Saturday, May 7, 2011

When first starting my research I decided to look at books because I figured if I had to use Summit of ILLiad I should start the process early. However, to my surprise, within the Western Washington University library there were a number of books on vampires. The first three that I will examine are all from university presses while the last three are not.

The first book I found was The Vampire: A Casebook edited by Alan Dundes. This book is a compilation of essays by many researchers in the field including Katharina M. Wilson of the University of Georgia, Agnes Murgoci, a zoologist and folklorist with a PhD from the University of Munich, Jan Louis Perkowski, a professor of Slavic languages at the University, along with many other highly reputable sources. Section titles include "The Vampire in Roumania," "East European Vampires," "The Killing of a Vampire," and "Clinical Vampirism: Blending Myth and Reality." From reviewing these sections this book is extremely helpful in looking at the origins of myths and what they consist of. By looking at the cultural differences in each myth a consensus can be reached about the basic attributes of vampires, as well as the differences around the world.
Another important and interesting thing about this book is that it brings the older arguments and brings them into the present. In the article "Clinical Vampirism" we are able to examine modern issues surrounding the vampire and try to understand the ideas behind the creature better.
This book was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 1998. Taking this into account we can learn two things about this book. The first is that it is scholarly enough to be printed by a university. This gives us the idea that the information in this book has been peer reviewed and is good for use in further research. This is a definite plus. On the other hand, the second thing we discover is that it was printed over twelve years ago. This means that some of the research could be out of date or some of the essays might have been revised as new evidence has come to light. One thing I could do to follow up my research in this book is to look up more recent writings by the authors of the articles in this book to seen if there has been any more progress in their research.
Overall, this is a reliable book and I see it as a credible source in my research process. This is mostly because of the fact that it was printed by a university press, the backgrounds of the authors, and the fact that it focuses on the culture and mythology surrounding the idea of vampires so they can be looked at as real creatures.

To be continued...

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