Sunday 10 August 2008

'Zu vielen Schriften'

In my last post I mentioned my search for the 'ultimate' book on the subject of vampires, 'the vampire book to end all vampire books'. Curiously, as early as the 1730'ies people were complaining about the literature on the subject. E.g. in 1739 in his Bibliotheca, sive, Acta et scripta magica, Eberhard David Hauber (1695-1765), complains that too much had been written on 'the so-called vampires or bloodsuckers', and that most of it had turned out very badly:

Die nunmehro sattsam bekannte Historie von den so genannten Vampyren oder Blut-Saugern, welche sich vor einige Zeit in Ungarn wieder hervor gethan, hat bisher zu vielen Schriften Gelegenheit gegeben, die aber meistens sehr schlecht geraten sind.

He discusses three of the books published in Leipzig in 1732, two of which he thoroughly ridicules (Putoneus: Besonderes Nachricht von denen Vampyren and the anonymous Actenmäßige und umständliche Relation von denen Vampiren), and one that he praises (Eines Weimarischen Medicus muthmaßliche Gedankcen von denen Vampyren).

A few years after completing his Bibliotheca, Hauber was summoned by the Danish king to become priest at the St. Petri church, the church of the German congregation in Copenhagen. He stayed there for the rest of his life. Part of his book collection is now in the possession of the Danish Royal Library, where I recently read the few pages of the book devoted to vampires.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...