Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds: Ways of Telling the Self

Paperback | April 13, 2004

byMarina Warner

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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 ofmagic, 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 thefounding 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 ofdoppelgangers, the coming of photography, and the late fiction of Lewis Carroll.

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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 ofmagic, witchcraft, and wonder, and enlivens class...

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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Format:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.59 inPublished:April 13, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199266840

ISBN - 13:9780199266845

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Mutating2. Hatching3. Splitting4. DoublingEndnotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Who but Warner could have written with such elegance and brilliance on our continuing need for fairytales.'Amanda Craig, The Times