Dreadful folktales from the land of Nosferatu

A collection of oral tales, written by Gina Sandulescu and illustrated by Costin Chioreanu

I remember when I was in elementary school we had some art classes that were more relaxed. The teacher allowed us to tell stories out loud, on the condition that we were not too noisy and pay attention at what we were supposed to do. One of my colleagues usually chose to tell horror stories, I don’t know if she heard them somewhere or if they were the product of her imagination, but they produce a long lasting impression on the mind of the highly sensitive child that I was.

Back to the present days, I recently found about a collection of short stories coming from oral sources, pretty much like in my childhood days, and I’m going to present it to you in few words.

The volume, titled Dreadful folktales from the land of Nosferatu, is the result of the collaboration between Gina Sandulescu, Costin Chioreanu who illustrates the book and some friends that each came with a story. You all know about Costin already, he is the graphic designer for more bands than the space I have to write here, also the man behind the musical project titled Bloodway (by the way, Bloodway just finished recording a new material so you might wanna keep an eye on that as well). Gina is at her third book – her debut “The Complete Infinite”, was released at DBE.

The book is physically small, just the size of my little hand. The edition is hardcover, limited to 100 copies (mine is no. 9), that are sold out already. The paper and everything about this book is high quality. The illustrations Costin did are beautiful and rich in details even at such small size. I believe I saw Costin work in all sizes, black and white or in color, in books, CDs, leaflets or hanging on a wall – it’s still a pleasure to watch and a starting point for personal reflection, at the same time.

Back to the content – there are 6 stories in the book, an introduction and an ending note written by Costin. The introduction is an in depth and well documented text about the vampire myth in Romania. The tales are original mostly from Transylvania, but there are some from the south of the country. The red thread that unites them is the coming back from the death of one character – one way or another. Some have a romance in the background, some, the harsh realities of Romanian past, like the abortion prohibition in the communist era or war refugees. I think these are an excellent starting point for someone living abroad and wishing to know more about our culture and our realities. In the end Costin tells the reader about an eerie resemblance between one of his drawings and the reality. I won’t reveal more about the content but leave it for you to discover. As I said the book is sold out, but if you have the chance to get a copy somewhere, do not hesitate.

“Dreadful Folktales from the Land of Nosferatu” exhibition and book release took place a month ago in Bergen, Norway. I’ll leave you with a short movie that will give you a better idea about the illustration in the book:

 

Photos: Gheorghe Paraschiv

Dreadful folktales from the land of Nosferatu
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Dreadful folktales from the land of Nosferatu
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