Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds: Ways of Telling the Self / Edition 1

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"Metamorphosis is a dynamic principle of creation, vital to natural processes of generation and evolution, growth and decay. In this book, Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds: Ways of Telling the Self, Marina Warner also explores how ideas of individual identity and consistency are threatened if a person is subject to a continual process of transformation. Shape-shifting belongs too in the landscape of magic, witchcraft, and wonder, in classical mythology, early modern fairy tales and the uncanny fiction of the last two centuries." "Mutating, Hatching, Splitting, Doubling - Marina Warner's exhilarating journey of exploration tracks the four dominant metamorphic processes to reveal their power in evoking personality. She covers a dazzling range of topics and suggests richly unexpected connections. All this is set against a background of historical encounters with other cultures, especially of the Caribbean, and presented with her characteristic zest." Beginning with Ovid's great poem, Metamorphoses, a founding text of the metamorphic tradition, she carries us into the fantastic art of Hieronymus Bosch, the legends of the Taino people, the life cycle of the butterfly, the myth of Leda and the Swan, the genealogy of the Zombie, the pantomime of Aladdin, the haunting of doppelgangers, the coming of photography, and the late fiction of Lewis Carroll.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[A] piercing, playful use of ideas.... Warner moves with a high-wire walker's assurance, from Ovid, Bosch and Dante to James Hogg's 'Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner,' Stevenson's 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' and on to Nabokov's 'Lolita' and even Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials.' In addition, she makes several seductive moves toward that enormous threat to intellectual history, the movies.... Especially when looking at Bosch, Warner sees something like fluency in the rampant, exhilarating way forms can find new shapes. This is Warner at her playful best."--The New York Times Book Review

"In this typically agile meditation, [Warner] rewardingly charts shifting images of the imagination itself.... What makes Fantastic Metamorphoses remarkable is its dashing investigation of imagination."--The Observer

"Rules of thumb: (1) genuinely scholarly books are no delight to read, and (2) "antiquarian" studies do not illuminate the life and culture of (post)modern readers. Exception: Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds.... This irresistibly styled and splendidly illustrated treatment of generation, evolution, growth, and decay touches most of the mythological--and many of the literary-artistic--bases, but goes beyond them to encompass photography, cultural anthropology, folklore, and lepidoptery."--Virginia Quarterly Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199266845
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Series: Clarendon Lectures in English Literature Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Marina Warner is a prize-winning novelist, cultural historian, and critic. Her most recent novel is The Leto Bundle. Among her acclaimed non-fiction works are From the Beast to the Blonde and No Go the Bogeyman. She lives in London.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction 1
1 Mutating 29
2 Hatching 75
3 Splitting 119
4 Doubling 161
Epilogue 205
Notes 213
Picture Sources 251
Index 253
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