Thursday, October 30, 2014

Case Study No. 1644: Ruarlach Ni Bowlan

podge and rodge series 1 episode 11-the eggtimer
a scare at bedtime series 1 episode 11-the eggtimer
Tags: podge and rodge series 1 episode 11 the eggtimer a scare at bedtime irish ireland funny comedy
Added: 7 years ago
From: killannelad
Views: 4,171

[scene opens with an exterior shot of Ballydung Manor, then cut to inside where two male puppets are lying in bed as a large rat scurries by]
RODGE: Podge! Podge! Didja see that? Them fekkin' rats are getting as big as cats!
[he pulls out a shotgun]
RODGE: Should I, should I kill them?
PODGE: He's big, alright, but not big enough for a good juicy roast.
RODGE: Eh, you're right ... Granny would have him downed in one bite.
[he chuckles]
RODGE: How come, though ... uh, she always gets first suckle on the tail?
PODGE: 'Cause with a bit'a luck, she might choke!
[they both laugh]
RODGE: Oh, we're fierce mean!
PODGE: Yeah, but not as mean as ... Oxter McLaughlin from Mullinasnot!
[he breathes in deeply, getting ready to launch into his story]
PODGE: Oxter lived in a farm with his daughter, Delores.
[cut to black and white scenes of Delores (played by a non-puppet actress) doing menial tasks around the McLaughlin farm]
PODGE: [in voice over] Misses McLaughlin had died of utter misery when she was a mere child, and since then Delores was forced to wait hand and foot on her mean old father.
[cut to a closeup of her father (played by a puppet that looks like Podge)]
OXTER: You're my property until you're eighteen ... if ya live that long!
[cut back to Podge and Rodge in their bedroom]
PODGE: He treated her more like a slave than a daughter ... but the meanest thing of all, was having to boil his eggs!
RODGE: That's hardly mean now, Podge ...
PODGE: Oh, it was when you knew what the penalty was ... if the eggs were overcooked!
[cut to Oxter (now played by a human actor) sitting at the kitchen table]
PODGE: [in voice over] He used to sit down without a word, and place his precious eggtimer in the middle of the table.
[he places a large hourglass on the table and turns it over]
PODGE: [in voice over] If she boiled the egg one grain over the eggtimer, he would take his stick to her!
[cut back to Podge and Rodge in their bedroom]
RODGE: Why didn't she just run away?
PODGE: Ah sure, where would she go? She had no friends, she knew no one! And besides, Old McLaughlin had told her the only way she'd leave the farm ... was in a box!
[cut to Delores and her father entering the local library]
PODGE: [in voice over] Once a month, she was permitted to go to the library with her father, and take one book home.
[cut to Delores running her finger across one of the shelves, when she stops and pulls out a book]
PODGE: [in voice over] Ah, it was nearly always the same book ...
[cut back to Podge and Rodge in their bedroom]
RODGE: Was it "The Stud" by Jackie Collins? Ohh ...
PODGE: No! It was a book on foreign places!
[cut to Delores daydreaming while doing her chores]
PODGE: [in voice over] And she'd while away at her chores, dreaming of being swept off her feet ...
[cut back to Podge and Rodge in their bedroom]
PODGE: By some handsome man!
[cut to a young male librarian (wavy hair, glasses) looking through a drawer in the card catalog]
PODGE: [in voice over] And when a new librarian started work ...
[cut to the librarian placing a copy of "Wuthering Heights" back on the shelf (as Delores watches from the background)]
PODGE: [in voice over] Called Ruarlach Ni Bowlan ...
[cut to Delores approaching the front desk with her book, handing it to the librarian]
PODGE: [in voice over] It looked like her dreams might become a reality.
[cut to a closeup shot of the librarian stamping her book]
RODGE: [in voice over] Tell us more ...
[cut back to Podge and Rodge in their bedroom]
PODGE: So she came up with a clever plan ...
[cut to various shots of Delores and the librarian flipping through books]
PODGE: [in voice over] And the two fell in love, via notes they used to pass to each other in the pages of her library books.
[cut back to Podge and Rodge in their bedroom]
PODGE: And old McLaughlin suspected nothing!
[cut to Delores at her desk writing a note]
PODGE: [in voice over] She wrote a note back to him, professing her undying love!
[cut back to Podge and Rodge in their bedroom]
PODGE: She would elope with him, a-and meet him at the crossroads at midnight! That evening, Delores handed the book, with the note, to her lover, and went home and secretly packed for her new life ...
RODGE: Come on, Podge! Too much tale, and not enough tragedy!
[cut to Delores sneaking out of the house, as her father is asleep in a chair]
PODGE: [in voice over] At eleven thirty, she snuck out. Old McLaughlin was snoring in front of the fire ... As she was leaving, she stole his precious eggtimer!
RODGE: [in voice over] Ha, a bit of revenge! I like that!
[cut back to Podge and Rodge in their bedroom]
PODGE: Midnight, at the crossroads, the librarian's car approached.
[cut to a car pulling up in a grassy field, then back to Podge and Rodge in their bedroom]
PODGE: Her heart beat widely, as she opened the passenger's door ... only to be greeted, not by the lips of her lover--
[cut to Delores opening the car door and finding her father inside]
PODGE: [in voice over] But by the clenched fist of her father!
[cut back to Podge and Rodge in their bedroom]
RODGE: But what about the boyfriend?
PODGE: Oh, he was sittin' in the backseat.
RODGE: Would he not help her?
PODGE: Sure, how could he with an axe through his head?
[cut to a closeup of Oxter (back in puppet form)]
OXTER: You'll bury this booger, like ya did your mother!
[cut back to Podge and Rodge in their bedroom]
PODGE: The old man said.
[cut back to the Oxter puppet]
OXTER: That young fella of yours put up a bit of a fight. Gave me quite a ... appetite. I look forward to me--
[he smacks his lips]
OXTER: Eggs in the morning!
[cut back to Podge and Rodge in their bedroom]
PODGE: Delores sat in shock, as they drove up the winding roads to the quarry.
RODGE: Ah, the quarry's a great place for burying bodies ...
[cut to the car pulling up to a quarry]
PODGE: [in voice over] The car pulled up at the edge of the quarry ...
[cut back to Podge and Rodge in their bedroom]
PODGE: And old man McLaughlin told Delores to get the shovel outta the boot ... It was to be the last chore he ever gave Delores!
[cut to Delores wedging the shovel underneath the back tire of the car]
PODGE: [in voice over] As she used the shovel as a lever, and with all the strength as she could muster, from all the years of hard grind ...
[cut back to Podge and Rodge in their bedroom]
PODGE: She pushed the car over the edge, and it burst into flames as it hit the quarry floor ... The papers said the young librarian committed suicide, and drove himself into the quarry because Delores hadn't turned up at the crossroads that night. Rumor has it she's in Boston--
[cut to scenes in a diner]
PODGE: [in voice over] And has boiled eggs with her father every morning.
[cut back to Podge and Rodge in their bedroom]
RODGE: I thought he was dead!
PODGE: He is! But she replaced the grains of sand in his beloved eggtimer ...
[cut to a closeup of the hourglass]
PODGE: [in voice over] With the ashes of his corpse!
[cut back to Podge and Rodge in their bedroom]
PODGE: Heh heh heh ... Four minutes worth of ashes, mind.
RODGE: But uh, that'd boil 'em hard.
PODGE: Mmm, yeah ... Just the way she likes 'em!
[they both laugh]
PODGE: Ah, serves 'im right!
[a cat suddenly appears at the foot of their bed]
PODGE: Oh, hey there ...
RODGE: Oh look, Podge! Podge! Look!
PODGE: What?
RODGE: Pox has got, he's caught that rat in his mouth! Look!
PODGE: Ah no, that's not the rat ... He's been in the chamberpot again.
[Rodge leans over the side of the bed and begins vomiting]
PODGE: Oh, get it up, you'll feel better then! Uh ...
[cut to an exterior shot of their house (as the retching noises can still be heard from inside)]
PODGE: [in voice over] Pox, get away from that puke! Stop eating it! And that's the last time you're gonna eat my shite! Get outta here, you dirty devil! Get outta the house! Get away with ya!
RODGE: [in voice over] Uggghh ...
PODGE: [in voice over] Ah, you'll feel better in a minute ...



"A Scare at Bedtime" (also known as "Podge and Rodge: A Scare at Bedtime") is an Irish television show, produced by Double Z Enterprises and broadcast by RTE, featuring the two puppets Podge and Rodge as the hosts of a spooky tales and urban myths comedy show. It ran for nine series, with a total of 150 episodes from 1997 until January 2006.

