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Imaginary Animals: The Monstrous, the Wondrous and the Human

Imaginary Animals: The Monstrous, the Wondrous and the Human
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Imaginary Animals: The Monstrous, the Wondrous and the Human
  • Stoc: În stoc
  • ISBN: 9781780231730
136,00 Lei
170,00 Lei
Fără TVA: 136,00 Lei
Medieval authors placed fantastic creatures in the borders of manuscripts, since they mark the boundaries of our understanding. Tales throughout the world generally place fabulous beasts in marginal locations - deserts, deep woods, remote islands, glaciers, ocean depths, mountain peaks, caves, swamps, heavenly bodies and alternate universes. According to apocalyptic visions of the Bible, they will also proliferate as we approach the end of time. Because they challenge our conceptual powers, fantastic creatures also seem to exist at the limits of language. Legends tell us that imaginary animals belong to a primordial time, before we had encompassed the world in names, categories and elaborate conceptual frameworks. This richly illustrated book shows how, despite their liminal role, griffins, dog-men, mermaids, dragons, unicorns, yetis and many other imaginary creatures are socially constructed through the same complex play of sensuality and imagination as 'real' ones. It traces the history of imaginary animals from Palaeolithic art to the Harry Potter stories and robotic pets. These figures help us psychologically by giving form to our amorphous fears as 'monsters', as well as embodying our hopes as 'wonders'. Nevertheless, their greatest service may be to continually challenge our imaginations, directing us beyond the limitations of our conventional beliefs and expectations.

"Speaking as someone fascinated by all animals from earliest childhood, I found Imaginary Animals to be an intriguing and thought-provoking discovery. Scholarly and well-researched, without being either ponderous or condescending, it is written with real wit, and with a contagious delight in its subject rare in such a study. I would recommend it enthusiastically to anyone interested in the astonishing range of folkloric, religious, cultural, philosophic and political symbolism with which human beings have regarded and ceaselessly recreated real animals in our time together on this planet."--Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn

"A thought-provoking analysis of bestial creations, this illustrated compendium by Boria Sax scrutinizes artistic and literary models, ranging from Chauvet cave art from 36,000 BCE to political cartoons, graphic Japanese novels, and postmodern robotics. Conclusions about the nature and purpose of fantasy animals draw on scripture, anthropology, medicine, myth, and psychology . . . An intriguing, highly readable reference work at a low price, Sax's multifaceted work covers a host of reference needs." --Choice

"One of his last insights helps us see into the future of animal creation and human re-creation: “All animals, no matter whether they exist or in what sense, are products of the same dialectic of reality and imagination” (250). His book’s intention has been to reveal just such a truth; it points us to the larger questions of the nature of reality, our role in creating it and being shaped by it, and our quest to see through what is known to the mystery of what still remains invisible, unknown and waiting...." Dennis Patrick Slattery, Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association
Autor SAX, Boria
An apariţie 2013
Editura Reaktion Books
Nr pagini 272
Dimensiuni 25 x 19 cm
Format Hardback
Cuvinte cheie: sax boria