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    marina warner Quotes

    When virtue is pictured as innocence and innocence equated with childlikeness, the implication is obviously that knowledge and experience are no longer media of goodness, but have become in themselves contaminating. This is a very despairing outlook, in its way as black as Augustine's original sin, for it supposes that original goodness will in all likelihood be defiled...It surrenders the attempt to represent virtue in a mature phase.
    — Marina Warner
    The vocabulary of pleasure depends on the imagery of pain.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: pain  pleasure 
     
    I avoid looking in the mirror.
    — Marina Warner
    I was brought up a Catholic and I was quite fervent, because I was sent to a convent school.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: school 
     
    I shop online because I don't like to try things on in front of an alien mirror.
    — Marina Warner
    The price the Virgin demanded was purity, and the way the educators of Catholic children have interpreted this for nearly two thousand years is sexual chastity. Impurity, we were taught, follows from many sins, but all are secondary to the principal impulse of the devil in the soul-lust.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: children  devil  child  sexual  sin  year 
     
    Romance, in its earliest surviving form, was called "erotika pathemata' by the Greeks - tales of erotic suffering.
    — Marina Warner
    A society that doesn't know any longer how to observe every death with proper rituals, that does not know that death is not the end, but only part of the journey, has lost its way, has had the very heart of its humanity torn out.
    — Marina Warner
    When I was young, I did actually model and was much photographed by famous photographers. But I was always a bookworm.
    — Marina Warner
    Wonder has no opposite; it springs up already doubled in itself, compounded of dread and desire at once, attraction and recoil, producing a thrill, the shudder of pleasure and of fear.
    — Marina Warner
    The more one knows fairy tales the less fantastical they appear; they can be vehicles of the grimmest realism, expressing hope against all the odds with gritted teeth.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: hope 
     
    Meanings of all kinds flow through the figures of women, and they often do not include who she herself is.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: women  meaning 
     
    The sombre-suited masculine world of the Protestant religion is altogether too much like a gentlemen's club to which the ladies are only admitted on special days.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: world 
     
    Mythographer was suggested by the man who made my website, actually. I do write a lot about myth and I do feel it's a bit pompous to state it that way, but it does distinguish me from other writers. When it was first on the web, people began to use it in an ironical and satirical way. Now, however, people tend to use it straight.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: men  people  write 
     
    I do think that this represents a kind of shift towards myth, a recovery of myth, largely through the popularity of writers like Philip Pullman. Somehow myths have returned as a serious subject. It used to be scorned...really scorned. It was part of a nursery tradition, and it was also rather tainted - but not in an immovable way - by the association with right-wing ideologies after the World Wars.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: world  recovery  war 
     
    If you want to learn about a culture, you look at what buildings the people lived in but you also want to know about their cosmos.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: people  culture  learn 
     
    Fairy tales are about money, marriage, and men. They are the maps and manuals that are passed down from mothers and grandmothers to help them survive.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: men  help  money  mother  marriage 
     
    The Grimm brothers always said that their informants were women, which is possibly not true, women of the people. There is the constant evocation of women's voices, in the collecting and arrangement of these stories, and yet the message of so many of them is incredibly misogynist. I was very puzzled by that, and that book explores that contradiction.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: people  women  true  stories  book 
     
    I have always argued that we can't live by or be made to exist outside of mythology, and that every group and nation has, possibly unacknowledged to themselves, some myths by which they live. It remains important to revisit them, understand them and possibly retell them - or at least own up to them - and then it becomes possible to move something. If it's obscure or invisible to you, you can't budge those understandings.
    — Marina Warner
    The French Revolution printed money because they didn't have any, so they just printed it, and this was a revolutionary step which of course we are still reaping the huge consequences of today. It struck me that this was beginning to happen...there had been scandals where shares had been printed.
    — Marina Warner
    Although the stories are very present in my book, and very present in my mind, what I was most interested in was the question of why it had attracted such a following in the 18th Century. It's less mysterious that it attracted a following in the Romantic period, and in the 19th Century, but the early 18th Century when the Rationalists fell in love with it...that was mysterious. What I wanted to look at was the forms of enchantment.
    — Marina Warner
    True to their history, the English are very domineering and have manipulated it in different ways. I wouldn't say that there was an original, but there is a lot of expurgation in some of the Victorian translations, and there's a lot of additional salacious nonsense in some of them, too. I also like the early French one, much-derided for being fanciful but which is actually very elegantly done. It's very big, very capacious.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: true 
     
