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Seduction and the Secret Power of Women: The Lure of Sirens and Mermaids (New)

by Lao, Meri

Publisher: Inner Traditions / Bear & Company

Binding: Paperback

Book ID: 9781594772016, 1594772010

$19.95

Usually available in 3-5 days

Description

Their celestial voices drove mast-lashed Ulysses nearly out of his mind with libidinous promises as they beckoned him ever-closer to paradise -- or a rocky death. With womanly torsos and animal lower halves, usually birds or fish, Sirens have long been symbols of the lure of desire -- the feminine, as seducer -- beckoning men to mystery beyond their ken, or to disaster. This book is both a celebration of Sirens and an examination of the psychology of dichotomy--the diametrically opposed drives and inherent conflicts underlying this female archetype.

Since antiquity, Sirens and their mermaid sisters have maintained an ongoing affair of the heart with humanity's greatest writers and artists. Sirens play important roles in the classical writings of Homer and Euripides as well as in the modern works of James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, and many others. Matching these writings with vibrant work from such artists as Peter Paul Rubens, Hieronymous Bosch, Edvard Munch, and Rene Magritte, Meri Lao has created a feast for the eye. Exploring our 3,000-year-old relationship with Sirens, Lao reveals the secret of the power in their song: it is the sound of the subversive, luring us from the orderly conscious world down to the depth of the world of dreams, and the harder we try to ignore that singing, the more we desperately want to hear it.

Meri Lao is the author of over twenty books in Italian, German, French, Spanish, and English. She has been a concert pianist, a professor of theater arts, and composed the music for Federico Fellini's masterpiece City of Women. She lives in Rome.

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