Cover: Metamorphosis: The Mind in Exile, from Harvard University PressCover: Metamorphosis in E-DITION

Metamorphosis

The Mind in Exile

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details

E-DITION

$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674424982

Publication Date: 07/20/1981

244 pages

World

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

Fusing the methods of comparative literature, intellectual history, and philosophical analysis, Harold Skulsky explores a motif that has fascinated storytellers since antiquity: the miraculous transformation of a character into a plant, an animal, or a different human being.

The thesis of the study is that the fantasy of metamorphosis challenges the narrator and his audience to confront certain basic anxieties about the human condition: Is the mind reducible to physical properties? What constitutes personhood? How does physical form affect personal identity and continuity of the self?

Testing instances in which these and related perplexities appear in literature, Skulsky systematically and provocatively interprets ten major illustrative texts drawn from diverse epochs and languages, including the works of Homer, Ovid, Apuleius, Marie de France, Dante, Donne, Spenser, Keats, Kafka, and Woolf. Through Skulsky’s masterly analysis the victims of metamorphosis in narrative literature—whether werewolf, ass, beetle, swine, or tree—provide a profound insight into the complexities of human experience.

From Our Blog

Jacket: Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America, by Nathaniel Frank, from Harvard University Press

Celebrating Pride Month

To celebrate Pride Month, we are highlighting excerpts from books that explore the lives and experiences of the LGBT+ community. Nathaniel Frank’s Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America tells the dramatic story of the struggle for same-sex couples to legally marry, something that is now taken for granted. Below, he describes the beginnings of the gay rights movement. For homophiles of the 1950s, identifying as gay was almost always a risky and radical act