School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

George Steiner Lecture in Comparative Literature 2010

30 March 2010

Time: 6:30pm

Marina Warner, 'Dark Arts: Magic & Strangers after the Arabian Nights'

Enchanters in The Arabian Nights are frequently outsiders, infidels who worship fire and command djinns who disobeyed God; in many of the tales, the magicians come from Persia or Africa, or some other elsewhere depicted as faraway and exotic.n Marina Warner will explore how these representations combined with a European desire to distance western culture from its tradition of magical thinking, and - in the writings of Voltaire and William Beckford, for example - offered fertile proxies for conveying the enduring fascination - and uses - of enchantment.