A Scare at Bedtime was originally commissioned by RTE to fill a ten-minute gap that was left before the 23:00 News due to the short running times of American shows that preceded it. This show took its name from the nightly RTE show called "A Prayer at Bedtime," which overlaid the text of a Roman Catholic prayer over serene images with choral music playing. A Scare at Bedtime, first aired in 1997, is close to being the polar opposite of this, with extremely adult content, lewd jokes and slightly obscene anecdotes being related by the two puppets and 'Tales of Caution' acted out in live action segments. Podge's origins on The Den is ignored, as the backstory gradually established on A Scare at Bedtime, presents Podge and his identical twin brother Rodge to be both in their sixties, and living in Ballydung Manor, a converted insane asylum for most of that time, with a lunatic nurse that they call "Granny" who practices the dark arts (since she is dating Satan, whom they refer to as the "quare fella" throughout the series) . They were also then given full names also: Padraig Judas O'Leprocy and Rodraig Spartacus O'Leprocy.

Each episode follows the same pattern: Rodge, the dumber of the two, arrives home. Originally the pair would get into bed but in later seasons they sat at the kitchen table. They talk about what Rodge was doing, with Podge usually insulting him. This leads Podge on to telling a story (acted out by live actors) about some people (whose names are usually sexual innuendos, e.g. Chris Peacock, Ulick McGee, Neil Down, Mickey Scratcher and Inspector Bush) who inevitably come to an unpleasant end. Rodge interrupts the story with stupid comments and/or reference to masturbation. It ends with Podge punishing Rodge for no reason.



Season 1, Episode 11 ("The Eggtimer")
2 February 1998

Oxter McLaughlin treats his daughter Delores like a slave, she has to boil his eggs every day for exactly three minutes, no more no less. But things reach boiling point when he discovers that Delores has fallen in love with a young librarian.



The tale of Dolores McLoughlin from Mullinasnot, and her mean father Oxter. Her life had been a misery ever since her mother died, as her father now treated her as his personal slave. He said that the only way she would ever leave the farm they lived on would be in a box. He had a particular fondness for boiled eggs, and would time his daughter with his own egg timer as she prepared his meals. If she overcooked the egg by one grain of sand, he would lay into her with a stick. Once a month, she was accompanied to the local library, offering the only source of happiness in her life. When a dashing new librarian, Ruarlach Ni Bowlan, started working there, Dolores fell completely in love, and the two would exchange notes left in the books she took from the library, thus keeping the whole affair from her mean old father. One evening, she arranged to elope with her lover. She left the farm at 11.30, with her father asleep. Ruarlach's car pulled up at their meeting point, and her father jumped out. Ruarlach was in the backseat - complete with axe embedded in his head. Her father drove to the nearby quarry, telling Dolores that she had to bury her young lover. While he waited in the car for her to return with a shovel, she summoned all her strength to use the shovel to lever the car over the edge into the quarry. She placed the ensuing ashes from her father's corpse in his eggtimer.

Case Study No. 1643: Unnamed Female Librarian (Barely Political)

Sexy Librarian / Conan O'Brien Barbarian
Happy Halloween!

(used without permission)
Tags: sexy librarian halloween costume
Added: 1 month ago
From: ToonLib
Views: 14

[cut to one of the female party goers dressed as a sexy librarian (long black hair, glasses, grey blazer, white blouse unbuttoned to show her cleavage, tight grey skirt), as she puts a finger to her lips and shushes the male party goers]
LIBRARIAN: Shh, I'm a sexy librarian!
[she slaps her backside with a copy of "The Dangerous Book for Boys" ("Recapture Sunday afternoons and long summer days. The perfect book for every boy from eight to eighty"), then cut to one of the male party goers dressed as "Conan the Barbarian" (red wig, red tie, furry caveman singlet), as he swings a broadsword in front of the female party goers]
CONAN: Well, I'm Conan O'Brien Barbarian!



The Key of Awesome: Season 1, Episode 49
Halloween Battle (27 Oct. 2011)

The guys are tired of the ladies getting all the attention on Halloween! It's a sexy battle of the sexes!

Written by The Barely Guys, Directed by Erik Beck, Edited by Justin Johnson



Barely Political is a large YouTube channel that produces comedy videos starring writer/performers Mark Douglas, Todd Womack, Bryan Olsen, and director Tom Small. The most popular series on the channel is called "The Key of Awesome," which makes music viral videos and parodies, which was created by Mark Douglas and Ben Relles. Barely Political was created in June 2007 by founder Ben Relles and debuted its presence on the internet in the music video "I Got a Crush...on Obama", starring Amber Lee "Obama Girl" Ettinger and created by Ben Relles and Jake Chudnow. Videos on the YouTube channel have been seen over 2 billion times online. "The Key of Awesome" has become the central identity of the channel.



Halloween Battle!
The Key Of Awesome #49


Oh yeah I smell candy corn and drunk women. Halloween must be here
On Halloween we rule the night!
Our boobs are squeezed our pants are tight!
I feel like Lawrence of Arabia right now, cus I'm seeing a lot of camel toe out there.
Inside the club it's a treasure of chests
But outside in the line it's a sausage fest
The bouncer guards the door like a hipster sphinx
Tonight is more annoying than Jar Jar Binks
Hey sexy nurse, you could make me cough
Was your costume on sale cus it is half off
We're totally sexy we're totally hot
What do those witches got that we ain't got
We'd could walk around all scantily clad
Wait a second that idea ain't half bad
It's time to break free of Halloween oppression
To be a sexy bee that is the question
Take the costume your wearing and chop it in half
We're putting the ween back in Halloween
If we band together then no one will laugh
I feel like Charlie Sheen cus I'm "Hallo-winning"
Move aside bouncer lest you want to feel pain
You're standin' on the tracks of the sexy man train
Alright ladies let's put those hands up. I wanna see you! So we can show you out the door, That's right make room for the guys!
It's about 95 degrees sex-ius in here!!!
Don't be jealous cus the fellas really brought it this year.
You can't be sexy No friggin' way
You spoiled our night now it's time to pay
Yeah, Witches, and Nurses, and Jackie O,
A French Maid, A mermaid, and Marylin Monroe
You're dead in the water, we're doin' it better
We got a smokin' hot Freddy in a cut off sweater
I'm dressed up as a sexy mom
Wearing only a baby and five coupons
I'm your worst nightmare a Sexy Buzz Lightyear
Well you might want to think about switching to light beer
Shhh, I'm a sexy librarian
Well I'm Conan O'Brian Barbarian
I'm a homeless stripper and I'm lookin' splendid
I'll leave you horny, and a little offended
Nooooo! Enough!
Once again you've awakened The Pumpkin King
By dressing up in costumes that are obscene
On Halloween's you should be horrifying as hell
Instead you're out here whore-ifying yourselves
You guys are scary but in the wrong way
You may as well be singing YMCA!
If I wanted people half naked outside
I would've put the holiday in freakin' July
Cover yourself for the love of Candy.
Whoa whoa whoa, ladies, I was just talking to the guys. You all look great!
Say, have any of you ever ridden inside an SUV limo? Got one right outside.
It's got a Jacuzzi, and I make a mean pumpkin cosmo.
Hey nurse lady. Where do you work? Slutty Sloan Kettering? Ha ha, I'm just kidding!

Case Study No. 1642: Librarian Yuzuki

ANiMATED MAKEUP SERiES: Shiki Fifth Deceit
link to 5th episode: shiki-fifth-deceit#s-p4-so-i0

i hope your enjoying this series as much as i am
im on twitter: itsjustmars and instagram: itsjustmars

im also part of a collab channel: outlawsofstyle
Tags: Makeup Tutorial Beauty Eye Cosmetics Animation Look Cartoon Animated makup series shiki vampires funimation fifth deceit sugarpill heartbreaker pallete acidberry 2am 88 matte coastal scents urban decay liner nyx doll lash mascara stila lip gloss raisin tako the balm black shadow str8updork mars
Added: 2 years ago
From: Str8UPdork
Views: 204

[scenes from the end of the fifth episode of the "Shiki" anime series are shown (featuring a librarian vampire jumping out of a tree and attacking the character Masao), then cut to a young woman speaking directly to the camera]
MARS: Hey everybody, it's Mars! And I bring you Shiki, uh, the fifth look ... I think it's Fifth Deceit. I think, I think, I think. Uh, I saw this one and--
[she holds up two fingers]
MARS: Second resurrection. Um, so ... I've already lost count of how many people that have died, I think there's like twenty. Between twenty one to twenty five people, I think, that have died.
[she holds up two fingers again]
MARS: And this is where they see a second person that has returned, and this look ... it was the colors from the very last scene of the second person that's resurrected. The colors they have, um, usually in the intro of these videos--
[she pauses]
MARS: I'll put the film, the scenes that inspired me, so I probably won't have that long of an intro on this one, because it was really just the colors from the last scene that inspired me.
[she points to her eyelids]
MARS: So that's where I have like, this ... the green, I've got red, and um, black. So if you wanna see how I did this to my face, then just keep watching and the link below will be towards the Shiki--
[she gets tongue tied]
MARS: Can't talk! For the fifth episode, but have a great day! Bye!
[cut to sped-up footage of the woman putting on eyeliner]



The anime series Shiki is an adaptation of the manga series drawn by Ryu Fujisaki, which is itself an adaptation of a novel series of the same name by Fuyumi Ono. The story is about a small town in rural Japan named Sotoba, where a series of bizarre deaths occur. The series of deaths coincide with the arrival of the Kirishiki family, who has just moved into a castle built on the outskirts of town. Toshio Ozaki, director of the only hospital in Sotoba, begins to investigate and discovers there are supernatural presences at work, namely vampires, who are called shiki, translated in English as "corpse demon".


