Friday, 28 October 2011

Für deutsche Leser

LIT Verlag
As Niels revealed, the Vampirismus und magia posthuma im Diskurs der Habsburgermonarchie will be out soon. The book features proceedings from the 2009 Vienna conference.

For a taste of what this book'll contain, read his notes on the conference. I'm particularly interested in Christian Reiter's assertion that 'the epidemic in Medvedja in 1731-32 was caused by anthrax. Furthermore [concluding] that Flückinger and co. had falsified their report concerning the corpses not in a "vampire state" with the intent of obtaining remuneration for their examination of the corpses.' I'd love to see how he proves that.

The 'epidemic in Medvedja' refers to the Arnold Paole case. The importance of that case in vampire history can not be underestimated: it gave us the word, 'vampire'. It's because of that case that we know vampires are undead, bloodsucking corpses which you gotta stake through the heart. 

It's because of that case, that the symbolism inherent in the vampire's 'existence' found broader application, giving way to vampire literature—indeed, John Polidori's 'The vampyre; a tale' (1819) was partially inspired by the first English press coverage of the case: 'In the London Journal, of March, 1732, is a curious, and, of course credible account of a particular case of vampyrism, which is stated to have occurred at Madreyga, in Hungary.'

Therefore, imagine if the popularity of the vampire in Western culture started with a guy—who faked a report. Brilliant.

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