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In Vlad We Trust

‘You’re at the Transylvania station at a quarter to four .  .  .’

Apr 5, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 28 • By SARA LODGE
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Reader, I ran. I still don’t know whether we were running from a bear, a boar, or a banshee. But thankfully, we reached the Land Rover before it did. 

Transylvania is a beautiful but fragile alloy of cultures. It needs tourism to energize its economy, but insensitive investment could turn it into Trashylvania. Everywhere I traveled I saw new construction work, much of it cheap and ugly. Only by preserving what is best about local tradition, from agriculture to craftsmanship, and safeguarding the natural environment, will it retain the wild charm that first lured Victorian visitors. I left determined to return, like Jonathan Harker, in the snow. 

The “imaginative whirlpool” had claimed another soul.


Sara Lodge, a lecturer in English at the University of St Andrews, is the author, most recently, of Thomas Hood and Nineteenth-Century Poetry: Work, Play, and Politics.



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