"Fifth Deceit"
"Dai itsu (go) wa"
August 5, 2010

Natsuno wakes up in the morning but discovers Toru is seemingly unharmed. Seishin goes to interview family and friends of the deceased and learns that a number of them quit their jobs right before they died. He attempts to contact the local librarian but is told he has resigned as well. Natsuno learns that Toru has not come to school since the day he last saw him. He goes to his home and is shocked to see Toru pronounced dead by Toshio. He realizes that his nightmare is real and tears up Megumi's postcard when he receives it. Masao gets into a quarrel with his family over his nephew Hiromi, who is sick. He goes to Toru's funeral and finds Natsuno paying his last respects to Toru. Later, he tries to provoke Natsuno to a fight, but is stopped and driven away by Toru's siblings. Masao goes home and finds a man in white entering his house's courtyard, but when he looks around, he's gone. As Masao enters his house he is attacked by the man in white, who is revealed to be the librarian and a vampire.



Episode 05 - ????? (Dai Itsu Wa)
"The 'Lie' Episode"

Do you still recall the cliffhanger from the last episode? There was a brief moment when Natsuno witnesses the supposedly dead Megumi Shimizu trying to bite Tooru as a vampire. It was uncertain as to whether that event was a dream sequence or not, but it turned out that the event in question is just Natsuno's nightmare.

The young monk, Marui, continues his investigation of the town incidences, just like during the last episode, by interviewing the families of the victims. He finally does manage to find important clues about the epidemic; many of the victims, including Ryuji Shimizu, Takatoshi Hirosawa, Kenji Oota, Akira Saeki,and Takashima Yasuo, had resigned from their jobs several days before they died, even though they did not have any signs of illness.

Natsuno's blonde friend, Tooru, meanwhile has been kind of slacking off and skipping school lately, which fits into the pattern that Marui just discovered from the past victims. Not surprisingly, Tooru becomes another victim of the mysterious epidemic, and another funeral is held in the village. (Unfortunately, Dr. Ozaki has not been informed of this important pattern from Marui yet.)

After Natsuno receives a late summer postcard with Megumi Shimizu's handwriting on it, which could confuse the viewers to whether Megumi that Natsuno saw in Tooro's bedroom is real, the mystery in this show will probably continue to thicken with more ambiguities and anomalies.

The second part of the episode focuses on Masao, who turns out to be one of the most annoying characters in the entire summer season. For example, when his little sister Hiromi gets sick from a disease, Masao's jealousy goes too far as he is rather bothered by the fact that she's getting all the attention from the family. No wonder his brothers gets so mad and his father gives him a nice slap on his face. :D

Moreover, at Tooro's funeral, he feels extremely irritated by Natsuno's calm and serious attitude as he accuses him of being "unemotional." Duh, it turns out it was Masao who was actually being disrespectful to Tooro's family as he was acting like a little baby whiner, desperately looking for attention.

Fortunately, putting all the complaints aside, it looks like we won't be seeing Masao for a while as he sees his end after getting ambushed by another vampire-like monster, who seems to resemble Yuzuki, a person who used to work for the local library. Even though we are pretty certain that Masao will be a goner in the next episode, we should remind ourselves that he could come back to life later like Megumi, causing even more headaches in the future. Anyways, the plot seems to be brewing up very nicely, and I'm desperately waiting for a some kind of big moment in this show.

Overall Enjoyment: 4.4/5



The librarian of Sotoba who suddenly quits his job.

He died from unknown causes, but some people believed he was bitten by Chiziru, since Chiziru usually goes after 'Young men' (that Is revealed In the 'Teens' episodes.)

Life After Death
He comes back as a vampire and mainly goes after children. He is also the one who killed Masao Murasako, hiding in a tree before dropping on him like a flying squirrel landing on its prey.

In the manga, he gets punished by Tatsumi who ties him to a tree for him to burn in daylight.

In the anime, Yuzuki was killed when the war between the humans and the risen broke out. He hide in the pipelines along with other vampires such as Nao Yasumori, Ebuchi Sensei and Takatoshi Hirosawa.

* He used to be a libarian that the children enjoyed a lot.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Case Study No. 1641: Staff of Unnamed Library (The Count)

Marc Olmsted as Dr. Van Helsing IV, with Wesley Kyles as the Evil Librarian. A section from Olmsted's film THE COUNT.
Tags: The Count Marc Olmsted Dracula
Added: 1 year ago
From: vanhelsing93
Views: 30

[scene opens with Doctor Van Helsing IV in the public library, as he hands a blue notecard ("The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic, BF1623.R7 R32 1984") to the male librarian (glasses, goatee, black jacket)]
VAN HELSING: I couldn't find this book in the shelves.
[cut to a black-and-white closeup of the librarian's face, then back to color footage as he sits at the information desk]
LIBRARIAN: That book isn't on the shelves ... It's in Special Collections.
[Van Helsing gives him a confused look, then cut to the librarian pointing his right arm (which ends in a "stump") off camera]
LIBRARIAN: That way.
[cut to another male librarian taking the book ("The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic by Israel Regardie, foreword by Christopher S. Hyatt, Ph.D., Limited Edition") out of its locked case and placing it on a table]
VAN HELSING: Thanks a lot.
[he sits and places a photograph (featuring a doorway covered with a bloody red symbol) on the table, then cut to him looking up the symbol in the book]
[cut to him opening another book ("Secret Visions of the Fifth Dalai Lama") and looking at the "otherworldly" illustrations inside]
[cut to him looking at strange drawings/symbols in other books ("Enochian World of Aleister Crowley", "Oracles and Demons of Tibet", "Commentaries on the Holy Books", etc.) when the camera begins to spin around (as if we are seeing his POV as he loses consciousness)]
[cut to footage of the doorway with the bloody red symbol, then cut back to the library as Van Helsing (apparently sleeping) has his head down in a book before opening his eyes]
[cut to Van Helsing walking out of the library as night falls, then to the librarian (who is standing outside and watching him leave)]
[cut to Van Helsing in his apartment going through his mail, when he stops at a manilla envelope ("Van Helsing 1360 Fell St. San Francisco CA 94117")]
[he opens the envelope, and pulls out what appears to be a black-and-white photograph of a dismembered corpse]
[cut to Van Helsing putting on a sleep mask and falling asleep on his couch, then he begins to "dream" (i.e. slow-motion footage of the librarian pointing his handless arm from before)]
[cut to black and white footage of Van Helsing bolting upright and taking his eye mask off, as he looks back down at the photograph (which appears to show a dead body with the hand missing)]
[cut to color footage of Van Helsing as he looks at the manilla envelope, which has the same symbol on the inside flap that was on the doorway]
[he turns the envelope over, and in the upper lefthand corner is a logo with the return address "Wurdulak, 666 Sabbath Way San Francisco 94117"]
[cut to Van Helsing using a magnifying glass to study the logo (which features the head of a vampire bat surrounded by a pentagram and the words "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc, We Gladly Feast on Those Who Would Subdue Us")]



In "The Count - Part 1," Big Brother meets Anti-Christ as Dracula upgrades for 21st Century world dominion, battling vampire scholar and aging rocker Dr. Van Helsing IV.

"The Count," Marc Olmsted's return to film and first feature after his experimental shorts, owes more to Kenneth Anger than Hammer films. This is the first 12 minutes of the 2010 work-in-progress.

Underground elder statesman Richard Modiano is the Count himself, who abandons the cape for a Russian mob boss look with yakuza sunglasses.

Featuring the music of neo-No Wave band Late Young and Olmsted's own 80's synth band the Job, Late Young's lead singer Dion Olivier also acts, playing Dr. Van Helsing IV's assistant Ishmael. Olmsted himself is the Ahab-like fourth generation vampire hunter in this version of "Dracula" he describes as an intended "Goth 'Alphaville.'"

Case Study No. 1640: Staff of Oxford University Library

The Historian (part9)
The Historian
Tags: The Historian
Added: 2 year ago
From: vjmartinez88
Views: 1,307

I woke early, my father said, the morning after I'd finished reading through Rossi's papers. I've never been so glad to see sunshine as I was that morning. My first and very sad business was to bury Rembrandt. After that, I had no trouble arriving at the library just when the doors were opening. I wanted this whole day to ready myself for the next night, the next onslaught of darkness. For many years, night had been friendly to me, the cocoon of quiet in which I read and wrote. Now it was a threat, an inevitable danger just hours away. I might also be setting out on a journey soon, with all the preparations that would entail. It would be a little easier, I thought ruefully, if I just knew where I'd be going.

