WEEK 3 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS



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  1. #1
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    Default WEEK 3 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

    Sorry for the delay everyone! I had to do a major catch-up session with my reading today because I've been falling asleep early every night! I was SO far behind, had to read chapters 20-30 - yes, I am embarrassed to admit I had not even finished last weeks assignment yet! ugh!

    Anyways, not as many questions this week. But many interesting developments in the story so far! I want to know everyone's thoughts!

    1) Did the librarian kill himself or did Dracula orchestrate his death after he revealed his secrets? (I'm talking about the librarian who was killed after he bit Helen and ran out of the library and was promptly run over by a car right in front of the library.)

    2) What do you think about Helen being bitten - why won't she show Paul? Do you think there will be consequences as a result of this bite?

    3) After what the librarian told Helen and Paul, do you think Rossi is dead or alive? Why?

    4) What do you think it means "...that Dracula, noblest and most dangerous of all vampires, attained his power not in the region of Wallachia but through a heresy in the monastary of Saint Matthieu-des-Pyrenees-Orientales.." (roughly page 182)

    5) The book mentions there is a legend that says Dracula comes "to pay tribute to his origins and to renew the influences that have allowed him to live in death" - what influences and how does he "renew" them?

    6) WHat do you think of Paul's daughter going on the hunt for her father? Is she in less danger/more danger/equal danger as her father is in? Why do you think so?

    7) Do you think the gypsy that hurled insults at Helen while they were eating with Professor Bora was sent by Dracula? How do you think she knew why they were there - or at least that it had something to do with vampires?

    8) What do you make of the woman Paul's daughter sees outside the train window, standing on the platform? (last page of CH. 27)

    9) Thoughts on Prof. Rossi's name added to the bibliography from the trunk in Istanbul?

    10) Why do you think that Kostova has not revealed Paul's daughter's name? Is there a specific reason for this? How old do you think she is?

    Okay, I really want some answers of these questions because I am dying to know what you think?! Esp, the last part, it's intriguing me!!
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  3. #2
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Re: WEEK 3 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

    1) Did the librarian kill himself or did Dracula orchestrate his death after he revealed his secrets? (I'm talking about the librarian who was killed after he bit Helen and ran out of the library and was promptly run over by a car right in front of the library.
    Initially, I thought it was just an accident. The further I go along in the reading, I'm wondering if Bram Stoker didn't at least have the Vampire lore down. I don't think this Dracula was a into young women, but maybe he was spot on about being bitten 3 times and Dracula has a minion. Wonder if a Van Helsing figure will appear. In Stoker's Dracula he has a minion that is not quite a vampire but the minion is promised immortality. That minion was Rimsfeild, who was killed by Dracula because he told others Dracula's secrets and let out about vampires. Maybe this was the parallel to that storyline.

    2) What do you think about Helen being bitten - why won't she show Paul?
    Do you think there will be consequences as a result of this bite?
    I don't think there will be consequences in that she becomes a vampire, but maybe all lesser and those in the transformation stages have some sort of link to Dracula. Now there is a magical pull that she has towards him. That is why she would throw all her academic things away to go with Paul to Romania.

    3) After what the librarian told Helen and Paul, do you think Rossi is dead or alive? Why?
    I'm going with my original theory that Dracula took him away, and he's a either a minion or a captive. He's not dead, but he may be among the undead now. Why? Because that's my theory and I'm sticking to it.


  4. #3
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    Default Re: WEEK 3 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

    Here are my thoughts:

    Did the librarian kill himself or was it Dracula - I lean toward it was Dracula's doing OR he was so flustered after what he revealed to Paul and Helen that he wasn't paying attention and got ran over. BUT I think Dracula would have come for him regardless because he spilled so much info to Paul and Helen.

