My Vampire Tooth and Reading Dracula by Fiza Pathan
Many people over the years have often asked me one simple question: “Fiza, why don’t you smile properly?”
I have till date been unable to grasp the full potential of that word ‘properly’ but what I gather from film magazines and these teenage digests is that ‘properly’ means a Cheshire Cat smile with all teeth visible to the viewer’s scrutiny. That I must admit I certainly cannot do because first of all, I rarely smile and second, I’ve got a set of Vampire teeth … well tooth! I’ve got a really sharp pointed tooth that could pass off as either a crochet needle or a blood sucking machine where vampirism is concerned.
I’ve been conscious of it for years so to hide it, I give off a sort of ‘half smile’ and basically let my dimple do all the smiling that it wishes to do, so long as I am left alone. However, whenever I see my ‘vampire tooth’ I am always reminded of that Victorian Gothic masterpiece Dracula that has enchanted readers for years and which is a great classic read.
In the novel which I have often recommended to my students, the central figure Count Dracula brandishes a set of razor sharp teeth which on the face of it is supposed to be used as the instruments to suck out the life source from victims. My students are fascinated with this subject and therefore are also fascinated with their teacher’s tooth. However, over the years I’ve noticed that the theme of vampirism has been used by almost every kind of author, be it horror, terror, romance, fantasy or religious. But the magic of the classic Dracula has remained the same, and is it not so that old wine tastes best which matured as the years go by? Classic literature is like that, and Bram Stoker’s famous novel Dracula is a vintage piece of art.
One can learn a lot from this classic than any other contemporary vampire fiction book:
- Romanian history
- The Biography of Vlad Dracula & the Boyars
- English Victorian Society
- Late 19th century Medicine
- Late 19th century Innovations
- The Geography of Eastern Europe, etc.
The theme of vampirism is dealt with very well by the author, which makes the book a very informational read as well as a book, which can enrich a student’s vocabulary as well as language speaking skills.
My dentist has often coaxed me into blunting off my tooth, but I guess that like Dracula’s charming and hypnotising persona, even I feel like being a ‘victim’ to the Bram Stoker ‘fiction’ in some way … even if it is in the way of one vampire looking tooth.
Copyright © 2013 by Fiza Pathan
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