Vampires, Czech literature topic of next MSU Speakers & Issues Series

Dr. Kirsten Lodge, Associate Professor of English at Midwestern State University, will speak of a dark side of Czech literature for the MSU's Speakers & Issues Series at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU.

In "Seduction, Sin, and Sickness: Vampires in Czech Decadence," Lodge will discuss the Decadent movement of the late nineteenth century, a cultural trend throughout Europe that combined an obsession with moral and physical degeneration with a morbid presentiment of an imminent end to civilization.

Lodge will introduce the audience to Decadence and explain why it became such a powerful force in the Czech lands. She will focus on vampires in European literature and art, explore why the Czech Decadents considered them "the symbol of decadence," and read a passage from her latest translation, the Czech Decadent novel A Gothic Soul by Jiri Karasek ze Lvovic. Some of the connotations of the Decadent vampire apply equally to vampires in popular culture today.

Lodge holds a Ph.D. in Russian and Czech Language and Literature from Columbia University, and she currently teaches world literature and humanities at MSU. She has published numerous translations of Russian and Czech prose and poetry, and is recognized as an expert on the Decadent movement in European culture (1880s-1910s). Her most recent translation is the Czech Decadent novel A Gothic Soul (1900), and her newly translated collection of Tolstoy's short stories is forthcoming.

Contact Dr. Greg Giddings at greg.giddings@msutexas.edu for information.