Well, what to say about Count Dracula and his vampiric pursuits? Some liked the novel and some dismissed it. Misfits Olson and Kriesel were staunch defenders of Bram Stoker and his account of the Count maintaining that it was a good read. It was also a unique novel of mystery and horror in that it marked the beginning of a genre that lasts to the present day.
Misfits Druffner and Loome were somewhat dismissive. They did not think the novel rose to the level of our other books and that it’s theology was weak and off the mark for Catholics. The Olson/Kriesel Camp maintained that this was a strength of the novel in that it contrasted basic Catholic theology with that of a misguided Protestant understanding of the Church. Plus, the novel itself was permeated by a Catholic aesthetic, even if it’s catechesis was often exaggerated or bordering on superstition.
The other Misfits present were somewhere in between as befits the generally democratic discussions experienced in our meetings. The middle ground was perhaps best expressed by Misfit Blondin: “Dracula is an amazing piece of popular culture, but in the end superficial as far as addressing moral issues from a Catholic perspective. I think Stoker uses Catholicism as a literary device and he is successful only because most readers are not educated about Catholic theology and thought.”
Misfit Blondin also brought his son to our meeting. He wished to let all of the Misfits know the reaction of his teenage son to the discussion: “I want to thank everyone who attended the Wednesday March 9th meeting for the excellent example you showed to my son on what it means to be Catholic and a gentleman. You guys are wonderfully counter-cultural. Thanks for helping me be a dad.” I agree with Carl. We are counter-cultural and always gentlemen...even when disagreeing. That trait is to be especially valued in the divisive age we seem to live in.
Now to the future:
We are excited about our upcoming literary journey. We are beginning the Divine Comedy...and unlike millions of other men (and women) who have begun this daunting allegory, we will finish it! We will accompany Dante on his journey, guided by the poet Virgil, as he plunges to the very depths of Hell and embarks on his arduous journey towards God. We will use Dorothy L. Sayers “landmark translation” of the Divine Comedy. It is arguably the best translation given her monumental intellect and the scholarship she brings to the task. We have also chosen the Sayers translation in the hopes that all who accompany us on our literary journey will have a common reference for discussion and comment.
And always remember that we meet on the Second Wednesday of every month in the St. Thomas More Library at the Church of St. Michael at 7:00 pm. Our meetings last until 8:30 pm. Therefore start reading The Divine Comedy and mark your calendar for 7:00 pm, Wednesday, April 15, 2011.
With warmest regards,