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Acasă Articole RTR The Trope of the Vampire (and Strigoi) in Romanian Culture and Cultural...

The Trope of the Vampire (and Strigoi) in Romanian Culture and Cultural Products Imported to Romania (1839–1947)

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Abstract: This article explores the different iterations of the vampire trope, as they emerge from the cultural products which originated in Romania or were imported to this country between 1839, the year when the term “vampire” entered the Romanian language, and 1947, which marks the debut of the communist regime in the country. For reasons of space, the study briefly touches on the myth of the strigoi and only insofar as it deviates from or converges toward the various manifestations of the vampire trope in the interval submitted for analysis. By looking at a wide range of media – literature, theater, music, cinema – and cultural products – prose fiction, poetry, translations, drama, radio performances, and motion pictures –, I show that the early evolution of the vampire trope aligns closely with the German and French cultural models emulated by the fledgling Romanian society and that its development reflects those pop culture elements and real-life phenomena which left their mark on public consciousness until the late 1940s. However, the Romanian culture was late to embrace the supernatural dimension of the trope, so much so that G.M. Amza and Al. Bilciurescu’s Vampirul (1938), the first Romanian novel to feature an explicit vampire antagonist, was published a century after the introduction of the word in the Romanian language.

Keywords: Bram Stoker, Dracula, Romania, Transylvania, strigoi, vampire

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