GV Art & Mind Symposium 7: Marina Warner

‘Thought experiments: why magical thinking means more than we know’

22 November 2011

Marina Warner


Marina Warner has an international reputation for her writing which includes not only criticism and history but novels, short stories and studies in art, myths, symbols and fairy tales. She writes on her web site (at http://www.marinawarner.com):
‘My critical and historical books and essays explore different figures in myth and fairy tale and the art and literature they have inspired, from my early studies of the Virgin Mary and Joan of Arc to more recent work on the Arabian Nights. My fiction runs parallel to this, as I often draw on mythic or other imaginary predecessors to translate them into contemporary significance to re-vision them. Stories come from the past but speak to the present (if you taste the dragon’s blood and can hear what they say). I need to write stories as well as deconstruct and analyse them because I don’t want to damage the mysterious flight of imagination at the core of storytelling, the part that escapes what is called rational understanding. I hope, I believe that literature can be ‘strong enough to help’, to borrow Seamus Heaney’s wonderful comment about poetry.’
Marina has a new book on the way – ‘Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights’, copies of which will be available on the night.

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