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1 Hawthorne Nature Studies- Entomology

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Spider (Reaktion Books - Animal)


Spider (Reaktion Books - Animal) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Both fascinating and frightening, the spider has a rich symbolic presence in the imagination. At once a representative of death, due to its fangs and dangerous poison, the spider can also represent life and creation, because of its intricate web and females who carry sacs of thousands of tiny eggs. In this wide-ranging book, Katarzyna and Sergiusz Michalski investigate the natural history and cultural significance of the spider.

            From ancient Greek myth to Dostoyevsky, the authors explore the appearance of spiders in literature and their depictions in art, paying particular attention to the sculptures of Louise Bourgeois. Horror stories, science fiction, folklore, and childrens tales are also investigated, as well as the affliction of arachnophobia and the procedures used to cure it. The association of the spider with women or mothers is explored alongside the role of the spider metaphor in Freudian and Jungian psychoanalysis, and the Michalskis in-depth account concludes with a look at the unfavorable portrayal of the sinister spider in film.

            A thorough and engaging look at the natural and cultural history of the spider, this book will appeal to anybody who admires or fears this delicate yet dangerous creature.


About the Author

Katarzyna Michalski is a cultural historian at the University of Tübingen, Germany, and coauthor of the Eyewitness Guide to Munich and the Bavarian Alps. Sergiusz Michalski is professor of art history at the University of Tübingen. His previous books include The New Objectivity and Public Monuments: Art in Political Bondage 1870-1997, also published by Reaktion Books.


Table of Contents

Introduction: Spiders on the Wall and Elsewhere

1   Some Basic Zoological Facts

2   Arachnophobia

3   Venom and Cold Intellect: The Spider and its Web in the European 

     Intellectual Tradition

4   The Femme Fatale and Eroticism

5   Oppressive Mothers, Dreams and Louise Bourgeois

6   Spiders in Art and Caricature

7   Myth and Folklore

8   Urban Legends

9   Spider Goes Hollywood

Timeline of the Spider


Select Bibliography

Associations and Websites


Photo Acknowledgements


Product Details

Michalski, Katarzyna
Reaktion Books
Michalski, Sergiusz
Animals - General
Nature Studies-Zoology
Edition Description:
Reaktion Books - Animal
Publication Date:
40 color plates, 60 halftones
7.5 x 5.75 in

Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Biology » Zoology » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Insects » Entomology
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Spiders and Arachnids
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Zoology

Spider (Reaktion Books - Animal) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages Reaktion Books - English 9781861897756 Reviews:
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