Not All Vampires Wear Capes: Polish Folk Mythology Sourcebook Published by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute
#language & literature
default, Not All Vampires Wear Capes: Polish Folk Mythology Sourcebook Published by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Cover of Łukasz Kozak’s book ‘With Stake and Spade: Vampiric Diversity in Poland’, 2020, photo: publisher’s promotional materials / Adam Mickiewicz In, center, #000000, with_stake_and_spade_2.jpg
Since the publication of William Polidori’s The Vampyre in 1819, vampires have become one of the most iconic figures in horror fiction, and in pop culture in general.
First, they acquired a form inspired by Lord Byron, a bloodsucking aristocrat. Eventually, in the contemporary imagination – such as in Hollywood productions – they became human-like characters, struggling with the same emotional problems as people.
Polish Vampires: Bloody Truth behind Dark Myth
Although a common trope, vampires are rarely associated with the original Slavic folk figures. And, as Łukasz Kozak points out in his new book With Stake and Spade: Vampiric Diversity in Poland, published by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and Evviva L’Arte Foundation:
If one were to weigh up the greatest Slavic contribution to global culture, vampires would certainly be a contender.
Kozak, a medievalist and media expert, sets out on a quest to trace back to and present the rich materials describing the original upiór, for, as he writes:
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The bulk of the ethnographic accounts, press reports, and even court records concerning them is not to be found somewhere in Transylvania (where pop culture would place it because of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’), Greece (where Byron first heard of them), or Southern Slavdom (which gave us the word ‘vampire’ in reports from Habsburg officials) but in sources from Poland.
Barbara Schabowska, the director of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, says:
The publication, illustrated by Julia Mirny, is unprecedented in its research and thought, being the first such comprehensive selection of written source material on vampires in Poland, or rather the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – a state that included parts of present-day Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania.
With Stake and Spade is available in pre-sale from 13th November – it's announcement came together with Dead Liver, an animated short film by Kajetan Obarski made in collaboration with Kozak and Adam Strug, based on one story from the book. It’s the second film, after The Strzygoń & How to Deal With Him, created by the trio and produced by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
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Łukasz Kozak is mediaevalist, technology and media expert, blogger and TEDx speaker. He has worked with the National Library of Poland, the Museum of Polish History, the University of Warsaw and other cultural and research institutes on the fields of innovation and new media. He is also the co-curator of the New Epiphanies early music festival and the author of numerous articles devoted to mediaeval and early modern culture. Since 2013, he has worked with the Polona National Digital Library as an editor, content curator and member of the development team.
Imagined Futures: Digital Cultures 2020
translations of polish literature
CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER FROM EVVIVA
Publisher: Adam Mickiewicz Institute
Partner: Evviva L’arte Foundation
Translated by Mark Bence
Cover & illustrations by Julia Mirny
Designed by Full Metal Jacket
Edited by Dobrochna Fire
Reviewers: Piotr Grochowski, Nicolaus Copernicus University of Toruń; Wojciech Kruszewski, Catholic University of Lublin
Publishing coordinator: Izabela Michalska, Evviva L’arte Foundation