life Achievement Award by the Horror Writers Association.
 

Table of Contents

Dedication 

PART ONE 

Letter 

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

PART TWO 

Letter 

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

PART THREE 

Letter 

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Epilogue 

Notes 

About the Author 

BOOK: Hotel Transylvania
6.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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