    I have many, many editions of the books, and they are all rather different. In the end, the one I used was the most recent French translation. French suits the tales well, and it's a beautiful translation. The Italian one is good as well... English has fallen short.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: beautiful  book 
     
    Though it's marvelously entertaining, and I had fantastic fun writing the book, it's not terribly easily, the material, and it's not all that familiar...although we think it is familiar. The processes of the wonderful narratives are very intricate. It's about the charm - the spellbinding charm - of ingenuity, and it's not so easy to remember the plots or the structure or even the names.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: process  fun  writing  book  charm 
     
    I used to retain information extremely fast, so perhaps it's hardening a bit and I don't take the impression as well as I used to. Instead of writing in free flight, I had to check on the stories all the time. So I have decided I better to do it while I am fresh!
    — Marina Warner
    tags: time  writing  stories 
     
    The tales are quite hard to remember and I found that going back to it between bouts of writing fiction, I was having to retrace my steps quite a lot, because the stories are very intricate and the material is elusive, and possibly with age, my memory is not as malleable as it used to be.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: memory  age  writing  stories  fiction 
     
    I always have done work on mythic relations since I started writing. I really want to be a novelist, or at least a writer of imaginative work... I do try to make my critical studies imaginative and try to write them in ways that are more like literature than philosophy, but I have disappointed myself because I am still so wedded to criticism.
    — Marina Warner
    Our traditional stories are based on an aristocratic model without a middle class, whereas The Arabian Nights reflect people living in cities, traders, merchants, travelers, with a wide range of personalities.
    — Marina Warner
    I see the carpet reflecting that narratological structure of the storytelling, with Scheherazade as the outside frame story on the outside, with the stories woven on the inside. It's also demonstrative of the infinity of it, with no beginning and no end. The carpet is also a kind of metonym for cinema, this idea that the flat surface carries a terrific depth of imaginative field while remaining totally flat.
    — Marina Warner
    The tripartite structure - so you remember the third brother, second brother, first brother, or the first dervish, second dervish, and third dervish. This is very like embroidering a cloth, as you have to know where you are with the knots.
    — Marina Warner
    One of the metaphors of the book is the carpet. Not just the flying carpet, but the carpet as a woven surface in which many repetitions and motifs recur and mirror one another. This is very much reflected within the stories: they have borders within borders, repeated motifs which change. They have their feet in oral conventions, and for the mnemonics, the storyteller needs to have a structure in order to remember the stories.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: metaphor  stories  book 
     
    I love titles and organizing chains of ideas. I like that very much.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: ideas 
     
    I am not a great believer in dialectical struggle. I am much more of a fusion person. I see it as a dialogue, or trialogue, or polylogue: many, many, many voices, going back a long way. The cultural picture is much more mutually enriching at many different levels, manufacturers...absolutely, design and calligraphy. It's an amazing amount of cross-interests between people.
    — Marina Warner
    There is a theory, that I rather subscribe to. The frame story implies that if he doesn't change, she will kill him. It's all very complex and subtle. The story is about a woman who persuades a man in power to a different temper and attitude, and so it is about women's wiles, what women will get up to. She has a plan, she has a scheme.
    — Marina Warner
    The stories are most often about justice. In her stories, those who commit injustice, or act tyrannically, come to no good. They are punished.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: justice  stories 
     
    Love can make you turn on yourself, and it can do harmful things to you. It's a deep lesson in human psychology, as with many of the stories. Anyways, that's just an example of one of the most wicked women in the Nights.
    — Marina Warner
    Creating simplicity often makes the heart leap; order has been restored, the crooked made straight. But order is understanding that things cannot be made simple, that complexity reigns and must be accepted.
    — Marina Warner
    The technique of the book and the technique carried by the figure of Scheherazade is one of opening the Sultan's mind. He's emblematic of the ignorant person: the ignorant, lock-in, raging man who wants to kill all he doesn't understand. The model of the book is the extraordinary, very-large, Mirror of Princes.
    — Marina Warner
    tags: men  mind  book 
     
    The model of the educational Kalila Wa-Dimna. These are books of instruction to rulers and humans. The stories unfold a range of human psychology, a vast range of human psychology. The Sultan is being moved from his narrow and bigoted position into a wider, more subtle, more nuanced understanding of human experiences.
    — Marina Warner
    There is humanist enterprise of the book, and amongst that there are many, many stories. And that is why at the end, when he says that the stories are so illuminating that they must be engraved and encased in gold and put in the palace library, the people who compile the book are telling us that this is a collection of human wisdom.
    — Marina Warner
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