The main hall of the library was very still except for the echoing steps of librarians going about their business; few students got here this early, and I would have peace and quiet for at least half an hour. I went into the maze of the card catalog, opened my notebook, and began pulling out the drawers I needed. There were several listings for the Carpathians, one on Translyvanian folklore. One book on vampires - legends from the Egyptian tradition. I wondered how much vampires had in common around the world. Were Egyptian vampires anything like East European vampires? It was a study for an archaeologist, not for me, but I copied down the call number of the book on Egyptian tradition anyway.

Then I looked up Dracula. Subjects and titles were mixed together in the catalog; between "Drab-Ali the Great" and "Dragons, Asia" there would be at least one entry: the title card for Bram Stoker's "Dracula," which I had seen the dark-haired young woman reading here the day before. Perhaps the library even had two copies of such a classic. I needed it right away; Rossi had said it was the distillation of Stoker's research on vampire lore, and it might contain suggestions for protection I could use myself. I hunted backward and forward. There was not a single entry under "Dracula" - nothing, nothing whatsoever. I hadn't expected the legend to be a major topic of scholarship, but surely that one book would be listed somewhere.

Then I caught sight of what actually lay between "Drab-Ali" and "Dragons." A little shard of twisted paper at the bottom of the drawer showed clearly that at least one card had been wrenched out. I hurried to the "St" drawer. No entries for "Stoker" appeared there - only further signs of a hasty theft. I sat down hard on the nearest wooden stool. This was too strange. Why would anyone have ripped out these particular cards?

The dark-haired girl had checked out the book last, I knew that. Had she wanted to remove the evidence of what she had checked out? But if she'd wanted to steal or hide the copy, why had she been reading it publicly, in the middle of the library? Someone else must have pulled the cards out, perhaps somebody - but why? - who didn't want anyone looking up the book here. Whoever it was had done it hurriedly, neglecting to remove traces of the job. I thought it through again. The card catalog was sacrosanct here; any student who even left a drawer out on the tables and was caught in this error got a sharp lecture from the clerks or librarians. Any violation of the catalog would have to be accomplished quickly, that was certain, at some odd moment when no one was around or looking in that direction. If the young woman hadn't committed this crime herself, then maybe she didn't know that someone else didn't want that book checked out. And she probably still had it in her possession. I almost ran to the main desk.

This library, built in the highest of high Gothic-revival styles about the time Rossi was finishing his studies at Oxford (where he was surrounded by the real thing, of course), had always appealed to me as both beautiful and comical. To reach the main desk, I had to hurry up a long cathedral nave. The circulation desk stood where the altar would have in a real cathedral, under a mural of Our Lady - of Knowledge, presumably - in sky blue robes, her arms full of heavenly tomes. Checking out a book there had all the sanctity of taking communion. Today this seemed to me the most cynical of jokes, and I ignored Our Lady's bland, unhelpful face as I addressed the librarian, trying not to seem ruffled myself.

"I'm looking for a book that's not on the shelves at the moment," I began, "and I wonder if it's actually checked out right now, or on its way back."

The librarian, a short, unsmiling woman of sixty, glanced up from her work. "The title, please," she said.

"Dracula, by Bram Stoker."

"Just a minute, please; I'll see if it's in." She thumbed through a little box, her face expressionless. "I'm sorry. It's currently checked out."

"Oh, what a shame," I said heartily. "When will it be coming back?"

"In three weeks. It was checked out yesterday."

"I'm afraid I simply can't wait that long. You see I'm teaching a course . . . " These were usually the magic words.

"You are welcome to put it on reserve, if you like," the librarian said coldly. She turned her coiffed gray head away from me, as if she wanted to get back to her work.

"Maybe one of my students has checked it out, to read ahead for the course. If you'd just let me have his name, I'll get in touch with him myself."

She looked narrowly at me. "We don't usually do that," she said.

"This is an unusual situation," I confided. "I'll be frank with you. I really must use one section of that book to prepare my exam for them, and - well, I loaned my own copy to a student and he's unable to find it now. It was my mistake, but you know how these things go, with students. I should have known better."

Her face softened and she looked almost sympathetic. "It's terrible, isn't it?" she said, nodding. "We lose a stack of books every term, I'm sure. Well, let me see if I can get the name for you, but don't spread around that I did this, all right?"

She turned away to root in a cabinet behind her, and I stood reflecting on the duplicity I had suddenly discovered in my own nature. When had I learned to lie so fluently? It gave me a feeling of uneasy pleasure. While I was standing there, I realized that another librarian behind the big altar had moved closer and was watching me. He was a thin middle-aged man I'd often seen there, only slightly taller than his colleague and shabbily dressed in a tweed jacket and stained tie. Perhaps because I'd noticed him before, I was unexpectedly struck by a change in his appearance. His face looked sallow and wasted, perhaps even seriously ill. "Can I help you?" he said suddenly, as if he suspected I might steal something from the desk if I weren't attended to at once.

"Oh, no, thank you," I waved at the lady librarian's back. "I'm being helped already."

"I see." He stepped aside as she returned with a slip of paper and put it in front of me. At that moment I didn't know where to look - the paper swam under my eyes. For as the second librarian turned aside, he leaned over to examine some books that had obviously been returned to the desk and were waiting to be dealt with. And as he bent myopically toward them, his neck was exposed for a moment above the threadbare shirt collar, and I saw on it two scabbed, grimy-looking wounds, with a little dried blood making an ugly lacework on the skin just below them. Then he straightened and turned away again, holding his books.

"Is this what you wanted?" the lady librarian was asking me. I looked down at the paper she pushed toward me. "You see, it's the slip for Bram Stoker, Dracula. We have just one copy."

The grubby male librarian suddenly dropped a book on the floor, and the sound of it reverberated with a bang through the high nave. He straightened and looked directly at me, and I have never seen - or until that moment had never seen - a human gaze so full of hatred and wariness. "That's what you wanted, right?" the lady was insisting.

"Oh, no," I said, thinking fast, catching hold of myself. "You must have misunderstood me. I'm looking for Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. I told you, I'm teaching a course on it and we've got to have extra copies."

She frowned heavily. "But I thought-"

I hated to sacrifice her feelings, even in that unpleasant moment, when she'd unbent so far toward me. "That's all right," I said. "Maybe I didn't look carefully enough. I'll go back and check the catalog again."

As soon as I said the word catalog, however, I knew I'd overused my new fluency. The tall librarian's eyes narrowed further and he moved his head slightly, like an animal following the motions of its prey. "Thanks very much," I murmured politely and walked off, feeling those sharp eyes boring into my back all the way down the great aisle. I made a show of going back to the catalog for a minute, then closed my briefcase and went purposefully out the front door, through which the faithful were already flocking for their morning study. Outside, I found a bench in the brightest possible sunlight, my back against one of those neo-Gothic walls, where I could safely see everyone around me coming and going. I needed five minutes to sit and think - reflection, Rossi always taught, should be well-timed rather than time-consuming.

It was all too much to digest quickly, however. In that dazed moment I had taken in not only my glimpse of the librarian's wounded neck but also the name of the library patron who had beaten me to Dracula. Her name was Helen Rossi.

The wind was cold and increasingly strong. My father paused here and drew from his camera bag two waterproof jackets, one for each of us. He kept them rolled up tightly to fit with his photographic equipment, canvas hat, and a little first-aid kit. Without speaking, we put them over our blazers, and he continued.

Sitting there in the late-spring sunshine, watching the university stir and wake to its usual activities, I felt a sudden envy of all those ordinary-looking students and faculty striding here and there. They thought that tomorrow's exam was a serious challenge, or that department politics constituted high drama, I reflected bitterly. Not one of them could have understood my predicament, or helped me out of it. I felt the loneliness, suddenly, of standing outside my institution, my universe, a worker bee expelled from the hive. And this state of things, I realized with surprise, had come about in forty-eight hours.

I had to think clearly now, and fast. First, I had observed what Rossi himself had reported: someone outside the immediate threat to Rossi - in this case the someone was a half-washed, eccentric looking librarian - had been bitten in the neck. Let us presume, I told myself, almost laughing at the preposterousness of the things I was starting to believe, let us presume that our librarian was bitten by a vampire, and quite recently. Rossi had been swept out of his office - with bloodshed, I reminded myself - only two nights earlier. Dracula, if he were at large, seemed to have a predilection not only for the best of the academic world (here I remembered poor Hedges) but also for librarians, archivists. No - I sat up straight, suddenly seeing the pattern - he had a predilection for those who handled archives that had something to do with his legend. First there had been the bureaucrat who had snatched the map from Rossi in Istanbul. The Smithsonian researcher, too, I thought, recalling Rossi's last letter. And, of course, threatened all along, there was Rossi himself, who had a copy of "one of these nice books" and had examined other possibly relevant documents. And then this librarian, although I had no proof yet that the fellow had handled any Dracula documents. And finally - me?

I picked up my briefcase and hurried to a public phone booth near the student commons. "University information, please." No one had followed me here, as far as I could see, but I closed the door and through it kept a sharp eye on the passersby. "Do you have a listing for a Miss Helen Rossi? Yes, graduate student," I hazarded.

