Cut From Classics: Glumba Sanguinard -The Toast

Skip to the article, or search this site

Home: The Toast

Cut from the Classics brings your favorite novels to life as never before. Each month we present a profile of a character who originally appeared in the first draft of a major work of fiction, but was subsequently cut from the final draft. This insight into each author’s process brings a fuller, richer sense of their body of work. Previously: Monstra March.

Book: Dracula
Author: Bram Stoker
Publication Date: 1897

Character: Glumba Sanguinard

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a critical addition to the gothic horror genre, and has earned a place of import surpassing such a niche scope[1. “Dracula Is Everything, Dracula is Great” By: Evan Thomsen-Robodeau, Senior Thesis, Marymount-at-Sea College, LAT: -31.353636941500987, LON: -119.8828125]. Stoker brought to life the persona of Dracula, inspired by the legends of the Transylvanian Lord Vlad Tepes, popularly known as Vlad the Impaler. Stoker’s blood-sucking ghoul marked the first appearance in popular fiction of vampires as we know them today. It denoted the beginning of the vampire as cultural phenomenon[2. “Suck on This: Vampire Hotties For Our Modern Times” By: Jerre Lemur-Lyons, Esq., Little Mollet Skwunting Press, Aberdeen, OH, 2012].

The epistolary format the novel takes lends to the tale a cinematic tone that is still easily accessible to modern readers. The story begins with a young lawyer, Mr. Jonathan Harker, traveling from his British home to the far reaches of Count Dracula’s castle where his services regarding real estate contracts are gravely needed[3. “Why My Job Matters: A Tale of Real Estate, Books, and Deus Ex Machina” By: Devon Hurtley, Licensed ALCsm, Pomple-Strobe Press, Kelty-Sauce, AK, 2009]. Though Dracula’s incipient move from the foothills of Moldavia to England’s shores is a critical plot element, Harker’s trip to the castle is more often remembered for his subsequent imprisonment therein.

Much has been made of Stoker’s examination of the role of women in the 19th century[4. “Daaaaamn Girl: Striving Women of the 19th Century,” By: Colleen Puce, Teet Weevil Haus Press, Arlington, TX, 1995]. When Harker is captured, he is held under the damning thrall of a trio of succubi who presumably drain him of all manners of life force he possesses. These powerful women are in marked contrast to the other primary female characters, Harker’s fiancée Wilhelmina “Mina” Murray and her dear friend Lucy Westenra. Both woman are servants to the positions afforded them by their gender. When we meet Lucy, she is forced to decide between the proposals of three different men; her power very much resides in her sexuality, and for that she is later punished with death, while Mina’s power lays in her innocence. This, too, is violated when Dracula, having made the long sojourn via boat to England, takes her blood and forges a spiritual communion between the two of them.

It is during Dracula’s long sea voyage to England’s shores wherein we meet the focal point of this installment in our series. While Stoker’s end result told the tale of one supreme, malicious, and seductive vampiric evil, his penultimate draft told the tale of two such creatures. In fact, Dracula’s move from the wilds of Transylvania to England is prompted in this version by his best friend, hapless crony, and fellow vampire-at-arms, Glumba Sanguinard[5. “Unusual Baby Names: The Deep Cuts” By: Heather and Brian Ackerley, Per Via Press, Gutford, IL, 1987].

Glumba Sanguinard is everything his royal master is not. Though Dracula purports the duo to be of equal standing, the past cannot be erased: Glumba began his mortal life as a gangly, homely, and pustule-ridden catcher of beetles outside of a local tavern. When not occupied with his calling, Glumba was called by the charming moniker of “Omul Care Este Intotdeauna Gripare Degetele In Neatheas Acru De Dormit Bunicile Care Au Dat Numai Consimţământul Modestă Pentru O Asemenea Actiune.[6. From the Romanian, literally translated to the English: “The man who is always sticking his fingers in the sour nethers of sleeping grandmothers who have given only lackluster consent for such an action.” ]” Indeed, he was reviled by most who knew him. Though he was not paid, the inn-keeper did allow him to keep however many beetles he managed to catch that day. With apologies to the reader, he fed said beetles from the secretions of his pustules. Drunk, lonely, and with terrible night vision, Dracula, in his stupor, mistook Glumba for a tall, fair woman and bestowed upon the wretch his kiss of death and immortal life damning himself, in effect, all over again[7. “Irony, Coincidence, and Romanian Folks Heroes” By Mark Shuttleworth, Agate Nougat Productions, Sally Keith, ML, 1978]

