Signs & Wonders : essays on Literature and culture by Marina Warner. Published by Chatto and Windus 2003. Hardback with dust jacket in very good condition
Since the early 1970s, when Marina Warner reported from Vietnam and America, in startling essays like 'The Crushed Butterflies of War', she has been one of the most challenging, subtle and profound commentators on the culture of past and present, unravelling our webs of images, ideas and beliefs. This remarkable, resonant collection draws together essays written over twenty-five years, offering a wide-ranging retrospective of her changing ideas on literature and culture - on fiction, drama, religion, language and fairy tale. The different sections range from explorations of our taste for the miraculous, whether it be the Virgin Mary and angels, or voodoo and showers of toads, to our need for heroes and villains, from Joan of Arc to Myra Hindley. Finding unexpected links between the images of literature, art and politics she turns her attention to Caliban and the Caribbean, and to fairies, myths and magic. She listens attentively, in unexpected ways, to some of the strong voices of our time, from Lewis Carroll to Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood; she unravels our fascination with language and obscenity, and questions the way we think about our bodies and minds. Penetrating, perceptive and enlightening, Signs & Wonders is not only a book of essays, but a collection of original marvels.