Monthly Archives: January 2020

Dr. Irina Erman’s article “Nation and Vampiric Narration” appears in The Russian Review

Congratulations to Dr. Irina Erman on her new article in the top tier Russian Studies journal The Russian Review, Nation and Vampiric Narration in Aleksey Tolstoy’s “The Family of the Vourdalak”! The article is accessible online here

Dr. Erman’s summary of the article: “In this article, I examine the narrative and intertextual complexity of A. K. Tolstoy’s “The Family of the Vourdalak,” while taking note of Tolstoy’s extensive historical references and thus situating Tolstoy’s vampire story in its literary and historical context. I argue that Tolstoy’s emphatic historical references point to the story’s central focus on Russia’s relationship with Western Europe and the concomitant Russian anxieties about national identity and literary imitation. By putting forward the concept of vampiric narration to explain Tolstoy’s mode of undermining his West European narrator’s control, this article demonstrates the way this story comments on, and ultimately subverts, the discourse about imitation and influence that infiltrated Russian letters from West European constructs about its East. Ultimately, Tolstoy’s “The Family of the Vourdalak” offers a meditation on the power of parody and creative appropriation that anticipates important literary‐philosophical concepts that emerge in Russia in the second half of the nineteenth century.”