Genies appear in the Quran, the apocrypha, folklore and mystical literature, but probably the best known appearances of them in literature are in the Arabian Nights. In her Distinguished Lecture Series talk, Marina Warner explains why genies are inexorably linked with objects such as Aladdin’s lamp.
Marina Warner is a writer of fiction, criticism and history; her works include novels and short stories as well as studies of art, myths, symbols, and fairytales. Since 2004 she has been a professor in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex. She gave the Reith Lectures on the theme of Managing Monsters in 1994. She is Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Humanities at Queen Mary, University of London and a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art in London, in the Department of Animation. Her books include a study of the cult of the Virgin Mary (Alone of All Her Sex, to be re-issued by OUP next year) and, more recently, Phantasmagoria: Spirit Visions, Metaphors, and Media. A new book ‘Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights’ will be published in February 2012. Marina was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 2005 and was made a CBE for services to literature in 2008.
'The Genies of the Arabian Nights' on the Knowledge Centre.