    I don't think Helen wants to show Paul because it's a much worse bite than what she wants to admit to herself AND she doesn't want him to know how bad it is. I think there will be consequences - esp if we're thinking that it only takes 3 bites before the boogie man comes to getcha - lol (which is actually one of my working theories about Rossi not remembering his trip to Romania.. I think he might have been bitten there and gotten some sort of amnesia or was "influenced" in some way from the bite to forget his visit there. I think Paul needs to be watching Helen closely for signs of her changing her behavior or changes in her health esp. which could be a result of the bite.

    I think Rossi is probably alive after what the librarian said. I was thinking he was probably dead because of the blood.. but that could've just been the result of a 3rd bite. This would go along with why Rossi's book he was working on is now added to the Bibliography.

    "What do you think it means "...that Dracula, noblest and most dangerous of all vampires, attained his power not in the region of Wallachia but through a heresy in the monastary of Saint Matthieu-des-Pyrenees-Orientales.." (roughly page 182)" I have no idea what this means - I want to know what everyone else thinks because I find this passage really intriguing!! Does this mean HE was bitten by another vampire at the church and that's how HE was able to become a vampire himself??

    How does he go about "renewing" the influences that allow him to live unto death? I don't know - by biting other people? Feeding off them or making them vampires??

    I think Paul's daughter is in more danger simply because she does not have the full knowledge of what she is up against. She also is not generally as knowledgable as her father is and probably doesn't have the same scope of judgement being she is young.
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  6. #4
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    Default Re: WEEK 3 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

    Also, it is starting to drive me slightly crazy to NOT know his daughter's name. I keep thinking it MUST be somewhere and I've somehow missed it.. but I don't think that's the case. Has ANYONE seen a reference to her name?? Is it driving anyone else a but nuts? I think this is probably the first book where I have gone so far through the book and NOT known one of the main characters names! It's a bit disconcerting!
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  7. #5
    Tom Sawyer
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    This is an iPod post so forgive me... I'm dying to get thoughts on Paul leaving his daughter. It's hard to imagine that he didn't realize her drive for knowledge, also the why leave your daughter in mortal danger to go look for Helen; it confuddles me. I looked for her name and even thought it might be in the prologue at the letter signature to no avail.

  8. #6
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    I don't think he thought his daughter would come after him.. I just don't think he did. I think he thought she'd be safe and sound at home with Mrs. CLay - and since Mrs. CLay seems so clingy, seems like it would be hard for her to get away. Also, I think he expected his bond with his daughter to go as far as for her to be able to trust that she'd do what he wanted - which was to go home. I think she loves her father too much for her to imagine losing him - and also she's probably intrigued with the fact that her mom MAY Be alive! I mean who would want to be left alive when all the family you've ever known is in jeopardy - and there isa possibility that the mom you thought was dead could be alive - but maybe not for long.

    Now that I think about it some more - I think I would want to eb with my family to at all costs - no matter what happened, I'd want it to happen to us TOGETHER. No way would I want to be left alone..

    But you asked about Paul leaving his daughter.. I don't know about that, I think he must've found some information that lead him to believe that Helen was alive - and decided it was worth the risk to leave his daughter in order that they might someday be reunited. That's all I can figure..
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  9. #7
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Re: WEEK 3 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

    I just found it odd that he left after Oxford. On the one hand maybe he did find a some information, but on the other hand Oxford was a testament of her ability to find information any where. I've lived in Europe, and I understand what she meant about a European train. It's the best public transportation system in the world, and talking to people that lived there 30,40, and 50 years ago the experience is all the same. She's well traveled, and so there's no reason not to believe that she wants the information and has all the means and knowledge to go about it. I'm 50/50 on the fence he knew that she would go out on her own. I have a hard time buying clothes for my daughter, I always buy 2 sizes too small; sometimes it seems the closer you are the harder it is to see the changes your children go through.

  10. #8
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Re: WEEK 3 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

    "What do you think it means "...that Dracula, noblest and most dangerous of all vampires, attained his power not in the region of Wallachia but through a heresy in the monastary of Saint Matthieu-des-Pyrenees-Orientales.." (roughly page 182)" I have no idea what this means - I want to know what everyone else thinks because I find this passage really intriguing!! Does this mean HE was bitten by another vampire at the church and that's how HE was able to become a vampire himself??
    As I said, I saw these last 10 chapters making alot parallels to Stoker's Dracula. I only grazed Stoker's work, so anyone that has actually read his work correct me. I though Vlad was on a conquering spree, and entered into a church as a conqueror. So the monks and priests there cursed him into becoming Dracula.


