Thursday, August 29, 2013

UIS professor publishes book exploring the myth of Salome

Rosina Neginsky, associate professor of Liberal & Integrative Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield, has published a new book exploring the history of the myth of Salome.

Salome: The Image of a Woman Who Never Was explores how the myth was created, the roles that art, literature, theology and music played in that creation, and how Salome's image as evil varied from one period to another according to the prevailing cultural myths surrounding women.

After setting forth the Biblical and historical origins of the Salome story, the book examines the major cultural, literary and artistic works which developed and propagated it, including those by Filippo Lippi, Rogier van der Weyden, Titian, Moreau, Beardsley, Mallarme, Wilde and Richard Strauss.

Although the root of the Hebrew name "Salome" is "peaceful," the image spawned by the most famous woman to carry that name has been anything but peaceful. She and her story have long been linked to the beheading of John the Baptist, as described in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, since Salome was the supposed catalyst for the prophet's execution.

“In a remarkable display of interdisciplinary erudition, Rosina Neginsky explores the Salome myth across the centuries, in different artistic media. This is a fine book, rich in sensitive analyses and new interpretations of a wide variety of works of visual art, literature, and music,” said Peter Cooke, a senior lecturer in French Studies at the University of Manchester, UK.

The book will be of great interest to scholars and students of cultural history, literature and art history. It is available in hardcover on and from Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

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