Irma Vep verscheen in 1915-1916 voor het eerst op het witte doek, in de misdaadserie LES VAMPIRES van Louis Feuillade. Het tot de verbeelding sprekend filmpersonage werd gestalte gegeven door de actrice Musidora. Welke zijn de historische en discursieve voorwaarden voor de overlev(er)ing van de Irma Vep-figuur? Hoe werd zij tot leven gewekt? Op welke manieren sprak ze tot de verbeelding en tot wiens verbeelding sprak ze? Annette Förster traceert de 'optredens' van Irma Vep door de jaren heen — in film, op toneel, in literatuur en in filmgeschiedschrijving — en analyseert de uiteenlopende betekenissen die Irma Vep in verschillende maar gelijktijdige vertogen kreeg. Tot slot laat ze zien hoe deze betekenissen historisch al dan niet veranderden.The veneration of a shadow. Musidora and the survival/tradition of Irma Vep.Förster traces the various 'performances' of Irma Vep - a character from LES VAMPIRES, a popular 1915-1916 French film series - through eighty years of film history. Not only does Irma Vep's reception by the press, fans, film historians and feminists come under her scrutiny, but also the meaning that was assigned to this character by the filmmakers themselves. The Irma Vep character that has persisted is a masculine concept of fascination, and therefore the 'tradition' of this character has come about at the expense of a possible reception by women. In addition, Förster investigates the relationship between the interpreter, the actress Musidora, and the character. She concludes that although it is true that the Irma Vep figure overshadows Musidora in historical remembrance, it has also protected her from film history oblivion, a fate that has befallen most of her contemporaries. However, whether the Irma Vep character indeed dominated Musidora's career to the same extent the film history retrospectives have (as is assumed by her biographers) remains an open question.

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Publisher Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
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Journal Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis
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Note TMG Journal for Media History; Vol 1, No 1 (1998); 4-31
Förster, Annette. (1998). De verering van een schim: Musidora en de overlev(er)ing van Irma Vep. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 1(1), 4–31. doi:10.18146/tmg.47