    You know I never reread a book, I generally read from page 1 to the end, and anything I missed I either pick up later in plot clean up or skip it all together. But now I wonder what the waiter said to Paul and his daughter. Was he possibly refering to Dracula, or was it prior to Dracula?

  11. #9
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    Default Re: WEEK 3 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireflywishes
    1) Did the librarian kill himself or did Dracula orchestrate his death after he revealed his secrets? (I'm talking about the librarian who was killed after he bit Helen and ran out of the library and was promptly run over by a car right in front of the library.)
    I suspect he killed himself....it certainly felt intentional; but that said, at this juncture it is pretty obvious that he is not really killable (at least by a car), so perhaps he did it to get closer to Dracula?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireflywishes
    2) What do you think about Helen being bitten - why won't she show Paul? Do you think there will be consequences as a result of this bite?
    I suspect she won't show Paul because the bite is more than just a bite? Something more awful? Maybe she believes Paul will become suspicious of her if he sees it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireflywishes
    3) After what the librarian told Helen and Paul, do you think Rossi is dead or alive? Why?
    I now suspect that Rossi must be in the same condition as the librarian...alive, dead, not sure on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireflywishes
    4) What do you think it means "...that Dracula, noblest and most dangerous of all vampires, attained his power not in the region of Wallachia but through a heresy in the monastary of Saint Matthieu-des-Pyrenees-Orientales.." (roughly page 182)

    5) The book mentions there is a legend that says Dracula comes "to pay tribute to his origins and to renew the influences that have allowed him to live in death" - what influences and how does he "renew" them?
    That place seemed creepy the first time the daughter and Paul went, now clearly there is something very questionable going on there, but I'm not quite sure what. Does Dracula need to go there to "re-energize?" Could Rossi be there? Might it be a mandatory place that Dracula needs to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireflywishes
    6) WHat do you think of Paul's daughter going on the hunt for her father? Is she in less danger/more danger/equal danger as her father is in? Why do you think so?
    I still think it won't end well for her. She's not a book recipient (I know that I keep coming back to that), but ti makes me think she is more in the realm of Helen, the librarian or curator than Paul or Rossi and perhaps in very serious danger. But then again, that teen rebellion thing is clearly playing into this as well. I realize that from the beginning of the book, she is writing as an older person, about her youth, so obviously she survives, but there might be a cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireflywishes
    7) Do you think the gypsy that hurled insults at Helen while they were eating with Professor Bora was sent by Dracula? How do you think she knew why they were there - or at least that it had something to do with vampires?
    Not at all, but I do suspect that she can sense when someone has been bitten.....after all, aren't the gypsies from that area originally?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireflywishes
    8) What do you make of the woman Paul's daughter sees outside the train window, standing on the platform? (last page of CH. 27)
    I think it is Helen.....description sounds the same. So she isn't dead, maybe undead? Poor thing - it's the bite again, perhaps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireflywishes
    9) Thoughts on Prof. Rossi's name added to the bibliography from the trunk in Istanbul?
    Not sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireflywishes
    10) Why do you think that Kostova has not revealed Paul's daughter's name? Is there a specific reason for this? How old do you think she is?
    The daughter is 16 at the time of the story...I think it said somewhere in the first few chapters. I believe that it is narrated as a reminiscence and I gather from the notes at the beginning that the daughter is now middle-aged. I suspect the daughter is unnamed so that the reader suspects that it is Kostova writing "fiction" of her own life experience (or at least fictitious treatment of some part of her true history)? Kostova's surname would imply that she is Slavic....

