From December 2013 until October 2016, I acted as the Managing Editor of Letter from Castle Dracula, the news bulltetin of the Transylvania Society of Dracula. I coordinated my steps with Daniela Diaconesca, co-founder of the society, and created almost all content singlehandedly. From Oct. 2015 on, I focused on organizing the Fourth World Dracula Congress in Dublin, and creating/maintaining the conference website.
As after the conference, the Romanian mother society decided to merge with its American Chapter, its website has been deactivated; the six issues of the newsletter I created could no longer be accessed. As I believe that these texts should be available for review and citation, I publish them here again.
All newslaters I created are archived here as originally published through the TSD email network and the TSD website, on the dates indicated here (DD/MM/YYYY). Of course, for certain essays, such as that on Makt myrkranna (4 February 2014), newer research has led to revised insights, which I published elsewhere. Minor errors in the original versions (typos, spacing) have been corrected in the versions published here; the revisions are listed at the end of each issue.
I created this newsletter after Dacre Stoker and I had visited Daniela Diaconescu in Bucharest during the promotion tour for our planned Dracula Travel Guide. She invited me to summarize my discoveries about the location of Castle Dracula, the identity of the Count. It was my start in creating Letter from Castle Dracula, in a simple form, but with an important essay.
In January 2014, I discovered that Makt myrkranna, the Icelandic version of Dracula, was no abridged translation at all! Before I started translating the whole text, I published my findings in a groundbreaking essay, discussing the differences with Dracula, the parallels with Stoker's early notes, and various scenarios how Dracula might have come to Iceland.
This issue was triggered by book collector John Moore from Dublin, who told me he had created a longhand transcript of Stoker's original - extended - preface, as initially contained in the Donaldson typescript. I was quite excited about this discovery, until I realized that Moore's claim could not be true - as I demonstrated in this Letter from Castle Dracula.
A report on my visit to the Borgo Pass together with Daniela Diaconescu, where we attended the re-opening of the Via Maria Theresa, restored by Tăşuleasa Social. In this issue, I pleaded against building a Dracula-themed rollercoaster park in the Borgo Pass, as planned by local politicians. It also contained interviews with three senior Dracula specialists from Bucharest, and my translation of the poem "Călin - Part IV" by Mihail Eminescu.
This issue contained a report on the BBEC conference in Timișoara of June 2015, organized by Marius Crișan, and announced the plans for the Fourth World Dracula Congress, to be held at Trinity College in October 2016 under the auspices of the TSD. It also featured my essay on Captain Vampire by Marie Nizet, in which I demonstrated that elements of Stoker's The Lair of the White Worm may have been inspired by Nizet's amazing novel.
In summer 2016, I was fascinated by Simone Berni's discovery of a deposit copy of Drakula in Budapest, the first-ever translation. Like with Makt myrkranna, I managed to locate the preceding newspaper serialization, starting on 1 January 1899. Analyzing the comments by translator and publisher Jenő Rakósi, I established that Rakósi probably had not found Dracula on a Christmas Book Fair in London, as claimed by Prof. Jenő Farkas.