Monday, 12 May 2008

Fear and its Servant

The investigation of the vampire case at Kisiljevo in 1725, see e.g. this post, is the subject of a Serbian novel and a play called Страх и његов слуга (Fear and its Servant) by Мирјана Новаковић (Mirjana Novaković). I haven't read the book, although it is actually available in a French translation, La Peur et son Valet (Gaia, 2005), but as far as I understand it is not a historical novel about the vampire case, but rather an allegorical tale inspired by the vampire case and other historical episodes. According to this web site on the play,

"The Fear and its Servant is a play based on the novel by Mirjana Novakovic written as a parody of a quasi historical content. As for the genre, the play could be considered as a thriller with elements of political allegory. The background of the novel is a historical event in the first half of XVIII century; the Austro-Hungarian commission arrives in Belgrade to the court of regent, Alexander of Wurtenberg and princess Maria Augusta with an aim to check the rumors about the existence of vampires in Serbia. However, though the story is about the true events and real people, Fear and its Servant is not a historic novel, since the aim of the author (as well as of the theater production group gathered round the project) was not to reconstruct the air of the given historic moment, but to transcript the past by reflecting the allegory to the current time."

If any visitor of this blog happens to have read the novel or seen the play, it would be very interesting to know more about it. The play was staged at the Kalemegdan Fortress in Belgrade. Unfortunately, I haven't been to Belgrade since the early Seventies, so I have no memory of this place.

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