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireflywishes
    Okay, I really want some answers of these questions because I am dying to know what you think?! Esp, the last part, it's intriguing me!!
    Firefly, I just want you to know that this effort you put in is so greatly appreciated. Having a group with whom to discuss what I am reading is such a great experience. Mr. PFM is not a reader so I can explain what a book made me think, but I get no substantive insight since he (obviously) has not read any of it.
    [/quote]

  12. #10
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    Default Re: WEEK 3 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

    1) Did the librarian kill himself or did Dracula orchestrate his death after he revealed his secrets? (I'm talking about the librarian who was killed after he bit Helen and ran out of the library and was promptly run over by a car right in front of the library.)
    - I think he ran in front of the car on purpose. I also think it was some kind of mind control - you know, say too much and something inside controlling the mind snaps, and he's put out of the equation and it looks like either an accident or suicide, you choose. Doesn't matter which, but that it happened. So in the end, I think Dracula orchestrated his death.

    2) What do you think about Helen being bitten - why won't she show Paul? Do you think there will be consequences as a result of this bite?
    - I think it's worse than she wants him to think. And yes, I think there will be consequences, because no one has proven that 3 bites equals control by a vampire.
    Or....I don't remember reading that he actually saw blood. Could there have been no bite, but she wants to know more about her father, so she alludes to being bitten so trick Paul into caring just a little more and saying yes a few minutes later to taking her along with him to Istanbul? She put that scarf on awfully quick.
    Of course, I'm still assuming she was bitten, but just a theory.

    3) After what the librarian told Helen and Paul, do you think Rossi is dead or alive? Why?
    - I'm unsure... it's quite possible he's alive, but he could very well be one of the undead now.

    4) What do you think it means "...that Dracula, noblest and most dangerous of all vampires, attained his power not in the region of Wallachia but through a heresy in the monastary of Saint Matthieu-des-Pyrenees-Orientales.." (roughly page 182)
    - Does it only take belief for existence? If no one believed Dracula existed anymore, does his power diminish, does he cease to be? I might be reaching there, though. Honestly, I'm not sure what it means.

    5) The book mentions there is a legend that says Dracula comes "to pay tribute to his origins and to renew the influences that have allowed him to live in death" - what influences and how does he "renew" them?
    - Honestly, it's unclear to me at this point. I need more info.

    6) WHat do you think of Paul's daughter going on the hunt for her father? Is she in less danger/more danger/equal danger as her father is in? Why do you think so?
    - Obviously, since she's writing this book in her later years, about her experiences, she survives (as far as we know, because we don't know what happens after the book). And plenty of people think she wasn't meant to find the book, or rather, the book doesn't find her, she found it, so she never should have been involved in the first place. And going on that theory, maybe she's safer than the rest. Also, in all the letters, Rossi signs his name. We know Paul's name. We know Helen's name. They've all disappeared, whether by unfortunate circumstance or specific purpose. But we don't know the narrator's name and she's here to narrate the story decades later. Coincidence?
    Of course, everyone who writes or tells the story or is involved has misfortune fall upon them, and at this point, we don't know what happens to her after she tells her story. Maybe she'll meet the same fate.

    7) Do you think the gypsy that hurled insults at Helen while they were eating with Professor Bora was sent by Dracula? How do you think she knew why they were there - or at least that it had something to do with vampires?
    - I don't think she was sent by Dracula. I do think it was a coincidence that she was peddling her wares to travelers and saw them, had a "vision" or senses Helen had been bitten and gave her warning.

    8) What do you make of the woman Paul's daughter sees outside the train window, standing on the platform? (last page of CH. 27)
    - I think it was Helen, looking for her daughter, to send her back to Amsterdam.

    9) Thoughts on Prof. Rossi's name added to the bibliography from the trunk in Istanbul?
    - Very creepy and foretelling. Like, "if you don't leave this alone, this is where he will end up." Heck, he could be there now, entombed, undead. It's hard to say.

    10) Why do you think that Kostova has not revealed Paul's daughter's name? Is there a specific reason for this? How old do you think she is?
    - See my answer to question 6.

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