The university operator was laconic; I could hear her shuffling slowly through papers. "We have an H. Rossi listed in the women's graduate dormitory," she said.

"That's it. Thank you so much." I scribbled the number down and dialed again. A matron answered, her voice sharp and protective. "Miss Rossi? Yes? Who's calling, please?"

Oh, God. I hadn't thought ahead to this. "Her brother," I said quickly. "She told me she'd be at this number."

I could hear footsteps leaving the phone, a sharper stride returning, the rustle of a hand taking the receiver. "Thank you, Miss Lewis," said a distant voice, as if in dismissal. Then she spoke into my ear and I heard the low, strong tone I remembered from the library. "I do not have a brother," she said. It sounded like a warning, not a mere statement of fact. "Who is this?"



The Historian is the 2005 debut novel of American author Elizabeth Kostova. The plot blends the history and folklore of Vlad Tepes and his fictional equivalent Count Dracula. Kostova's father told her stories about Dracula when she was a child, and later in life she was inspired to turn the experience into a novel. She worked on the book for ten years and then sold it within a few months to Little, Brown and Company, which bought it for US$2 million.

The Historian has been described as a combination of genres, including Gothic novel, adventure novel, detective fiction, travelogue, postmodern historical novel, epistolary epic, and historical thriller. Kostova was intent on writing a serious work of literature and saw herself as an inheritor of the Victorian style. Although based in part on Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Historian is not a horror novel, but rather an eerie tale. It is concerned with history's role in society and representation in books, as well as the nature of good and evil. As Kostova explains, "Dracula is a metaphor for the evil that is so hard to undo in history." The evils brought about by religious conflict are a particular theme, and the novel explores the relationship between the Christian West and the Islamic East.

Little, Brown and Company heavily promoted the book and it became the first debut novel to become number one on The New York Times bestseller list in its first week on sale. As of 2005, it was the fastest-selling hardback debut novel in U.S. history. In general, the novel received mixed reviews. While some praised the book's description of the setting, others criticized its structure and lack of tonal variety. Kostova received the 2006 Book Sense award for Best Adult Fiction and the 2005 Quill Award for Debut Author of the Year. Sony has bought the film rights and, as of 2007, was planning an adaptation.

Plot summary
The Historian interweaves the history and folklore of Vlad Tepes, a 15th-century prince of Wallachia known as "Vlad the Impaler", and his fictional equivalent Count Dracula together with the story of Paul, a professor; his 16-year-old daughter; and their quest for Vlad's tomb. The novel ties together three separate narratives using letters and oral accounts: that of Paul's mentor in the 1930s, that of Paul in the 1950s, and that of the narrator herself in the 1970s. The tale is told primarily from the perspective of Paul's daughter, who is never named.

Part I
Part I opens in 1972 Amsterdam. The narrator finds an old vellum-bound book with a woodcut of a dragon in the center associated with Dracula. When she asks her father Paul about it, he tells her how he found the handmade book in his study carrel when he was a graduate student in the 1950s. Paul took the book to his mentor, Professor Bartholomew Rossi, and was shocked to find that Rossi had found a similar handmade book when he was a graduate student in the 1930s. As a result, Rossi researched Tepes, the Dracula myth surrounding him, and the mysterious book. Rossi traveled as far as Istanbul; however, the appearance of curious characters and unexplained events caused him to drop his investigation and return to his graduate work. Rossi gives Paul his research notes and informs him that he believes Dracula is still alive.

The bulk of the novel focuses on the 1950s timeline, which follows Paul's adventures. After meeting with Paul, Rossi disappears; smears of blood on his desk and the ceiling of his office are the only traces that remain. Certain that something unfortunate has befallen his advisor, Paul begins to investigate Dracula. While in the university library he meets a young, dark-haired woman reading a copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula. She is Helen Rossi, the daughter of Bartholomew Rossi, and she has become an expert on Dracula. Paul attempts to convince her that one of the librarians is trying to prevent their research into Dracula, but she is unpersuaded. Later, the librarian attacks and bites Helen. Paul intervenes and overpowers him, but he wriggles free. The librarian is then run over by a car in front of the library and apparently killed.

Upon hearing her father's story, the narrator becomes interested in the mystery and begins researching Dracula as she and her father travel across Europe during the 1970s. Although he eventually sends her home, she does not remain there. After finding letters addressed to her that reveal he has left on a quest to find her mother (previously believed to be dead), she sets out to find him. As is slowly made clear in the novel, Helen is the narrator's mother. The letters continue the story her father has been telling her. The narrator decides to travel to a monastery where she believes her father might be.

Part II
Part II begins as the narrator reads descriptions of her father and Helen's travels through Eastern Europe during the 1950s. While on their travels, Helen and Paul conclude that Rossi might have been taken by Dracula to his tomb. They travel to Istanbul to find the archives of Sultan Mehmed II, which Paul believes contain information regarding the location of the tomb. They fortuitously meet Professor Turgut Bora from Istanbul University, who has also discovered a book similar to Paul's and Rossi's. He has access to Mehmed's archive, and together they unearth several important documents. They also see the librarian who was supposedly killed in the United States – he has survived because he is a vampire and he has continued following Helen and Paul. Helen shoots the vampire librarian but misses his heart and consequently, he does not die.

From Istanbul, Paul and Helen travel to Budapest, Hungary, to further investigate the location of Dracula's tomb and to meet with Helen's mother, who they believe may have knowledge of Rossi – the two had met during his travels to Romania in the 1930s. For the first time Helen hears of her mother and Rossi's torrid love affair. Paul and Helen learn much, for example that Helen's mother, and therefore Helen herself and the narrator, are descendants of Vlad Tepes.

Part III
Part III begins with a revelation by Turgut Bora that leads the search for Dracula's tomb to Bulgaria. He also reveals that he is part of an organization formed by Sultan Mehmed II from the elite of the Janissaries to fight the Order of the Dragon, an evil consortium later associated with Dracula. In Bulgaria, Helen and Paul seek the assistance of a scholar named Anton Stoichev. Through information gained from Stoichev, Helen and Paul discover that Dracula is most likely buried in the Bulgarian monastery of Sveti Georgi.

After many difficulties Paul and Helen discover the whereabouts of Sveti Georgi. Upon reaching the monastery they find Rossi's interred body in the crypt and are forced to drive a silver dagger through his heart to prevent his full transformation into a vampire. Before he dies, he reveals that Dracula is a scholar and has a secret library. Rossi has written an account of his imprisonment in this library and hidden it there. Paul and Helen are pursued to the monastery by political officials and by the vampire librarian – all of them are seeking Dracula's tomb, but it is empty when they arrive.

Paul and Helen move to the United States, marry, and Helen gives birth to the narrator. However, she becomes depressed a few months afterwards. She later confesses that she feared the taint of the vampiric bite that she acquired earlier would infect her child. The family travels to Europe in an attempt to cheer her up. When they visit the monastery Saint-Matthieu-des-Pyrenees-Orientales, Helen feels Dracula's presence and is compelled to jump off a cliff. Landing on grass, she survives and decides to hunt him down and kill him in order to rid herself of his threat and her fears.

When the narrator arrives at Saint-Matthieu-des-Pyrenees-Orientales, she finds her father. Individuals mentioned throughout the 1970s timeline converge in a final attempt to defeat Dracula. He is seemingly killed by a silver bullet fired into his heart by Helen.

In the epilogue, which takes place in 2008, the narrator attends a conference of medievalists in Philadelphia, and stops at a library with an extensive collection of material related to Dracula. She accidentally leaves her notes and the attendant rushes out and returns them to her, as well as a book with a dragon printed in the center, revealing that either Dracula is still alive or one of his minions is imitating the master.



A specter is haunting Europe, the specter of . . . communism? Christian-Muslim conflict? Ancient evil? As so often, the answer is all of the above, for The Historian -- an ambitious, albeit overlong suspense-horror novel -- takes up our enduring fascination with Dracula and inserts the immortal fiend into the political history of the second half of the 20th century. Elizabeth Kostova, who worked on this book for 10 years, focuses her narrative on three generations of a single family repeatedly sucked into battle against the master of the Undead.

Like Bram Stoker's Dracula , The Historian takes the form of a dossier, mixing memoir, letters and archival materials. Such an approach unobtrusively persuades the reader to believe in the facticity of what follows, that -- in Diderot's celebrated phrase -- "this is not a story." More cleverly still, Kostova manages to present nearly 650 tightly packed pages without ever revealing the full names of her two principal characters, a historian (who is called Paul from time to time) and his daughter, the latter our main source for these hideous revelations. Given the book's dedication ("For my father, who first told me some of these stories"), we are subtly being urged to identify the heroine with the author herself. Obviously, then, the unsettling and heart-rending events of The Historian must be all too personally and horribly true.

