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Phantasmagoria: Spirit Visions, Metaphors,…

Phantasmagoria: Spirit Visions, Metaphors, and Media into the Twenty-first…

by Marina Warner

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Phantasmagoria by Marina Warner is an interesting exploration of the history of image and representation in Western thought. Warner explores the role of imagination from just before the Enlightenment till the present.

In our present age of uncompromising rationalism, why do ideas of spirit, phantasms, zombies and other mythical characters hold such a sway? Phantasmagoria is wonderfully desultory examination of this odd undercurrent and is filled with strange and bizarre experiences. ( )
  KarmaChimera | Sep 9, 2008 |
Wow, is this book ever dense. I love Marina Warner's work, and I'm enjoying this - but it is like trying to grasp at clouds sometimes. She brings a huge, huge amount of material and many brilliant ideas, but I'm not sure what her central theme is yet... Also, it's poorly sub-edited which drives me nuts - and shameful from a university press. But it's beautifully designed and fascinatingly written. ( )
  deliriumslibrarian | Nov 3, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0199299943, Hardcover)

With over thirty illustrations in color and black and white, Phantasmagoria takes readers on an intellectually exhilarating tour of ideas of spirit and soul in the modern world, illuminating key questions of imagination and cognition. Warner tells the unexpected and often disturbing story about shifts in thought about consciousness and the individual person, from the first public waxworks portraits at the end of the eighteenth century to stories of hauntings, possession, and loss of self in modern times. She probes the perceived distinctions between fantasy and deception, and uncovers a host of spirit forms--angels, ghosts, fairies, revenants, and zombies--that are still actively present in contemporary culture.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:44 -0400)

Phantasmagoria is a kaleidoscopic study of psychic phenomena and the power of the imagination, interweaving theology, metaphysics, art, literature and film. Ranging from the Enlightenment to modern science, it tells an unexpected story about shifts in thought and consciousness and the individual person, from the first public waxworks portrait to stories of hauntings and possession.… (more)

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