The un­dead come back to haunt us in The Ghost: A Cul­tural History by Su­san Owens

The Simple Things - - FRESH | OCTOBER THINGS -

From our ear­li­est history, the un­dead and eerie have been an un­easy part of our imag­i­na­tive worlds. Art his­to­rian and cu­ra­tor Su­san Owens’ smart, fas­ci­nat­ing study heads back to a time when ghosts weren’t mod­ern mists dis­solv­ing mys­te­ri­ously through walls, but me­dieval mal­con­tents “likely to break the door down and beat you to death with the bro­ken planks”. It then moves for­ward through the cen­turies, “match­ing the mood of each age” to its un­canny vis­i­tors. There are rot­ting corpses, sin­is­ter spec­tres and sor­row­ful spir­its, a ghastly ar­ray of spooks who spread ter­ror and ten­sion through a huge va­ri­ety of artis­tic works. ( Tate Pub­lish­ing)

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