A sequence of harrowing disclosures takes place over more than 50 years, or -- from another point of view -- 500 years. In the main story, set in 1954, a young graduate student studying 17th-century Dutch trade discovers that someone has left a strange book in his library carrel. All the leaves are blank, except for the center double-page spread, which bears the woodcut of a dragon with a looping tail and the single word "Drakulya." When Paul goes to his adviser, the distinguished Professor Bartholomew Rossi, he learns that the older scholar once received a similar book and has spent years trying to blot out its evil meaning. For, as Rossi finally confesses, "Dracula -- Vlad Tepes -- is still alive." At which point, with a melodramatic chutzpah that even the old pulp writers might hesitate to employ, Kostova breaks off: " 'Good Lord,' my father said suddenly, looking at his watch. 'Why didn't you tell me? It's almost seven o'clock.' " He has been reluctantly telling his 16-year-old daughter about this evil period of his earlier life. But since Kostova doesn't want to reveal too much too soon, and because she aims to generate ever-increasing anxiety in the reader, she periodically stops and shifts to a complementary and (seemingly) secondary series of adventures set in 1972. Kostova will keep the reader shuttling back and forth between the 1950s and the 1970s, with occasional comments that look ahead to the 21st century (when she is thinking back over the entire story). This may sound confusing but is actually fairly simple -- and its intent all too obvious. Anytime one has multiple plot lines, they will inevitably converge in the end. The buckle must be buckled.

The basic engine of the adventure novel is the quest. When Professor Rossi suddenly disappears, Paul goes in search of him, eventually enlisting the aid of a stern but attractive Romanian anthropologist called Helen Rossi. (It takes our hero a while to ask about that last name.) When Paul disappears 18 years later, his daughter duly goes in search of him, accompanied by a young English historian named Barley. The two quests result in a Grand (Guignol) tour of Europe. Ancient documents, enigmatic legends and poems, saints' lives, folk songs and uncannily timed coincidences lead to hurried visits to Oxford, Istanbul, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and France, with occasional layovers in Italy, Greece and Switzerland. We are served up heaps of local color. To keep the pace lively, both couples are tracked by various forces of evil, most notably a gray-fleshed vampire librarian. This plays as slightly comic, inadvertently bolstering the stereotype that most librarians already belong among the undead.

In each place that our heroes visit, they seek out or encounter scholars and antiquarians who supply pieces to the great puzzle: Where is Dracula's secret tomb? At the same time, Kostova works hard to add a contemporary political resonance. In Istanbul, she stresses how much the original Vlad, back in the mid-16th century, hated the Ottomans and made holy war upon these infidels, thus reinforcing a sad pattern in Middle Eastern relations. In the former Eastern-bloc countries, she keeps us guessing whether the sinister figures shadowing Paul and Helen are secret police straight out of J. Edgar Hoover's Cold War dreams or Dracula's robotic and relentless minions.

Or possibly both. For at one climax, Dracula himself appears from the shadows to explain how much the 20th century's horrors owe to his covert machinations. The more sanguinary and predatory the world, the better he likes it. And of course, he holds out some really high hopes that the future will be exponentially more gruesome, cruel and deliciously bloodthirsty than the past. Here, it's hard not to believe that Kostova may be onto something: Most of history's worst nightmares result from an unthinking obedience to authority, high-minded zealotry seductively overriding our mere humanity.

After all, the horror we feel for vampires is different from that provoked by, say, ghosts, werewolves or Frankenstein's misunderstood monster. These we simply find frightening and perhaps life-threatening. But our fear of Dracula lies in the fear of losing ourselves, of relinquishing our very identities as human beings. In the vampire's embrace, we discard our most cherished values and submerge our will to obey his (or her) commands, no matter how transgressive. What's truly disturbing about the thrice-bitten is not that they become blood-sucking fiends but that they take so completely to the lifestyle. In exchange for our bodies and souls, Dracula grants us our darkest, most repressed wishes.

As Kostova writes, "It is a fact that we historians are interested in what is partly a reflection of ourselves, perhaps a part of ourselves we would rather not examine except through the medium of scholarship; it is also true that as we steep ourselves in our interests, they become more and more a part of us." The original Vlad Tepes, we are reminded, revered books and scholarship, and it proves no accident that the key figures of this novel are all historians, nor that love -- between man and wife, parent and child, student and teacher -- is the one force than can sometimes overcome the dark lord's obscene allure.

A novel like The Historian depends on the systole and diastole of its narrative -- the breakneck pace of action and horror will regularly give way to some musty detective work, a leisurely tour of an exotic city or the human drama of two people falling in love. Fans of the antiquarian romance -- in which personable modern scholars encounter ancient conspiracies -- will compare this novel to such books as Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum , Lawrence Norfolk's Lemprière's Dictionary and, inevitably, Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code . It also works variations on motifs known from such films as "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and "Van Helsing." Nonetheless, I found myself most often calling to mind Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell . That fantasy saga -- about two magicians in the late 18th century -- first appeared about this time last year and was also the product of a decade's work, an amalgam of history and imagination, much heralded by its publisher. It was also, sorry to say, slow-moving and a little dull. Similarly, The Historian is artfully constructed and atmospheric, yet nothing that happens in it is really all that surprising.

Still, Elizabeth Kostova has produced an honorable summer book, reasonably well written and enjoyable and, most important of all, very, very long: One can tote The Historian to the beach, to the mountains, to Europe or to grandmother's house and still be reading its 21st-century coda when Labor Day finally rolls around.



CALL me uncharitable. (And I know you will.) Any time I see a movie that has more than three extreme close-ups of a gold-tipped fountain pen skritching across a piece of paper -- or any time I read a text that relies heavily on the words ''writings'' or ''scrivenings'' -- I know I'm in for a healthy dose of the Romance of the Literary Life, and suddenly I feel irritable and restless and ready to skin a small animal. In part, it's the self-consciousness and fetishism that ticks me off. But mostly it's the inaptness. A gold-tipped fountain pen is to most writers' lives as Monet's haystacks are to piles of dirt.

A similar kind of romanticizing -- but of historians, not writers -- is on display in Elizabeth Kostova's first novel, ''The Historian,'' about an Oxford professor, his advisee and the advisee's daughter, who are all, at different times, in search of Dracula's tomb. I first noticed it when the 16-year-old daughter, sitting in a cafe at a Mediterranean resort, envies the simple lives of some children she espies because she's sure ''these creatures were never threatened by the grimness of history.'' Then there it was again, with the revelation that the daughter's bedtime mantra is a former teacher's comment: ''You show extraordinary insight into the nature of historical research, especially for one of your years.'' And yet again, with the line of dialogue, ''Excellent questions, as usual, my young doubter.'' When, after many other allusions to historians and historicism, Kostova introduced a character whose last name is Hristova, I was tempted to run out to a pharmacy for some antihristomine.

What's unfortunate about this overload is that the book -- which seems to want to do for historians what ''Possession'' did for literary scholars -- is otherwise the kind of wonderfully paced yarn that would make a suitable companion to a deck chair, a patch of sun and some socklessness. The story starts in Amsterdam in 1972 when the daughter finds in her father's library some letters the professor wrote in the 1930's. The professor, convinced that the 15th-century Wallachian prince Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler (the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula), is undead, goes to hunt him down. But the professor mysteriously disappears, setting in motion decades' worth of library research and train travel.

Kostova's strong suit is her interweaving of three sources of information -- what the daughter tells us, what her father tells her and what the letters tell her and us. This is a subtle and effective way of creating suspense. Far less subtle, though, is her habit of ending sections or chapters with bombshells of the ''And that little boy . . . was Helen Hayes'' variety. (My own approximation of same: Little, Brown paid $2 million for this book.)

I'm no historian, so I'll have to take it on faith that the novel is, as its author claims, the product of 10 years of writing and research; that neither of two Oxford scholars who are investigating Dracula would bother to buy Bram Stoker's novel and would instead take turns borrowing an Oxford library's one copy; that it would take a boat, albeit a medieval one, a week to sail from the Dalmatian coast to Venice; and that anyone who is not wearing tights would ever utter the statement, ''Adieu until the morrow.'' If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. So be it. Bite me.



This book reads like a cross between Dracula and The Da Vinci Code. Essentially, it is a spirited update of Bram Stoker's classic, with a vastly ingenious plot in which Dracula has developed a mysterious penchant for librarians. Like all reworkings, it is more knowing, and less fun, than its original.

But it is also a riff on the taste for books about 500-year-old conspiracies. A diabolic fraternity - the Order of the Dragon - is eternally opposed by a sodality of descendants of janissaries, the Crescent Guard. At least it all makes a nice change from Templars and the Opus Dei, and, moreover, it is no bad thing to find Islam standing for order, virtue and civilisation.

Although nearly everybody in the novel is a researcher of some kind, the 'historian' of the title is Dracula himself, who turns out to be, rather like Sesame Street's 'Count who loves to count', a committed bibliomanaic. Furthermore, he has developed a posthumous interest in hand-press printing, one of the story's more unaccountable additions to vampire lore. Stoker's tale is passionately involved with new technology and it may be that this feature of the original has been displaced on to Dracula himself, since printing was invented in his lifetime.

