Marina Warner has been analyzing texts for some time. She is the kind of writer that sees through academic conventions, very lucid and precise; and she doesn't stop at 'baroquism' or 'creative outbursts' (that is to say, a frown to academicism). So, in this book you will find all kinds of quotations, from Margaret Thatcher to minimal insigths of writers like Angela Carter (whom with Warner kept a correspondence) and... surprise! About this book british writer Hilary Mantel says:
"Soul is irreplaceable, it is unique, it is beyond description, and yet if we can't describe it, how can we talk about ourselves? Phantasmagoria is about the words we find for the things that aren't quite there. It is about the images we choose, to bulk out with an illusory form what actually lacks substance, and about the metaphors we use to embody the bodiless. It is about the ways that the dead live: on film, in wax, in those Victorian spirit photographs, so clumsy that nowadays they wouldn't fool a child. It takes us from Dante to JK Rowling, Peter Pan to Jean-Paul Marat, Aristotle to Magritte. It is about fog and smog and celestial clouds, doppelgängers and vampires, magic lanterns and Rorschach blots; it is a book of wonders, with the seductive interest common to the work of our foremost mythographer, and it is a generous book, which sends the reader to other books, to philosophy and poetry, to the history of science and to theology."