Marina Warner


I was a bookworm as a child, because I liked entering other worlds through stories. Above all, I liked stories which imagined secret or hidden or hitherto unapprehended worlds: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and myths about the underworld (or the empyrean). I had an Edwardian illustrated book by a man called Guerber, The Myths of the Greeks and Romans, and the stories it told, about Persephone abducted while she was picking flowers to become queen of hell and Ariadne helping Theseus enter the labyrinth to kill the Minotaur and Icarus falling after his wings melted made a permanent impression on me. I also liked Enid Blyton and the children's adventures she described- passing behind a waterfall to find treasure, and I especially wanted to be a tomboy like her character George in the Famous Five. So I think that writing was linked with refusing the limits of my state, and with voyaging- with leaving the space of home, school and my given circumstances (a clumsy, plump girl child lacking in courage), and in many ways it still is. I do a lot of ft!Search so that I can carry myself off to other worlds and inhabit them imaginatively.



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