OT almost entirely: Radu Florescu, 88, Scholar of Dracula, and the OED
Joel S. Berson
Berson at ATT.NET
Thu May 29 14:15:41 UTC 2014
The famous Margalit Fox -- check the ADS-L archives -- has written
another elegant and sly obituary, this time about Radu Florescu, who
died on May 18. In the NYTimes -- at least the New England Edition
-- May 29, page B17. (For unknown reasons, the on-line Times won't
give it to me. Search results for, say, "Dracula", Newest first, are
to say the least peculiar; and a search for "Margalit Fox"
produces zero results in the Past 7 Days.) Anyhoo, juicy excerpts:
"Have you ever seen Count Dracula and Vlad the Impaler in the
same place at the same time?
"Of course not, and that, according to Radu Florescu, is
precisely the point: The two men, he argued, were one and the same."
"By day, Professor taught at Boston College, where, at his
death, he was an emeritus professor of history ..."
[One intervening paragraph.]
"But thanks to his moonlight job, Professor Florescu was for
four decades also one of the world's leading experts in matters Dracular."
[This is the minimally relevant bit: Dracular (adj.) not in
OED. But 'll bet the professor and the count also were never seen in
the same place at the same time.]
"As he would learn in the course of his research, he had a
family connection to Vlad, who was known familiarly if not quite
fondly as Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler. A Florescu ancestor was
said to have married Vlad's brother, felicitously named Radu the Handsome."
"Both Vlad and Count Dracula displayed marked criminal
proclivities: Vlad was know for dispatching his Ottoman foes (as may
as 100,000 in some accounts) with sharpened stakes. Dracula, who did
not care for stakes, favored a more direct approach."
[And the concluding paragraph:]
"If, in his second career, Professor Florescu risked the
opprobrium of some ivory-tower colleagues, he seemed unperturbed. At
Dracula conventions around the world -- and there are many -- he
sometimes materialized wearing a cape, a reliable indication that
when it came to Stoker's sanguinary protagonist, Professor Florescu
did not mind sticking his neck out."
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