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RSSS 315 (Sixth Week). Slavic Folklore: Vampires and Werewolves. Basic information. Instructor: George Gutsche Teaching assistants: Kenny Cargill, Paula McCambridge [email protected] D2L; http://russian.arizona.edu/courses/vampires Office hours: T 11-12:30 or by appointment.

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RSSS 315 (Sixth Week)

Slavic Folklore: Vampires and Werewolves


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Basic information

  • Instructor: George Gutsche

  • Teaching assistants: Kenny Cargill, Paula McCambridge

  • [email protected]

  • D2L; http://russian.arizona.edu/courses/vampires

  • Office hours: T 11-12:30 or by appointment



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Boris Karloff 1887-1969

  • English, then Canadian, then American

  • Willliam Pratt, then Boris Karloff

  • Not Slavic or East European


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Klaus Kinski 1926-1991

  • German-Polish heritage

  • Nosferatu: Phantom of the Night 1979


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Dracula: Chapters 8-13

  • Marriage in Budapest

  • Continuing adventures of Renfield

  • Van Helsing summoned by Seward

  • First of four transfusions (Arthur)

  • Next: Seward, Van Helsing, and Quincey Morris


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Dracula continued

  • Safeguards: do they work?

  • Escape of the wolf

  • Renfield getting stranger

  • As Lucy gets worse, status situation of Mina improves

  • Lucy gets weaker, sharper teeth! Danger to Arthur

  • Lucy dies (VH says: only the beginning)

  • Harker sees Dracula on the street

  • News reports of a “bloofer” lady



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Literature into Film: Challenges

  • Background information

  • Imagery

  • Suggestiveness

  • Inner dialogue, monologue


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Quick Review

  • Folklore accounts of the 1700s

  • German poetry: Ossenfelder, Goethe, Bürger

  • English poetry: Southey, Byron

  • English short stories: Byron, Polidori

  • French and English plays and novels

  • Russian and German stories

  • All lead to Carmilla and Dracula


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Carmilla

  • Lesbianism

  • Setting on edge of Eastern Europe (part of Styria is in Slovenia today)

  • Influenced literature and films

    • Hammer's The Vampire Lovers (1970)

    • Carl Theodor Dreyer's Vampyr (1932)

    • Numerous others



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First published in Dark Blue, December, 1871 through March of 1872.

Some have said: "probably the best vampire story of all"

Diminished Gothic's emphasis on external sources of terror

Focus on the psychological effects

Lesbian theme would be productive in later fiction and film

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, 1814-73



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Daughters of Darkness (1971)

  • Another cult “classic”

  • Harry Kumel

  • Combines Carmilla and Bathory


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Nosferatu films (German)

  • Murnau’s Symphony of Horror 1922

  • Herzog’s Nosferatu 1979


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More folklore accounts to consider (Russian)

  • Death at the Wedding

  • Bucket of Blood

  • Sorcery


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Background for Stoker

  • Biography 1847-1912

  • Irish; college; civil servant, journalist, drama critic

  • Personal secretary to Henry Irving (actor) in England

  • Married, one child

  • Wrote novels and short stories (18 books)

  • Dracula 1897 – best known


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General remarks

  • Stoker’s narrative

  • Stoker’s stylistic devices

  • Stoker and science

  • Stoker sites


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Literature into Film: Challenges

  • Background information

  • Imagery

  • Suggestiveness

  • Inner dialogue, monologue


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General interpretations of werewolves

  • Psychological

  • Sociological

  • Ideological


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More on Reality-Based Vampires

  • Perkowski’s Psychic vampires

  • Psychology of sucking, biting, thirsting, death and rebirth

    • Links with milk and blood

    • Oral sadism

    • Attraction, repulsion ambivalence

    • Projection: revenge of the dead


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Woman Empowered: Lucy and Nosferatu

  • Men are secondary

    • Van Helsing’s role diminished

    • Jonathan in a trance

  • Face to face with Dracula: she is not afraid

  • Terms of the sacrifice: purity of heart plus dawn

  • Does He hope that she will win?


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“The Family of the Vurdalak”

Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoi 1817-75



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Forensic bases

  • Burial practices

  • Decomposition: features

  • Decomposition: duration

  • Possible to explain vampires


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Key facts

  • Shallow or no graves

  • Bloating during decomposition

  • Fluids expelled during decay

  • Dead bodies make noises

  • Decomposition generates heat

  • Skin shrinks back

  • Corpses attract wolves

  • Puncturing is the best treatment for bloat


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Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr (1932)

  • Famous expressionist film director (Danish; 1889-1968)

  • Evil presence, atmosphere

  • Two daughters, one “infected”

  • Reassuring male presence


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Theater background

1931 “hit”

Career swings

Sad ending

Bela Lugosi 1882-1956


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