In any case, it seems that for an indefinite length of time, Dracula has spent his unlife researching torture and mass destruction, his biography, his spiritual prospects, and allied matters: 'As I knew I could not attain a heavenly paradise ... I became a historian.' An eyebrow-raising alternative. In addition to his studies, he encourages work on vampirism by gifts of a mysterious book, but then puts a stop to it by frightening the living daylights out of the researchers, which seems a touch counterproductive.

The Historian is rich with teases of all kinds about fictionality. The preface is dated 2008, and the narrative goes to sly lengths to avoid giving the narrator's personal or family name, leaving open the possibility that they are Elizabeth and Kostova. The novel is so intertextual with Dracula as actually to quote Stoker's text. One of the heroes specifically recalls Jonathan Harker's encounters with 'mysterious fires in the wood and wolves howling'. Within a few pages, lo, there is the count in wolf form, and mysterious fires in the Transylvanian forest. This makes it a little disorienting, doubtless intentionally so, when Dracula himself is found to have a copy of Dracula in his crypt-cum-library.

The Historian resembles its inspiration in being told to a great extent through the medium of letters and other memoranda, which gives the narrative an elegant, 19th-century pace. The father's odyssey in search of his mentor (1952) is intercut with the mentor's search for Dracula (1930), the peregrinations of a group of Orthodox monks in 1477, and the daughter's search for her father (1972).

The result is an interwoven narrative of journeying and revelations. Discovered documents abound. Kostova is good at academic prose and what is conveyed by its means. Her creations, whether learned articles or translations of 15th-century letters, are elegant and, in the main, convincing.

However, this interweaving of journeys in different timeframes is one of the principal problems with the book. Kostova is a whiz at storytelling and narrative pace, and she can write atmospheric descriptions of place, but she has no great sense of the location of language within time, and not much talent for impersonation. Unfortunately, the shape of her story commits her to a great deal of it. That there is no distinction between the narrator's voice and exposition is legitimate, since the narrator is recounting the events of 1972 from the standpoint of 2008, but the father's voice is identical, which is bad, and so is the voice of an Oxonian Englishman in 1930, which is ludicrous.

Apart from the basic problem that word-choice, syntactic patterns and cultural assumptions are all clearly American and not English, no young Oxford don would visit the Rare Book Room, since there is no such place; the master of a college would never be referred to as Master James, and the Golden Wolf is a wholly implausible name for an English pub in the Thirties. A denizen of prewar Oxford troubled by occult manifestations would have been talking it over with CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien down at the Bird and Baby. The realisation that an American grad student would experience some difficulty travelling in the Soviet bloc in 1951, and that nice girls still wore gloves then, seems to be more or less the limit of the author's historical sense.

While the plot follows the same lines as Stoker's masterpiece (Dracula is found to be at large in the modern world, eventually tracked to his lair, and destroyed), the updating of the narrative takes the genocidal medieval monster into the world of Stalin and Hitler, to somewhat queasy effect. 'I know the modern world,' says the count. 'It is my prize, my favourite work.'

The implication is that Dracula not only takes his place at the head of a procession of eastern European predators ruling by terror which runs through Ivan the Terrible to Stalin, but has actively influenced his successors' career development. In the 1930 narrative strand, he is glimpsed cheering on a national socialist manifestation in the backwoods of Transylvania; and in the 1950s, the Bulgarian communist party seems to be trying to get him on-side in order to secure a future in which communist leaders will become literal vampires, and rule for ever. Thus the spectre which is haunting Europe turns out to be not communism, but Count Dracula, a distasteful simplification of the problems of European history.

Kostova, unlike Stoker, does not end her novel with 19th-century, all-ends-well closure. Her book has a Hollywood ending, that is, one which prepares the ground for a sequel, The Historian II, though at 642 pages, The Historian has actually gone on for quite long enough.



The narrator, a 16 year old girl: She learns of her father's adventures as a graduate student and embarks on a voyage across Europe with his secret.

Paul, the narrator's father: A professor of history

Bartholomew Rossi: Paul's adviser and mentor

Helen Rossi: Bartholomew Rossi's daughter and later Paul's wife. She is believed to be dead by the narrator.

Turgut Bora: A Turkish scholar of English literature, and a friend to Paul and Helen while they research in Istanbul.

Mr. Hugh James: An English scholar of central European history

Barley: A young graduate student from Oxford who accompanies the narrator on her journey.

Eva: Helen Rossi's aunt. She is powerfully connected in Hungarian politics.

Professor Stoichev: A Bulgarian scholar sought out by Paul and Helen under the guise of monastery research.

The librarian: A vampire who works for Dracula and follows Paul and Helen across several cities in Europe. He is first met in the Oxford University library by Paul and Helen, and he is the first vampire to attack Helen.

Geza Josef: A Hungarian scholar and agent. He was romantically interested in Helen before she left to study in the United States.

Johan Binnerts: A friendly, elderly, Dutch librarian. He works in the medieval collection of the university library in Amsterdam and assists the narrator in her Dracula research.

Mr. Erozan: The librarian at the Instanbul archive.

Mrs. Clay: The housekeeper at the narrator's home.

Ranov: A Bulgarian bureaucrat/agent that serves as the guide and translator for Paul and Helen during their research in Bulgaria.

Selim Aksoy: A friend of Bora's in Instanbul.

Vlad Dracula: A scholar who is building a secret library.

Baba Yanka: A folk singer in a Bulgarian village.

Vlad Tepes: Known as Vlad the Impaler. He is the basis for Stoker's Dracula and many other vampire legends.

Brother Ivan: A Bulgarian monk.

Master James: A professor at Oxford, and an old acquaintance of Paul's. He is Barley's mentor.

Hedges: A friend of Bartholomew Rossi in England.

Kiril: A fifteenth century monk from Lake Snagov who goes to Constantinople and eventually into Turkish occupied Bulgaria

Abraham Stoker: Author of Dracula.

Sveti Petko: a Bulgarian Saint

Brother Angel: An elderly Bulgarian monk that used to be a historian

Elena: the given name of Helen Rossi; Helen is the English version of Elena

Mrs. Bora: the wife of Professor Bora

Matthias Corvinus: early leader of Hungary

Getzi: Helen's mother's last name

Case Study No. 1639: Unnamed Female Librarian (Terror Inc.)

Librarians in Comic Books... Terror!
From: Terror Inc. (1992) #6
Tags: librarians comic books terror inc. eyeballs halloween microfiche
Added: 6 months ago
From: ComixLibrary
Views: 10

[the first panel shows an exterior shot of the public library]
LIBRARIAN: [from off camera] No, the Ferguson's Library's hours are clearly posted ... and it is now one minute past closing time!
[the second panel shows a lone figure (obscured in shadow) standing at the library's locked entrance, as the elderly female librarian (short white hair, glasses, grey dress) looks out at him with an annoyed look on her face]
TERROR: Dear lady, my inquiry requires only a cursory examination of the local newspaper ...
[the third panel shows inside of the library (where Halloween decoration are clearly visible), as the librarian turns to leave (but the man starts tapping on the glass door)]
LIBRARIAN: Back issues of The Advocate are all on microfiche, and I don't have time to walk you through finding whatever it is you're looking for! Now good night!
[the fourth panel shows the librarian responding to the man's repeated attempts to gain entrance by opening the door a crack and giving him an icy tone]
LIBRARIAN: What is it?!?
TERROR: No need to raise your voice! The shadows hide my features, they don't deaden them!
[the fifth panel shows Terror forcing the door opening (revealing the grotesque features of his face to her)]
TERROR: More's the pity where you're concerned!
LIBRARIAN: W-what do you want?
TERROR: Only one thing more than before ... to wish you a Happy Halloween!
[the sixth panel shows a closeup of the librarian's terrified face]
TERROR: Trick or treat ...
LIBRARIAN: [whispers] No ... please ...
[the seventh panel shows Terror sitting at the microfiche reader in the dark]
TERROR: [to himself] The librarian was correct in her assessment of their being some initial difficulty accessing the equipment ... Nonetheless, I manage to pick up on things quickly.
[the eighth panel shows his face bathed in green light from the reader, as he has replaced his eyeballs with those of the librarian's (he's even wearing her glasses!)]
TERROR: [to himself] Certainly with greater ease than Mister Jones had in making a move to new surroundings.
[the ninth panel shows him scanning various issues of The Advocate newspaper]
TERROR: [to himself] His protests that his criminal past was well behind him were met with understandable skepticism from the community ...
[the tenth panel shows him stopping at one page with the headline "Ex-Mobster Welcomed with Open Arms," as the reader gives a "Hard copy printing" message]
TERROR: [to himself] Until the very vocal activism of three spiritual sisters ... a trio by the names Vita Jane Buchetto, Ann Reprucci, and Annette Cortese ... reminded their neighbors of such maudlin Christian tenets as "turn the other cheek" and "forgive and forget."
[the eleventh panel shows the reader printing out the article]
TERROR: Thank you!
[the twelfth panel shows him holding the paper and walking away from the reader]
TERROR: [to himself] Few motives are so pure. Mine certainly isn't ... And if you scratch the surface of humanity, what do you find just beneath but a dark mirror of what I really am?
[the thirteenth panel shows Terror talking into the phone at the front desk]
TERROR: Yes, I'd like to report an emergency at the Ferguson Library, main branch. An ocular injury.
[the fourteenth panel shows Terror looking down at the librarian's dead body on the floor, as he continues talking calmly into the phone]
TERROR: Yes, I believe it's quite serious ...



