Vampyrer og Magia Posthuma Q&A

Niels K. Petersen, hvis navn vil være en del  bekendt fra fan- og andre sammenhænge, bliver interviewet af Anthony Hogg på hans blog Diary of an Amateur Vampirologist.

Interviewet er i to dele og handler om Niels’ arbejde med vampyrer, ikke mindst på den engelsksprogede blog Magia Posthuma:

AH: You started your blog in 2007, but your readers probably aren’t aware that you’ve been writing about vampires for a lot longer. Could you give us a background?

NKP: Well, I edited a fanzine on vampires and horror fiction when I was pretty young, so I wrote some articles on vampires that were based on books like Anthony Masters’ The Natural History of the Vampire. Later on, I was asked to write a couple of articles on similar matters, including a history of vampire cinema for a Danish magazine on horror movies to coincide with Coppola’s movie Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

But for many years I wasn’t actively doing anything related to the subject apart from perhaps watching the occasional vampire movie. I had become a father and was busy with other things. And I was still pretty disillusioned with most of the books that were published at the time. I suppose I had more or less dropped the subject.

But in 2006 I decided to compile the material I had for a book in my native language, Danish. However, when I began working on it, I started looking for extra information and for some of the books I didn’t have. I also discovered papers and a few books published in recent years, mostly in German, and thanks to the internet I was able to finally get hold of some of the books that had been almost impossible to find earlier on. […]

AH: Part of the reason for your blog’s existence, was to relay your attempts at finding a copy of de Schertz’s famous Magia Posthuma, a work very few authors have read. Where did you find your copy and why do you think other writers have struggled to find a copy of this work?

NKP: If I wasn’t seriously searching for that book, I may never have started my blog, and probably would not have attempted to launch the term “magia posthuma” as a kind of brand for the topic. Magia Posthuma is famous because of Dom Calmet who wrote about it in his Dissertation, but apparently it wasn’t widely read or even known in the 18th century, and probably never has been. Because of Calmet and those who have cribbed from him it has become a well-known title, even becoming the name of a Belgian metal band for a short period.

I was finally able to read a copy thanks to the Royal Library in Copenhagen, but I had to help them by pointing in the direction of a copy. As far as I know now, there are two copies in the Czech Republic and one in France, the latter one probably the copy that Calmet himself read. […]

AH: Apart from finding a copy of de Schertz’s book, what would you say is your proudest achievement, so far, in your vampirological studies and aims?

NKP: I am happy to have inspired people in Vienna to arrange a conference on vampirism and to have participated. That certainly has been one of the highlights of my active interest in the subject. I also want to mention my delight in inspiring and helping various people in their studies and research. It seems that I have inspired a couple of students in their choice of thesis. I am frequently surprised at the kind of response I get from my blog. Some of the feedback I have received can be seen on the blog, but a lot of it is only communicated by e-mail.

Magia Posthuma er altså en blog om vampirismen og dens historie, eller for at sige det med dens egne ord:

On several occasions, particularly on the periphery of the Habsburg Empire during the 17th and 18th centuries, dead people were suspected of being revenants or vampires, and consequently dug up and destroyed. Contemporary authors named this phenomenon Magia Posthuma. This blog is dedicated to understanding what happened and why.

Med andre ord, et ofte spændende bekendtskab.
Link: Q & A with Niels K. Petersen, Part 1, Q & A with Niels K. Petersen, Part 2.