Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Chinese vampires

While trawling through Amazon today, I came across Leon Wieger and Derek Bryce's Chinese tales of vampires, beasts, genies and men, which was published earlier this year. 

You wouldn't know it from the Amazon listing, but the book's publisher—Llanerch—gives the game away: 'These tales were collected in China in the late nineteenth century by Leon Wieger, who translated a large number of them, published as Folklore Chinois Moderne (Modern Chinese Folklore).'

With some light googling, I found some brief biographical info on Léon Wieger (1856–1933) and the original book—Folk-lore chinois moderne (1909)—on the Internet Archive. It appears to be unviewable on Google Books and the 'Read online' function doesn't yield any pages. At least, on my computer. So your best bet for leafing through it's using the (greatly flawed) 'Full text' function.

Unlike certain catchpenny titles, vampire references are sprinkled liberally through the text, so it might be added to the ranks of J. J. M. de Groot's The religious system of China (1892–1910) and G. Willoughby-Meade's Chinese ghouls and goblins (1926) as useful sources on Chinese vampirism.

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