From this prodigiously talented writer comes a stunningly original fictional life of the German director F. W. Murnau (1888-1931). Murnau ranks as a founding father of the cinema, not least for his legendary horror film, Nosferatu . Here he is revealed as a hermetic genius who turns against himself, becoming in a sense his own vampire. What shadows Jim Shepard's Murnau--through the airfields of the Great War to Berlin in the twenties and to the virtual invention of filmmaking--is the conflict between his impossibly high ideals and his heartbreaking memories of love betrayed and love lost. From provincial Germany through Hollywood in its early days to the South Seas, Nosferatu charts a life at once artistic, intellectual, and deeply human. Ron Hansen provides an introduction to this Bison Books edition.