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The Woman Who Pretended To Be Who She Was

Author: Wendy Doniger
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195160169
Size: 68.76 MB
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Many cultures have myths about self-imitation, stories about people who pretend to be someone else pretending to be them, in effect masquerading as themselves. This great theme, in literature and in life, tells us that people put on masks to discover who they really are under the masks they usually wear, so that the mask reveals rather than conceals the self beneath the self.In this book, noted scholar of Hinduism and mythology Wendy Doniger offers a cross-cultural exploration of the theme of self-impersonation, whose widespread occurrence argues for both its literary power and its human value. The stories she considers range from ancient Indian literature through medieval European courtly literature and Shakespeare to Hollywood and Bollywood. They illuminate a basic human way of negotiating reality, illusion, identity, and authenticity, not to mention memory, amnesia, and the process of aging. Many of them involve marriage and adultery, for tales of sexual betrayal cut to the heart of the crisis of identity.These stories are extreme examples of what we common folk do, unconsciously, every day. Few of us actually put on masks that replicate our faces, but it is not uncommon for us to become travesties of ourselves, particularly as we age and change. We often slip carelessly across the permeable boundary between the un-self-conscious self-indulgence of our most idiosyncratic mannerisms and the conscious attempt to give the people who know us, personally or publicly, the version of ourselves that they expect. Myths of self-imitation open up for us the possibility of multiple selves and the infinite regress of self-discovery.Drawing on a dizzying array of tales-some fact, some fiction-The Woman Who Pretended to Be Who She Was is a fascinating and learned trip through centuries of culture, guided by a scholar of incomparable wit and erudition.

Encyclopedia Of Beasts And Monsters In Myth Legend And Folklore

Author: Theresa Bane
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 0786495057
Size: 67.33 MB
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Here there be dragons--this notation was often made on ancient maps to indicate the edges of the known world and what lay beyond. Heroes who ventured there were only as great as the beasts they encountered. This encyclopedia contains more than 2,200 monsters of myth and folklore, who both made life difficult for humans and fought by their side. Entries describe the appearance, behavior, and cultural origin of mythic creatures well-known and obscure, collected from traditions around the world.

A Narrative Compass

Author: Betsy Gould Hearne
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252076117
Size: 23.11 MB
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Exploring the narratives that orient the lives of women scholars

Envisioning Experience In Late Antiquity And The Middle Ages

Author: Giselle de Nie
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317142055
Size: 80.40 MB
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Our imagination reveals our experience of ourselves and our world. The late philosopher of science and poetry Gaston Bachelard introduced the notion that each image that comes to mind spontaneously is a visual representation of the cognitive and affective pattern that is moving us at the time - often unconsciously. When such a mental image inspires a picture or text, it evokes in the mind of the reader or beholder a replication of the internal pattern that originally inspired the artist or writer. Thus mental images are rarely empty phantasies. Whereas intellectual concepts are conscious constructions of abstracted relations, mental images evoked by texts and pictures often point - like dreams - to pre-verbal experience that patterns itself through multiplying associations and analogies. These mental images can also manifest their own limits, pointing indirectly to experiences beyond what can be expressed and communicated. The six essays in this volume seek to uncover the dynamic patterns in verbal and pictorial images and to evaluate their potentialities and limitations. Thematically ordered according to their specific focus, the essays begin with material images and move on to increasing degrees of immateriality. The subjects treated are: verbal descriptions of an icon and of a statue; imaginative visions and auditions evoked by material depictions; verbal imagery describing imagined sculptures and scenes as compared with drawings of a moving historical pageant; drawings of symbolic figures representing subtle relationships between verbal expositions that cannot be syntactically represented; dream images that precipitate actual healing; and aural patterns in a sounded text that are experienced as 'images' of affective dynamisms.

Masquerade And Femininity

Author: Urszula Chowaniec
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN:
Size: 32.89 MB
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Masquerade and Femininity: Essays on Russian and Polish Women Writers introduces the reader to the diversity of women's writing in Poland and Russia in the 19th and 20th centuries in the light of the notion of masquerade. The present articles scrutinize particular works by women writers (Nadezhda Dmitrievna Khvoshchinskaia, Irina Odoevtseva, Vera Pavlova, Narcyza Żmichowska, Maria Komornicka, Irena Krzywicka and others) and the strategies of masquerading female experience. Taken together, the articles draw attention to the feeling of an inexpressible gap between the living body (and its everyday life experience of pain and suffering or happiness and pleasure) and the culturally constructed, powerfully imposed code of expression that readily makes use of various masks, guises and acts of pretending, applied especially cleverly in literary works. The concept of masquerade illuminates the complexity of what we call "femininity" by combining two sides of the divide: the real feelings and the constructed expressions. This volume uses both feminist and non-feminist approaches to women's writing and sheds new light on the themes of femininity, woman's identity, experience, masks, body, gender relations, nature, culture and authorship. Masquerade and Femininity brings together East European literary studies and gender studies, offering a comparative perspective on literature, literary theory and cultural phenomena in Poland and Russia, and featuring a range of both eastern European and western scholars. In its pages, the reader is invited to move beyond Russian literature and language into a dialogic approach between Slavic literatures. This book will also contribute to filling the comparative gap which is still relatively unexplored not only with regard to the application of western scholarship to East European studies, but also with regard to the dialogue between Russian and Polish scholarship.

The Bedtrick

Author: Wendy Doniger
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226156439
Size: 56.79 MB
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"Somehow I woke up one day and found myself in bed with a stranger." Meant literally or figuratively, this statement describes one of the best-known plots in world mythology and popular storytelling. In a tour that runs from Shakespeare to Hollywood and from Abraham Lincoln to Casanova, the erudite and irrepressible Wendy Doniger shows us the variety, danger, and allure of the "bedtrick," or what it means to wake up with a stranger. The Bedtrick brings together hundreds of stories from all over the world, from the earliest recorded Hindu and Hebrew texts to the latest item in the Weekly World News, to show the hilariously convoluted sexual scrapes that people manage to get themselves into and out of. Here you will find wives who accidentally commit adultery with their own husbands. You will read Lincoln's truly terrible poem about a bedtrick. You will learn that in Hong Kong the film The Crying Game was retitled Oh No! My Girlfriend Has a Penis. And that President Clinton was not the first man to be identified by an idiosyncratic organ. At the bottom of these wonderful stories, ancient myths, and historical anecdotes lie the dynamics of sex and gender, power and identity. Why can't people tell the difference in the dark? Can love always tell the difference between one lover and another? And what kind of truth does sex tell? Funny, sexy, and engaging, The Bedtrick is a masterful work of energetic storytelling and dazzling scholarship. Give it to your spouse and your lover.