Prize Gets Reviewed!

Copies of Łukasz Kozak’s With Stake and Spade: Vampiric Diversity in Poland; An Introduction and Sourcebook (2020). Kozak’s book featured as a competition prize recently conducted by the Vampire Studies Association. Picture: Behance.

Andrew M. Boylan, winner of the Vampire Studies Association’s recent With Stake and Spade competition, has written a review of his prize. Of course, being the mastermind behind vampire review blog, Taliesin Meets the Vampires (https://taliesinttlg.blogspot.com/), this was probably a given.

For clarity, the prize was a copy of Łukasz Kozak’s With Stake and Spade: Vampiric Diversity in Poland; An Introduction and Sourcebook (2020), essentially a collection of items relating to undead lore, published between 1529–1933.

There are two particular items of interest, to me, raised in Boylan’s review. The first relates to the vampire’s destruction by sunlight, something I’ve long assumed to be fakelore derived from the 1922 film, Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens. But, as Boylan notes “there were several entries that suggested that the vampire would be reduced to tar on the cock crow – and this brings the trope of death by daylight to mind and is fascinating to find a folkloric variant.”

The second item relates to vampire-into-bat transformations, something I assumed Bram Stoker invented, before having that viewpoint completely blown apart by vampire scholar, Kevin Dodd. Here, Boylan highlights another possible predecessor: “Most fascinating was the following entry from the Gazeta Polska, dated 1871, which said about criminals who are insufficiently punished when alive who will ‘turn their bodies into so-called “strzygas” or “upiórs” (which the populace imagine in the form of bats) that emerge from their graves at midnight’. This is a pre-Stoker and folkloric association of bat and vampire and is, from my point of view, rather exciting.” Agreed.

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of With Stake and Spade, you can order it here: https://evvivalarte.org/pl/produkt/lukasz-kozak-with-stake-and-spade-vampiric-diversity-in-poland-an-introductiona-and-sourcebook/.


Notes

winner of the Vampire Studies Association’s recent With Stake and Spade competition: See Hogg, “And the Winner of the Polish Vampire Lore Book Is…,” The Vampirologist (blog), March 17, 2021, https://thevampirologist.wordpress.com/2021/03/17/and-the-winner-of-the-polish-vampire-lore-book-is/. Disclosure: Boylan is the Deputy President of the VSA, and Assistant Editor of its publication, the Journal of Vampire Studies.

has written a review: Boylan [TALIESIN_TTLG, pseud.], “With Stake and Spade: Vampiric Diversity in Poland – Review,” Taliesin Meets the Vampires (blog), April 21, 2021, https://taliesinttlg.blogspot.com/2021/04/with-stake-and-spade-vampiric-diversity.html. Subsequent quotes are taken from this review.

completely blown apart by vampire scholar, Kevin Dodd: See Dodd, ” ‘Blood Suckers Most Cruel:’ The Vampire and the Bat in and Before Dracula,” Athens Journal of Humanities & Arts 6, no. 2 (April 2019): 107–32, https://www.athensjournals.gr/humanities/2019-6-2-1-Dodd.pdf.

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