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Six Myths of Our Time: Little Angels, Little Monsters, Beautiful Beasts, and More

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  144 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Is Jurassic Park a work of covert misogynist propaganda? Does romanticizing childhood lead to abusing children? What secret correspondence links Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to video games and Shakespeare's Caliban to Hannibal Lecter? in what ways do our culture's most hallowed legends inform the current debates over single mothers, the men's movement, and animal rights?

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Paperback, 162 pages
Published January 31st 1995 by Vintage
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Chris
It is important to note that Six Myths of Our Time was published in 1994 so Warner's comments about video games, while still much on point, are dated (there is, of course, no mention of Grand Theft Auto). After reading the first chapter, I doubt that I will be able to ever look at Jurassic Park(book or movie) the same way. I enjoyed the last chapter which dealt with the changed view of the British monorachy, and why, to an a extent that change happened. Warner comments much on how myths effect o ...more
AJ LeBlanc
Nov 14, 2008 AJ LeBlanc rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, cbr-iii
It’s a huge pain in the ass that I can’t just be a feminist anymore. I have to be a humanist. Or I get to be a “feminist AND” or a “feminist BUT“. Everything is so watered down and angry that you have to explain what you are by immediately pointing out what you aren’t.

So…I’m a feminist BUT I don’t hate men. I’m a feminist AND I think we need to work to make sure everyone is treated fairly.

Mostly I just hate people. But I try to do it equally.

Anyway, this needs to turn into a book review of Six M
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Diana
Feb 05, 2009 Diana rated it really liked it
More good stuff by Marina Warner - insights into how myth and folklore and the stuff of fairy tales is still ever so present in our own modern society. I give it four instead of five stars because it's more an introductory foray into these ideas, ideas she deals with much more in depth in other books. I'd say this is the "lite" version of what she provides much more research and detail about in books like From the Beast to the Blonde, Alone of all Her Sex, and Monuments and Maidens. It's a good ...more
Tina
I loved this. I had a feeling that I was going to love it when in the introduction, Marina Warner quotes Roland Barthes: Myth transforms history into nature.

Particularly relevant to all the YA I read was Warner's third essay, "Little Angels, Little Monsters: Keeping Childhood Innocent." So many of the most popular YA - Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, The 5th Wave, Twilight, Divergent - end with or prominently feature the idea of the child as a stand-in symbol for hope, for the innocence of the f
...more
Kyle R
Aug 01, 2015 Kyle R rated it liked it
1994 doesn't feel like that long ago, but it was a time before mainstream internet and before 911, so some things in this book did seem outdated to me. But her take on video games and musclemen types in movies definitely seem to still ring true today, think about the plethora of superhero movies, the most celebrated ones being those that star alpha male types who are prized more for their brute strength rather than their cunning and intellect (like the example of Odysseus she gives, who outwitte ...more
Michelle Farinella
Oct 08, 2015 Michelle Farinella rated it liked it
Warner knows so much about mythology, I wonder if she can just enjoy a story anymore. Hmmmm.
This slim collection of essays is just a glimpse of her deep and vast anthropological knowledge of how the stories we choose to tell and re-tell carve out our cultural norms. It's scary how arbitrarily we choose the fairytales we regale to our children. It's strange how surreptitiously misogyny and racism can slither its way into the archetypes within our best-sellers and block-busters. In an era of memes
...more
Lis
Jun 06, 2009 Lis rated it liked it
This is a weird little book that I enjoyed rereading. It was originally a series of programs - lectures, really - on BBC Radio in the early '90s, and so it's written for a very general audience. Warner's always good to read - she has an excellent grasp of how to keep her thoughts flowing from one thought to the next, even (especially) when those thoughts are pretty far apart.

Of the six essays, the one on masculinity is the most dated and can easily be skipped. The rest are of varying qualities,
...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
This slim volume is made up of essays Warner presented via a BBC radio show on themes often found in myth and fairy tale. Most interestingly, Warner also addresses current sociological problems at the same time. In her opening essay 'Monstrous Mothers' she addresses misogyny, the 'problem' of single mothers, and Medea's literary legacy. Unlike most of Warner's work, I found this volume highly readable: the fact that these are the verbatim essays as they were read on the air helps immeasurably, I ...more
Miriam
May 05, 2010 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: ideas, gender, mythology
Many of the themes are treated in greater detail in Warner's excellentNo Go The Bogeyman: Scaring, Lulling, and Making Mock, but this is a shorter and more accessible treatise for readers who want the ideas without all the examples and footnotes. The weakest section is that on video games, which is not only now out-dated, but doesn't read as if the author ever actually played one, or even knows anyone who has.
Pamster
Jan 12, 2008 Pamster rated it liked it
These were written as half hour speeches to be given on the BBC in a lecture series with a long history, in which she was the only the second woman ever invited to participate. I liked the cannibalism chapter a lot. And I got all worked up at the bar when someone didn't believe me that the Jurassic Park dinos could symbolize monstrous women as threat to the nuclear fam. I'm into reading more of her.
Rachel
Not Marina Warner's best, but still worth reading. It is not daring, audacious, or vital in the way that From the Beast to the Blonde is, but she is clear, succinct, and accurate. Very much cultural criticism for beginners.
Christina
Mar 01, 2010 Christina rated it liked it
Not bad. Not as brilliantly accessible as Joseph Campbell, not as scholarly as Roland Barthes. It's hard to believe the essays were originally presented as radio talks because some of the sentences are difficult to untangle even on the page. Maybe hearing it aloud would actually make it clearer.
John Fredrickson
Jun 26, 2016 John Fredrickson rated it really liked it
This was a delightful and unexpected find. It is a short book of only 6 chapters, each of which explores a different theme of our implicit mythologies that our culture works with, often unconsciously. The last chapter on "home" was a bit difficult to follow, but the rest of the book is great.
Anushka
Apr 11, 2011 Anushka rated it liked it
Especially relevant to our current stereotyping of the general spheres that occupy our lives, love the integration of ancient mythology in this exploration.
Jane
Apr 19, 2010 Jane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essay
Loved this. Warner's essays are incredibly thought provoking re: traditional literature and myth. I'll refer to these again and again
Rachel
Sep 27, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Breathtaking.
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Marina Sarah Warner is a British novelist, short story writer, historian and mythographer. She is known for her many non-fiction books relating to feminism and myth.

She is a professor in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre at the University of Essex, and gave the Reith Lectures on the BBC in 1994 on the theme of 'Managing Monsters: Six Myths of Our Time.'

More about Marina Warner...

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