Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Transylvania Cliche Watch (2)

This is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel (or, I suppose, biting the neck of a giraffe), but as the game approaches, the media has struck a rich vein of Dracula references and has sucked upon them wildly. For the match reports I'm going to have a scoring system:
10 points -"XXX drove a stake through the heart of the plucky Transylvanians"
5 points - "Chelsea scented blood", "... sank their teeth into..."
3 points - all bad dracula puns (e.g. "much was at stake", "fangs a lot", "made it count", the fans were going bats", etc etc)
2 points - any mention of garlic, crosses (in a non footballing sense), coffins, stakes, blood, necks, jugulars, vampires, bats and Bela Lugosi.

Some more examples from today's previews:

"We'll put bite on Dracula boys" is the classy headline in the Daily Star, the paper that manages to make The Sun look highbrow. But in a race to the bottom, the Sun reported on the story that Chelsea brought their own food taster and that they won;t eat the food in a five star hotel (what five star hotel? I've never seen one in Cluj) with the headline "We'll Try the Stake" (it's worth clicking on that link, if only for the ridiculous picture of a punctured-neck John Terry trying to beat Dracula in goal. Oh, and the last line of the article).

Outside the British media, things are no better. Fox Sports has "Blues Go For the Jugular in Transylvania", while AFP go with "Chelsea will be hoping to sink their fangs into Cluj's jugular when they travel to Transylvania - the land of horror story icon Dracula."

It may be that CFR have decided to play this overkill up somewhat though, with Sky Sports quoting Juan Culio as telling The Sun "It is true we want to suck the life out of the big clubs. If we beat Chelsea we will all be as famous as Dracula." a quote which they probably made up (it is The Sun, after all). However it is possible that he did say it, since he is pictured in the Romanian press dressed as Dracula and renamed Draculio


And finally, the stuffy and conservative Daily Telegraph finishes its piece with the line "Cluj-Napoca is the third largest city in Romania and the capital of Transylvania, made famous by the gothic horror novel Dracula, and more recently the Cheeky Girls." That will be good news to the people of Cluj, not that they've been made famous by Romania's top university or being the birthplace of Matyas Kiraly/Matei Corvi. No it's all about the Cheeky Girls. Contrast this with the Times, who actually do a decent job of outlining the club's (and the city's) history.

Last update in the series tomorrow (time permitting)

5 comments:

Gadjo Dilo said...

I stick with the BBC, Andy, who don't make a single "Drac Pack" reference. Unfortunately I couldn't see it as we had a sleeping guest un our room with the telly in it, and though we can see the lights in the ground nearby I couldn't hear it either, maybe because there were no goals. It sounds like CFR did a great job, though - incredible considering the difference in what the teams cost, etc. I'm proud :-)

Csilla said...

"...not that they've been made famous by Romania's top university..."
Dear Andy, UBBCluj might have been Romania's top university few decades ago.... Now it is rather "the world's most weird >multicultural< univesity", as such it could make Cluj famous - or notorious...

Your blog is one of the very few web places that I could recommend anyone who wants authentic information about Csíkszereda in English.

Let me paraphrase a Hungarian poet: "Jó mulatság, férfimunka...!"

Gadjo Dilo said...

Translation, please! (into English or Danish would be ok for me).

Csilla said...

I thought everyone would start searching the web for the quotation, and thus I can disseminate Hungarian culture!
I'm afraid I cannot provide an artistic translation (try to find one yourselves), but it is a quotation form Vörösmarty Mihály's poem entitled Gondolatok a könyvtárban (Musings in the library)
Approx.: "It is fun but also a job that takes a man...!"
See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%B6r%C3%B6smarty_Mih%C3%A1ly

Gadjo Dilo said...

Thanks for that, Csilla. I'm a big reader of poetry but it can of course be very difficult in translation. From his resume, Vörösmarty Mihály looks to be a very interesting writer; but I've just tried and failed to find any of his work in English. I live in Cluj, by the way; I'm British and an academic and I applied at UBB for a job; the secretary said they wouldn't even consider me as they only wanted Romanian citizens: so, it's maybe not as multicultural as I personally would like it to be! Do you live in Cluj?