Thursday, June 11, 2009

Getting into the Swing of Thing

Yesterday, I opened my very own LibraryThing account.

To those not in-the-know, LibraryThing is a social profile that allows users to list the books they own or have read...or would even like to read.

It also reveals which other users' have the same books in their listings. Today, I made a listing of some of the books in my own collection. More to follow, of course.

Heartily recommended.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tsaliki on the Lazzaretto Nuovo "Vampire"

I previously discussed the Lazzaretto Nuovo "vampire" here.

Anastasia Tsaliki wrote an e-mail to Michael E. Smith, blogger of Publishing Archaeology, in which she raises some very valid points about the media's coverage of the alleged vampire.

The e-mail was incorporated into Smith's blog entry, "Vampires, the Media, and Quality Control in Archaeology".

Journalists, take note!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Carradine Found Dead

Wow. Now this certainly came as a surprise.

Renowned B-movie star, David Carradine (of Kill Bill fame) was found dead, in a Bangkok hotel room, yesterday.

The apparent cause is an attempt at (ahem) autoerotic asphyxiation that went horribly wrong.

So what's the vampire connection to Carradine?

Firstly, he was the star of Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat (1990) and The Last Sect (2006).

Secondly, his father was John Carradine (1906-1988), star of the House of Frankenstein (1944), House of Dracula (1945), "Dracula" episode of Matinee Theatre (1956), Billy the Kid versus Dracula (1966), Las vampiras (1969), Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969), Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary (1975) Doctor Dracula (1978), Vampire Hookers (1978) and Nocturna (1979).

You can read an interview with David, conducted by Noel Murray for A.V. Club's "Random Roles" (September 9, 2008), here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

When Did Vampires Enter the English Language?

Dan's "Vampire (L’amour de l’étymologie IX)" blog entry for Librari[d]an, would have you believe this:
The word was first used in English in 1734: “These Vampyres are supposed to be the Bodies of deceased Persons, animated by evil Spirits, which come out of the Graves, in the Night-time, suck the Blood of many of the Living, and thereby destroy them.”
Dan is clearly citing an extract from the anonymously-written The Travels of three English Gentlemen, from Venice to Hamburgh, being the grand tour of Germany in the year 1734.

This work was not published until 1744, in which it was included in an anthology called the Harleian Miscellany. You can view in the 1810 edition of the Harleian Miscellany here.

The quotation Dan provides, is an English translation of an extract from Johann Heinrich Zopf's Dissertatio de Vampyris Serviensibus (1733).

However, two years prior to Travels, the term had already appeared in English.

The March 11, 1732 issue of The London Journal carried a story about the infamous - and alleged - vampire, "Arnold Paul":
Upon a current Report, that in the Village of Medreyga certain Dead Bodies (called here Vampyres) had killed several Persons by sucking out all their Blood[...]
Jean Marigny's Vampires: The World of the Undead (London: Thames and Hudson, 1994), p. 48, also cites The London Journal article as responsible for the word's introduction into the English language.
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