Having arrived on England’s shores, Glumba and his compatriot Dracula feast on new, nubile forms. While Stoker paints the count as mysterious and alluring, he paints Glumba as hapless and repugnant[8. “I tell you good doctor, in earnest, I had never before seen such a sight. I entered the room to find that Miss Murray had fainted and my beloved Lucy looked quite ill indeed. The Count was nowhere to be seen, but his comrade Glumba stood in the center of the room, brazenly circling his hips as he stood atop an ottoman. His poxy member was purple and angry as it slapped against one thigh, and then the other, and then the other, his fangs displayed, a strange whinnying giggle coming from his mouth. The ottoman had been a gift from Lucy’s aunt Clothilde. I thanked the lord for recent passing.” Excerpt from: Dracula, Bram Stoker, First Draft, Date Unknown. ]. It is thought that, concerned over the erotic undertones of the character he had created, Stoker sought to counteract his own art by presenting the reader with a vampire so physically and emotionally repugnant as to eliminate the vampire as an object of lust entirely.

While Lucy becomes mysteriously sick in the final draft, in the first, her illness is understood well enough. In fact, when her former suitors, friends, husband and her husband’s former tutor, Dr. Van Helsing discover that Lucy has been bitten by such an unattractive boorish vampire, she chooses self-immolation over living with the grave shame of existing in a body which has known the touch of Glumba. Her mother is still killed by a wolf.

Even Van Helsing, the infamous hunter and killer of Dracula and his kind, cannot hide his disgust of Glumba. When he reads reports of the ship upon which the two creatures had arrived and finds that there were no survivors, he remarks casually to his compatriots, “Would that I had been upon that ship. For having seen the face of Glumba, I am as one already dead, eager to meet the hand of my maker.” There a pause here, while he weeps and the collected characters make meaningful, concerned eye-contact. This goes on for eighteen pages[9. “The Eyes Have It: The Meaningful Glance in 800 Pages” By: Denise Lubrun-Williams-Gothak, Farndull Inkery, Pottage Moose, MI, 1998].

In his finished novel, Jonathan, Mina, and Van Helsing’s team eventually triumph over Dracula. While this is certainly still true of the Count in the final draft, Stoker makes the interesting choice in the first to allow his repugnant ghoul Glumba to emerge as a sort of victor. Having entrapped Dracula and followed him back to his castle in Transylvania, Mina is, as in the novel, temporarily sidelined by the trio of succubi who had previously ensnared her husband. Rather than fall victim to their antics, she overhears them discussing Glumba and joins them in a spirited conversation of much animosity. Ultimately, Mina and the women, united in their hatred of Dracula’s horrific compatriot, decide to leave the business of murder–supernatural or otherwise–and open a tavern together[10. “Drunk Sluts N’ Wooden Huts” By: Lou Bigg, Burpow & Snogg’s Books For Dudes, Laloop, CA, 1976].

Wrecked at the prospect of a life without his Mina, a still-weak Jonathan loses heart in the midst of his great mission to end Glumba’s life. During one of Jonathan’s sobbing sessions, Glumba makes a quick escape. Stealing a horse and, inexplicably, a box-kite from a local child, he flees the scene, leaving only a trail of saliva and feces in his wake. His brief and happy retreat is cut short when he witnesses his beloved master Dracula receive his death-blows via their shared mental telepathy which up until this point, is not once mentioned in the draft–an oversight by Stoker.

Still, because Glumba is not one to be swayed by the pain of others, he continues to beat a path out of town. In this draft, the novel’s final chapter is a letter written by Glumba, presumably to himself (we can surmise as much as it is addressed “Dearest Glumba” and also because the character has not one acquaintance.) It is in this strange closing chapter that we learn of Glumba’s fate.

Though still roundly despised, he has made a life for himself as the bartender of a local dive bar on a small, tropical island. His passion for the work cannot quite hide his emotional problems. His new partner in this undertaking is a young business school student from New York City. Glumba goes on to detail how he challenges his partner’s sexual prowess because of his own inadequacies and how this ultimately proves to be the undoing of their professional and personal relationship. In the end, Glumba tries to take his own life. This does not work, because he is a vampire, but it does inspire his former colleague to take up a life dedicated to monogamy, and in fact, asexuality.11

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a freelance humorist living in Brooklyn. Her work is on the internet.

Add a comment

Skip to the top of the page, search this site, or read the article again