Terror Inc. was an American comic-book horror series from Marvel Comics starring the antihero Terror. Terror is an eternal entity that absorbs the talents of others through their dismembered limbs. He was created by writers Dan Chichester and Margaret Clark and artist Klaus Janson as the villain Shreck in St. George #2 (Aug. 1988), from Marvel's Epic Comics imprint.

Publication history
Terror was created for Marvel's Epic Comics line as part of writer Dan Chichester's Shadowline Saga of three interconnected titles. There were no superheroes in this world, but rather powerful, ageless beings known as "Shadows". In St. George #2 (Aug. 1988), Chichester and co-writer Margaret Clark introduced a green-skinned killer who acted as the enforcer for the Ravenscore crime family, one of the books' recurring villains.

According to Chichester, Marvel contacted him about bringing Shreck from the Shadowline books into the mainstream Marvel Universe to serve as a platform for reinventing and reintroducing the company's 1970s horror characters, such as Werewolf by Night and Morbius, the Living Vampire, but subsequent publishing plans changed directions.

The series Terror, Inc. was set for 15 issues but only ran for 13 issues, cover-dated July 1992 to July 1993. Terror next appeared in 2006's "League of Losers" storyline in Marvel Team-Up.

Terror, Inc. editor Marc McLaurin maintained that Shreck and Terror are two different characters. Writer Dan Chichester said, "Shreck was Terror and Terror was Shreck ... but for the fact that Terror got to develop more of a back story as time went on."

The comic books themselves gave no confirmation either way. Eventually, the canonical Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Horror 2005 confirmed that the two were in fact the same being.

Powers and abilities
Terror has the ability to replace lost body parts (hand, feet, arms, legs, eyes, ears, nose, etc.) with limbs and organs taken from other organisms. He secretes a natural acid that serves as both solvent and glue: the substance loosens the connective tissues in the target body, allowing him to more easily rend the parts he needs; even if reduced to a head, torso and single arm, this allows Terror to gain enough leverage to remove the needed parts. Once that is accomplished, the substance then helps bond the purloined limbs or organs to Terror's body. The 10" spikes on his cheeks on both sides of his face can be removed and used as weapons, and if lost or damaged will regrow. He has greenish yellow skin, pronounced sharpened canine teeth, and a face resembling a nearly naked skull without lips or eyelids. He also has a metal glove encasing the hermetically sealed hand of a deceased lover.

Upon grafting the new pieces to his body, Terror becomes immediately aware of the previous owner's last memories and strongest emotions, including sights, sounds, or sensations which they once experienced. In some cases this is a liability, and he must ignore this knowledge to complete his task. The MAX imprint version of Terror had used animal parts for a time after his original body rotted away, turning himself into a satyr-like creature.

Though the body parts bond permanently with Terror, they are still dead tissue and will begin to decay at their natural rate. This gives Terror a distinctive odor, and also forces him to seek a constant supply of replacements.

In addition to memories, Terror gains the skills and abilities of the person or being to whom the "borrowed" part belongs. This applies to emotional connections (the hand of a loving husband produced comforting feelings when in contact with his devoted family) as well as technical know-how (the eyes of a librarian gave him the ability to work a microfiche reader).



Terror Inc.#6 - Hired to put a hit on crimelord Piranha Jones, Terror was interrupted by the Punisher. Losing focus of their target, the Punisher and Terror ended up battling each other in a gunfight, that ended with Terror missing some legs. The Punisher was shocked when Terror stole the legs of one of Jones' agents. The Punisher, deciding Terror deserves it as much as any other criminal, opened fire on him. Terror, however, decided to jump off the building onto a passing bus, escaping. Stopping at a library, Terror took a pair of eyes from a librarian and studied up on the Jones case via the library's computer system, then got more information from Ms. Primo on the trio of women who helped Piranha Jones get into town, mob princesses "Babyface" Ann Repucci, Vita "the Headcutter" Buchetta, and "Cruella" Cortese.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Case Study No. 1638: Staff of Unnamed Library (Library Thriller)

Library Thriller
A young man is faced with following rules that he is unaware of at a local library. Be good to librarians or else...
Tags: Michael Jackson thriller library george memorial girls dance nerds books
Added: 5 years ago
From: bcl0526
Views: 89,574

Due to my strong personal convictions,
I wish to stress that this film in no
way endorses a belief in the occult.
- Braulio Cesar Linares

Braulio Cesar Linares's
Library Thriller

[scene opens with a young male patron entering the library, as he sits at a table next to another male patron (as a young - and very attractive - female librarian shelves books in the background)]
[cut to a closeup of the male patron as he puts his backpack on the table and begins loudly rummaging through its contents (as the other patron rolls his eyes in annoyance)]
[cut to another shot of the patron poking around the bags of chips in his backpack, when the librarian appears next to him and clears her throat]
[he looks up, as she puts a finger to her lips]
LIBRARIAN: [quietly] Shh ...
[she points at a sign on the nearby bookshelf ("Quiet Zone"), as the patron merely shrugs ... she goes back to shelving, and he (carefully) reaches into the backpack and pulls out a stick of gum]
[cut to another shot of the patron as he waves the stick of gum at the other patron ... who shakes his head (as a "No Chewing Gum!!" sign can clearly be seen behind him)]
[cut to the patron as he slowly brings the unwrapped stick of gum up to his mouth ... but is stopped when the librarian appears and again clears her throat]
[the patron looks at her (as she points to the "No Chewing Gum!!" sign), then she walks off camera ... and the patron surreptitiously puts the gum in his mouth when the coast is clear]
[cut to the librarian sitting at the front desk (where she starts reading a copy of "The Lake House" by James Patterson), then back to the patron who absent-mindedly blows a bubble, which pops loudly]
[he looks up in shock (as the other patron beats a hasty retreat), then the sound of a heartbeat can be heard as the camera slowly zooms in on the librarian]
[as Michael Jackson's "Thriller" begins to play, the patron runs off into the stacks as the librarian calmly follows him]
[the patron tries to sneak away, when another librarian dressed exactly the same (white blouse, black skirt, glasses, high heels) walks up with a bookcart and starts following the first librarian]
[cut to the patron slowly backing away, when one of the librarians rises up behind him and scares him off]
[cut to the patron hiding under a desk as a librarian walks past ... except that another librarian is crawling under the desk too (causing him to run off)]
[the music stops, as both librarians corner the patron, so he gets on his knees and begins begging ... the camera switches to his POV as the librarians reach down to grab him, and the screen goes white]
[cut to a closeup of the patron's face, as he's now wearing glasses ... then, as the music starts up again, the camera zooms out to reveal that he is now outside the library and has switched to "nerd" clothing (white collared shirt, red tie, pocket protector, black slacks, plus one fingerless leather glove) and begins dancing with the librarians on either side of him]
[after more dancing, cut to the patron (back in his regular clothes) sitting at the table in the library with his head down, as someone reaches in from off camera and pinches him ... he looks up (as if waking up from a dream), and the camera pans over to reveal that it's the librarian waking him up]
[she walks over and points to another sign ("No Sleeping Allowed!!!"), so the patron calmly gets his backpack and begins walking away ... except he turns back at the last second (revealing that he's wearing glasses again), and the scene freezes as Vincent Price's laugh from the end of the "Thriller" video can be heard]

Directed by
Braulio Cesar Linares

Written by
Braulio Cesar Linares

Jaime Thompson
Karina Linares
Diego Javier Linares
Braulio Cesar Linares

Director of Photography
Braulio Cesar Linares

Michael Peters & Michael Jackson

Edited by
Braulio Cesar Linares

Art Director
Braulio Cesar Linares

Karina Linares
Braulio Cesar Linares

Production Manager
Braulio Cesar Linares

First Assistant Director
Diego Javier Linares

Scary Music by
Elmer Bernstein

Performed by
Michael Jackson
Produced by
Quincy Jones & Michael Jackson
Written by
Rod Temperton
Recorded & Mixed by
Bruce Sweden
Available on
Epic Records

Special Thanks to
Joyce Kennerly

All characters and events in this film are fictional. Any similarity to actual events or persons is purely coincidental.



This 2009 video (8:39) by teacher Braulio Cesar Linares shows a bubble-gum-chewing young man pursued by vigilant (and strict) librarians. Filmed at the George Memorial Library, the central branch of the Fort Bend County Libraries in Richmond, Texas.