Medusa: In the Mirror of Time

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Reaktion Books, 2013 M06 1 - 128 páginas
With her repulsive face and head full of living, venomous snakes, Medusa is petrifying—quite literally, since looking directly at her turned people to stone. Ever since Perseus cut off her head and presented it to Athena, she has been a woman of many forms: a dangerous female monster that had to be destroyed, an erotic power that could annihilate men, and, thanks to Freud, a woman whose hair was a nest of terrifying penises that signaled castration. She has been immortalized by artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Salvador Dalí and was the emblem of the Jacobins after the French Revolution. Today, she’s viewed by feminists as a noble victim of patriarchy and used by Versace in the designer’s logo for men’s underwear, haute couture, and exotic dinnerware. She even gives her name to a sushi roll on a Disney resort menu. Why does Medusa continue to have this power to transfix us? David Leeming seeks to answer this question in Medusa, a biography of the mythical creature. Searching for the origins of Medusa’s myth in cultures that predate ancient Greece, Leeming explores how and why the mythical figure of the gorgon has become one of the most important and enduring ideas in human history. From an oil painting by Caravaggio to Clash of the Titans and Dungeons and Dragons, he delves into the many depictions of Medusa, ultimately revealing that her story is a cultural dream that continues to change and develop with each new era. Asking what the evolution of the Medusa myth discloses about our culture and ourselves, this book paints an illuminating portrait of a woman who has never ceased to enthrall.
 

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Medusa: In the Mirror of Time

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Leeming (English, emeritus, Univ. of Connecticut; Myth: A Biography of Belief) writes as the biographer of the mythical creature Gorgon Medusa, who is viewed through a mirror of time spanning from the ... Leer comentario completo

Contenido

Preface
7
1 The Myth
9
2 Medusas Lineage
19
3 Medusa in the Middle Ages and Renaissance
30
4 Medusa in the Romantic and Victorian Ages
44
5 Medusa in the Age of Realism
55
6 The Modern Intellectual Medusa
63
7 The Feminist Medusa
71
8 Medusa as a Contemporary Icon
79
9 Myth as Dream
84
Who is Medusa?
96
Bibliography
113
Acknowledgements
121
Index
123
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Acerca del autor (2013)

David Leeming is professor emeritus of English and comparative literature at the University of Connecticut. His books include Myth: A Biography of Belief and James Baldwin: A Biography. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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