Short summary - Sur le Vampirisme - Prosper Mérimée

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - Sur le Vampirisme
Prosper Mérimée

Micro-narrative: Legends of Vampires in Europe.
19th century. In some countries of Western Europe, they still believe in vampires and are very offended by skepticism in this area. “A vampire ... is a dead man who comes out ... from his grave to torment the living. It often sucks blood from the neck, and sometimes it squeezes the throat and strangles to a pulp. Those who die as victims of a vampire themselves become vampires after death. ... vampires completely lose all sense of affection for loved ones ... for it has been established that they torment their friends and relatives much more often than strangers. Some believe that God's punishment makes a person a vampire, others that this is the curse of fate ... ".
The author tells several stories.
In Serbia, in the village of Kizilovo, an old man died. A couple of days after the funeral, he came to his son at night and asked for food. The son fed him. A few days later, he returned home with the same request. The next morning, the son died. On the same day, several people fell ill and died in the village.
A local judge reported the incident to the capital. The court officials came from there. The graves of all the dead were dug up and the old man was found rosy, breathing, with open eyes. The commission concluded that he was a vampire, they drove a stake into his heart and burned him. The rest of the corpses were without signs of vampirism.
A certain Gaiduk Pavel died tragically. A few months after his funeral, some of the villagers died a strange death - according to local beliefs, this is how people who are tortured by vampires die. They remembered that Pavel told how once on the border of Kosovo and Serbia he was tortured by a vampire and he was cured by eating the earth from the grave of the vampire and rubbing himself with his blood.
A month and a half after his death, they dug up Paul and found signs of the most obvious vampire: a ruddy face, regrown hair and nails, blood vessels full of blood. He, like the dead villagers, was pierced with stakes and burned.
Five years later, these unfortunate phenomena were repeated, about twenty people died. Some suffered for 2-3 days, and some did not get sick. The corpses of the dead were dug, among which they found obvious vampires. An investigation took place, which showed that the deceased haiduk, in addition to people, killed several animals, the meat of which was eaten by the villagers who later died. All of them were dug up, on some of the corpses they found signs of vampirism. We received the bodies according to tradition.
In 1816, the author himself went to Vorgoraz. The owner of the house, Palonovich, invited me to stay with him. The author took advantage of the hospitality because he liked the owners' daughter, Kava. One night, everyone woke up from the terrible scream of a girl who assured that she was being strangled by a vampire, in which she recognized a recently deceased fellow countryman named Evernany. The family and guest did not sleep all night, and Palonovich vowed to dig up the body of the alleged vampire tomorrow.
The next day the whole village, armed with stakes, guns and stones, proceeded to the cemetery. The corpse of the Eternal was dug, shot with bullets, chopped up with sabers and burned under the loud howl of the crowd. They smeared the unfortunate weak Kava with the blood of a vampire.
The girl was ill for several days. The author sat next to her at night, as she was very afraid that the vampire would return. For eleven days, the family and the guest did everything possible to heal the patient and raise her spirit, but Kava resigned herself to an imminent death, weakened and died. The author left "from this village, with all my heart sending vampires, ghosts and all those who tell about them to hell."