The Garlic Flower in Bram Stoker’s Hermeneutic Garden
This article explores the use of floral symbolism within Gothic fiction of the
fin de siècle. Taking as a basis the language of flower
anthologies popularised throughout the nineteenth century, it investigates how
this notoriously unstable floral language filtered through into the popular
Gothic fiction at the end of the century. Whilst authors of Gothic may have
adhered to existing codes and associations pertaining to particular flowers,
they also destabilised traditional meaning, and introduced a new floral lexicon
into the popular imagination. The article primarily considers Bram Stoker’s
Dracula in an attempt to locate floral significance through
consideration of the production and widely discussed political agenda of the
text. Through a close reading of Dracula’s garlic flower, the
article asks whether there might be a Gothic language of flowers situated within
the narrative that bears comparison with other Gothic fictions of the period and
discussion of transformative fear in three Exeter Book riddles: XII Hund Heafda (R.86), solved as ‘One-Eyed Seller of Garlic’; Gryrelic Hleahtor (R.33), solved as ‘Iceberg’; and Nama Min is Mære (R.26), solved as ‘Bible’.
Riddles and memory
There are several dimensions in which riddles are related to memory, and these may have both narrative and mnemotechnic aspects. First is the sense of memory as the experience of remembering: if our memory of something or someone is the only presence of what is tangibly absent, then Old English riddles exemplify this
-douce . ‘ Doucement ’ he says.
Make mixing your mayonnaise a sensual experience and add the oil
slowly, softly .
You will need:
Un jaune d'oeuf: a yellow of egg . An egg yolk
Moutarde forte : Dijon mustard
Huile d'arachide : A light, edible oil like peanut
D'ail : Fresh pressed garlic
Folklore and fiction – writing My Swordhand Is Singing
C: They are hurt or destroyed by
sunlight, and thus:
D: They sleep in coffins by day, usually
filled with earth from their homeland
E: They are killed by staking through the
F: They are afraid of holy things: holy water,
G: They are repelled by garlic
attributed to Jews since the
Middle Ages, which perhaps derived from the garlic in their diet.
Garlic was unknown in England before the mid-sixteenth century.
‘Reek’ as a noun is a synonym for foetor , a Latin
word that retains its original form in English. In her Blood
Relations Janet Adelman wrote that Jews ‘are generally
depicted throughout the Middle Ages as physically
they spotted a cucumber or a bunny
Or piglets, cloves of garlic, lumps of salt,
It was Megarian, grabbed, sold-off that very day.
Now these were merely local; country customs.
But then some young kottabos-players got to drinking
And went to Megara and stole the whore Simae-tha.
And then the Megarians, garlic-stung with passion,
Got even by stealing two whores from Aspasia.
From this the origin of the war broke forth
On all the Greeks: from three girls good at blow-jobs.
And then in wrath Olympian Pericles
Wrought lightning and he thundered and turned Greece upside
Sarah Marie Hall, Laura Pottinger, Megan Blake, Susanna Mills, Christian Reynolds, and Wendy Wrieden
taste buds, for example:
Most of my cooking dishes are not changed, but I add some different herbs, the garlic, and some vegetables. So it has changed a little bit for me, yeah. [My family] noticed the garlic, they enjoyed it. (Interview, April 2018)
It's changed a little bit … some of the ingredients, and added something new to our Chinese recipes. (Interview, June 2018)
Moreover, we decided it was best that these interviews were conducted by Laura, who attended the classes alongside our participants
conditions from every part of the city streamed into the centre to join in a vast procession to accompany the toe to the cathedral. When the toe was placed on the main altar, Lord Anselm of San Vitale, a canon of the cathedral and the bishop’s vicar, approached the altar and bent to kiss the relic. As he did so, though, he was made suspicious by a strange odour and quickly told this to the clerics standing about him. They gathered in close and leaned forward to examine the relic, only to find that they had been duped, for the ‘toe’ was nothing other than a clove of garlic
‘with “virgin crants and maiden strewments”’ (p.
161) 2 – the
garlic wreath Van Helsing gives her for a necklace. Vampirised, undead,
a wraith in white who speaks a twisted salacious love language, she
walks on Hampstead Heath where, it’s reported by the
Westminster Gazette , a number of ‘tiny tots’ have
been lured away at sunset by a ‘bloofer lady’. Their
victuals such as garlic, flour, salt, tallow, candles, butter and cheeses too dearly and
unlawfully, as well as being common forestallers of these provisions. 17 This group was termed auxiatrices , a term apparently
unique to Nottingham and translated by Stevenson, the town’s most famous historian, to
mean huckster as well as poulterer. 18 The
feminine ending implies that this was a solely female group, and the role of women as
hucksters, selling a wide range of basic goods and victuals, has been well documented in the