In the wake of a blog entry I wrote about “Transylvania vampire expert”, István Pivárcsi (Hogg 2013), Niels K. Petersen has written a review of Pivárcsi’s 2012 book, Just a Bite (Petersen 2013). And, just as I suspected, the book’s not all it’s cracked up to be:
Most of the book, however, covers ground familiar from numerous other books: Vlad Tepes, Elizabeth Bathory, Gilles de Rais, werewolves, zombies, the Golem, beliefs related to blood, vampire bats, porphyria, and the vampire of popular culture, and quite a lot of what is said about Romanian vampire beliefs is very brief.
In other words, same old, same old. Like Petersen, I also suspect Just a Bite is actually a re-titled translation of Pivárcsi’s 2003 book, Drakula gróf és társai: nagy vámpírkönyv. I suspect that because of Petersen’s quotes from the book concerning vampirology. I didn’t mention this in the entry I wrote about to Pivárcsi, but while researching info on Drakula gróf és társai, I actually came across a copy of it on Scribd. Sure enough, there’s a section on vampirology in it too.
As to the Hungarian/Transylvanian regional folklore angle covered in Just a Bite, Petersen instead recommends Tekla Dömötör’s Hungarian Folk Beliefs—a book I’m chasing through inter-library loan.
But despite Petersen’s overview, I’ll likely end up getting a copy of Just a Bite, anyway. I’m always keen to see what writers—even a somewhat over-hyped “Transylvania vampire expert”—have to say on the subject.
Hogg, Anthony. 2013. “The Vampire Expert’s Other Book.” The Vampirologist, September 21. https://thevampirologist.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/the-vampire-experts-other-book/.
Petersen, Niels K. 2013. “A Transylvania Vampire Expert.” Review of Just a Bite: A Transylvania Vampire Expert’s Short History of the Undead, by István Pivárcsi. Magia Posthuma, October 12. http://magiaposthuma.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/a-transylvania-vampire-expert.html.
Olchvary, Paul. 2013. “Just a Bite.” New Europe Books. Accessed October 19, 2013. http://www.neweuropebooks.com/Bite.html.