Stranger Magic by Marina Warner
Charmed States and the Arabian Nights

83%

9 Critic Reviews

Complex, frequently subtle and sometimes unwieldy, her book will reward readers with sophisticated insights into the cultural exchange between West and East – a bit like The Arabian Nights itself.
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

Our foremost theorist of myth, fairytale, and folktale explores the magical realm of the imagination where carpets fly and genies grant prophetic wishes. Stranger Magic examines the profound impact of the Arabian Nights on the West, the progressive exoticization of magic, and the growing acceptance of myth and magic in contemporary experience.
 

About Marina Warner

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Marina Warner is Professor of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex and a distinguished writer of fiction, criticism, and history.Author's Home: London, UK
 
Published March 3, 2012 by Harvard University Press. 577 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Literature & Fiction, Science & Math, History, Religion & Spirituality, Travel, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Stranger Magic
All: 9 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 0

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Jan 23 2012

Carefully documented, Warner’s ever shifting work takes its place alongside that of Edward Said, though she is refreshingly less polemical and less theoretical. No one need cover this enchanting ground again.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Harold Bloom on Mar 23 2012

Warner takes an honored place in the sequence of those who have studied what Isaiah Berlin and others have called the Counter-­Enlightenment, the speculations that renewed Neoplatonic and Gnostic heterodox versions of ancient wisdom.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Robin Yassin-Kassab on Nov 11 2011

Stranger Magic is a scholarly work that often reads like a fireside conversation. It's encyclopediac, a book to be savoured in slices, yet (inevitably) it's easy to think of further potential topics...

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Globe and Mail

Good
Reviewed by Paul Mcmichael Nurse on Aug 14 2012

Complex, frequently subtle and sometimes unwieldy, her book will reward readers with sophisticated insights into the cultural exchange between West and East – a bit like The Arabian Nights itself.

Read Full Review of Stranger Magic: Charmed State... | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

The Independent

Excellent
Reviewed by Lesley McDowell on Dec 02 2012

Warner's gentle authority proves to be the perfect guide not only through many of the tales themselves but also through their attendant history, and theories about them...Her immersion in her subject makes for an enthusiasm that proves to be infectious.

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The Telegraph

Good
Reviewed by Sameer Rahim on Jan 04 2012

Warner’s book is a creditable survey of the West’s response to The Nights; but reading it alongside Haddawy and Lyons, I found myself drawn back to the tales for their realistic, almost Chaucerian, depiction of a Muslim world where piety and humour, romance and bawdry hang together in magical balance.

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The Bookbag

Good
Reviewed by Robin Stevens on Nov 01 2012

Stranger Magic is a wonderful achievement, a book to delight scholarly fans of magic and mystery and a lesson in how to write both academically and well.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Good
Reviewed by Marina Warner on May 18 2012

Stranger Magic is, in fact, simply the latest in an exhilarating series of studies that reexamine the West's fantastic imagination.

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Macleans

Above average
Reviewed by Brian Bethune on Jan 24 2012

The tales she tells have sources stretching from Persia...across the Arab world to as far as India. Their themes are eternal: the wiles of women...the caprices of tyrants...and, above all, the twists of fate...

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