Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds: Ways of Telling the Self

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OUP Oxford, Oct 10, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 284 pages
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Metamorphosis is a dynamic principle of creation, vital to natural processes of generation and evolution, growth and decay, yet it also threatens personal identity if human beings are subject to a continual process of bodily transformation. Shape-shifting also belongs in the landscape of magic, witchcraft, and wonder, and enlivens classical mythology, early modern fairy tales and uncanny fictions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This collection of essays, given as the Clarendon Lectures in English 2001, takes four dominant processes of metamorphosis: Mutating, Hatching, Splitting, and Doubling, and explores their metaphorical power in the evication of human personality. Marina Warner traces this story against a background of historical encounters with different cultures, especially with the Caribbean. Beginning with Ovid's great poem, The Metamorphoses, as the founding text of the metamorphic tradition, she takes us on a journey of exploration, into the fantastic art of Hieronymous 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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User Review  - KayCliff - LibraryThing

Adapted from a series of Clarendon Lectures in English, traces literary and artistic representations of shapeshifting and transformations from Ovid's Metamorphoses onwards. Particularly featured are ... Read full review

Review: Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds: Ways of Telling the Self

User Review  - Mira - Goodreads

The author explores the process of metamorphosis in the fantastical painter Hieronymus Bosch, native legends of the Taino people, butterflies, Zombies, Lewis Carroll and other cultural and natural ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Marina Warner is a prize-winning writer of fiction, criticism, and history; her works include novels and short stories as well as studies of female myths and symbols.

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