non-fiction vampire books [as in proposed as scientific books at the time]
February 24, 2012 § 1 Comment
I’ve got quite a few e-mails asking me for reading recommendations, readings that actually treat the subject in a scientific way, not Twilight. So… this post is intended for those people.
A lot of people are apparently doing research on vampires from fiction books, which is… ironic. No, I’m not using the word ironic wrong, it really is ironic, but you can’t see the irony if you don’t know the story below.
Anyway, apart from the short stories posted in the documents section of the website, I am proposing in this post right here, a series of books, which are really old and I seriously doubt you can find them, however, if you do have the time, you might find microfilms or copies on the books. Forget about finding them online.
The first scientific book on vampires, as it is widely accepted, is named “Magia Posthuma” and you will not find the term vampire in it because at the time the term didn’t even exist yet. It is a book written in 1706 by Karl Ferdinand von Schertz.
I could only find a copy of this book by going straight to the National Museum in the Czech Republic, in Prague. I didn’t go all the way there but I did manage to snatch a microfilm of it from someone.
This is a really old and really scientific book written on the phenomenon of vampirism – people who went dead and then returned to reign terror. I would take the “dead” lightly, with a grain of salt.
There is a blog, named after the book, who deals with this book and others of its stature in great detail. I highly encourage you to pay that blog a visit. You can find it here http://magiaposthuma.blogspot.com
What I can offer you is a chronicle of detailed events or reported cases, a chronicle even older than the previous book, a chronicle that is actually debated and presented in the book itself.
However, there is a catch: because the chronicle is so old, it’s written in Latin. So, if you can read Latin, then you’re in luck. It’s called Iohannis Neplachonis Chronican, just in case you might find it translated someplace. But if not, here is the Latin one.
Here you can find a full bibliography with books that treat the issue seriously, in a non-fiction way. Old books, many of them hard to obtain, but books that exist nonetheless.
And now, my favorite one, is a book called “Diss. de hominibvs post mortem sangvisvgis, vulgo sic dictis Vampyren” – again, this book is in Latin. However, it is easier to find. I believe you can also buy it online, by some miracle, although not printed, but photocopied. In any case, here is the preview available on Google Books. The title loosely translated to “Dissertation on men who suck blood (are bloodsuckers) after death, commonly called Vampyren””
There are many, many more books which treat the subject more seriously that what you find today, but these three books are pretty old and very interesting to read. So, if you have the time and interest, go for it.
- Real vampires are not pure fiction… (demonizerdoom.wordpress.com)
- The Effect Of Fiction On Perception Of Vampire Reality (housevalur.wordpress.com)