- What do you think about Turgut's obsession with Dracula and the paintings that have been done? How does his obsession compare to Paul's and Helen's?
- What are your thoughts on the "Dragon" book simply appearing for the characters in the story? Why do you think these particular characters are the recipients of this book?
- There is a lot of discussion on the lack of freedom in Budapest and in Romania during the time that Helen and Paul enter, especially with Paul being an American. How does this lack of freedom for the citizens affect or compare with the restricting search for Dracula?
- In Chapter 39, while in conversation with Helen's aunt, Eva, Paul state "I've always been interested in foreign relations. It's my belief that the study of history should be our preparation for understanding the present, rather than escape from it." The seekers of the book are constantly aware of the history being made in their own times and the history that came hundreds of years before their search. What are some of these events, and why is it important?
- What is your FAVORITE part of the book, scene, feeling, etc., thus far? For example, the majority of the book is told from a written letter format -- do you feel this is difficult to read from, or does it offer more creative flexibility?
Here are a couple of places that were visited throughout this section of the book!
"Turgut's apartment was located in another part of Istanbul, on the Sea of Marmara, and we took a ferry there from the busy port called Eminönü. Helen stood at the rail, watching the seagulls that followed the boat, and looking back at the tremendous silhouette of the old city. I went to stand next to her, and Turgu pointed out spires and domes for us, his voice booming above the rumble of the engines." (Chapter 30)
"It seemed a good opportunity to see something else in Istanbul, so I made my way toward the mazelike, domed Topkapi Palace complex, commissioned by Sultan Mehmed as the new seat of his conquest. It had drawn me both from a distance ad in my guidebook since our first afternoon in the city. The Topkapi covers a large area on the headland of Istanbul and is guarded on three sides by water: the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn, and the Marmara. I suspected that if I missed it, I would be missing the essence of Istanbul's Ottoman history." (Chapter 37)
|Harem in Topkapi Palace. www.pbase.com|
"Some communications between us needed no interpreter, anyway. After another glorious ride along the river, we crossed what I later learned was Széchenyi Lánchid, the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, a miracle of nineteenth-century engineering named for one of Budapest's great beautifiers, Count István Széchenyi. As we turned onto the bridge, the full evening light, reflected off the Danube, flooded the whole scene, so that the exquisite mass of the castle and churches in Buda, where we were headed, was thrown into gold-and-brown relief. The bridge itself was an elegant monolith, guarded at each end by lions, couchants, and supporting two huge triumphant arches." (Chapter 39)
University of Budapest
"The next minute we were in sight of the Danube. It was enormous -- I hadn't been prepared for its grandeur -- with three great bridges spanning it. On our side of the river rose the incredible neo-Gothic spires and dome of the Parliament Buildings, and on the opposite side rose the immense tree-cushioned flanks of the royal palace and the spires of medieval churches." (Chapter 38)
|Budapest Parliament Building|
Yours in profoundest grief,
Coffee and a Book Chick
Tedious & Brief