- Tapa blanda: 240 páginas
- Editor: Park Street Press,U.S.; Edición: 2nd Revised edition (30 de septiembre de 2007)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 1594772010
- ISBN-13: 978-1594772016
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
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Seduction and the Secret Power of Women: The Lure of Sirens and Mermaids (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 30 sep 2007
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Descripción del producto
," . . a great addition to a magical or feminist library. . . . Meri Lao has provided informative, detailed text worth reading closely."
" . . . a great addition to a magical or feminist library. . . . Meri Lao has provided informative, detailed text worth reading closely."
" . . . an excellent New Age survey appropriate for both women's studies and new age collections."
"The author includes a wonderful variety of historical references and illustrations as well as photographic examples, and makes a complicated subject quite clear and understandable. The chapters are packed full of history and explanation, but very well written so they flow without becoming cumbersome or confusing."
"The book is entertaining and literate. As a reference text, it is imaginative, logical, concise, and presents a complete analysis of its subject matter in detail. High recommended."
"With its illustrations on nearly every page, many of them in color, this book is worth twice the price."
"Informative and reflective, this beautifully written, extensively researched, and illustrated work traces the history of Sirens, from their beginnings in antiquity as bird-women, through the familiar fish-tailed mermaids of sculpture, art, and literature, and even to the modern siren wailing on an ambulance. Meri Lao suggests that though men have refused to listen, Sirens, in all of their incarnations, bear a message that merits hearing. "Seduction and the Secret Power of Women" is a unique and valuable source for all interested in women and mythology as well as mermaids and their kin."
Reseña del editor
An exploration of humanity’s age-old fascination with Sirens
• Explains the Sirens’ half-human, half-animal bodies as a metaphor for the psychological challenge that their myth has always embodied
• Fully illustrated in color with works by Rubens, Bosch, Munch, Magritte, and others
Their celestial voices drove mast-lashed Ulysses nearly out of his mind with libidinous promises as they beckoned him ever-closer to paradise--or a rocky death. With womanly torsos and animal lower halves, usually birds or fish, Sirens have long been symbols of the lure of desire--the feminine, as seducer--beckoning men to mystery beyond their ken, or to disaster. This book is both a celebration of Sirens and an examination of the psychology of dichotomy--the diametrically opposed drives and inherent conflicts underlying this female archetype.
Since antiquity, Sirens and their mermaid sisters have maintained an ongoing affair of the heart with humanity’s greatest writers and artists. Sirens play important roles in the classical writings of Homer and Euripides, as well as in the modern works of James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, and many others. Matching these writings with vibrant work from such artists as Peter Paul Rubens, Hieronymous Bosch, Edvard Munch, and René Magritte, Meri Lao has created a feast for the eye. Exploring our 3,000-year-old relationship with Sirens, Lao reveals the secret of the power in their song: it is the sound of the subversive, luring us from the orderly conscious world down to the depth of the world of dreams, and the harder we try to ignore that singing, the more we desperately want to hear it.
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As mentioned, the selection of artwork is fantastic. The problem for me, though, was that I expected the text to discuss the works of art, and to use them as a visual tool to expand upon ideas in the book. Instead, in many cases, the images are unrelated to the text itself, or the author only mentions the works briefly. Often, despite being beautiful, the selected works of art feel like non-sequiturs in relation to the text. This is a little discouraging, especially since the collection of artwork is part of the draw of the book. The discussion of the visual iconography of mermaids and nymphs feels lacking.
As a teacher in folklore, mythology, and the arts, I was eager to read this book. Like another reviewer mentioned, though, the writing is dry, and is a surprising struggle to wade through at times, despite the fascinating subject matter.
This book is excellent as a sourcebook of images of mermaids, sirens, and nymphs in art and pop culture, but don't expect deep examination of the works here, and get ready to buckle down for a somewhat stiff read. This is a great resource, but far from being thorough or passionate.
A Dorothy Dinnerstein in her 1963 book "The Mermaid and the Minotaur" claimed that women water sirens symbolized the "communal insight that our species' nature is internally inconsistent, that our continuities with, and our differences from, the earth's other animals are mysterious and profound..." The anomalous features of the mermaid--most conspicuously fins and breasts--symbolize inconsistent, changeable human nature; while the seductive allure tokens the mystery of Humankind's relationship to the world of nature.
The Mexican author Jose Durand sees the mythical figure as symbolizing the elusive nature of the essence of life and life's spirituality. The siren is not associated with the fluid, deep water world; nor does she live in it. The siren is water, specifically the salt, the salt of the sea, without which "it would be tasteless...Salt and the siren are life and death, and hence, dream".
Lao's broad study with choice quotes from writers of all eras and a generous amount of diverse, engaging illustrations lays out fertile thoughts of the ago-old figure of the sea siren. Besides being the author of numerous books and a professor of theater arts, Lao has composed the music for Fellini's film "City of Women". Her aesthetic sensibilities and flair bring a particular richness to her treatment of mermaids and sirens.