art, academic and non-fiction books
publishers’ Eastern and Central European representation

Name your list

ISBN: PB: 9781789140507

Reaktion Books

June 2019

208 pp.

23.4x15.6 cm

59 colour illus.



Blue Mythologies

Reflections on a Colour

The sea, the sky, the veins of the hands, the earth itself when photographed from space; blue sometimes seems to overwhelm all the other shades of our world in its all-encompassing presence.

"Blue Mythologies: Reflections on a Colour" presents a series of explorations of the colour blue, echoing Roland Barthes' essays in "Mythologies". The blues of "Blue Mythologies" include science, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Slavery, gender, sex, ornithology, the literary past, and contemporary film. The engaging and elegiac readings are at once sociological, literary, historical and visual, taking the reader from the blue of a newborn baby's eyes to the films of Jarman and Kieslowski.

Blue as the colour of death, as Vishnu's skin, the colour of optimism, heaven, asphyxiation, depression, the blues, innocence, even blue cheese: in each example Mavor unpicks meaning both above and below the surface of culture and makes us question our relationship with blue. Richly illustrated, "Blue Mythologies" is a fresh and contemplative navigation of the meanings and mythologies surrounding this most familiar and paradoxical of colours.

About the Author

Carol Mavor is Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Manchester. She has published widely on photography, cinema, colour and childhood. Her books include "Blue Mythologies: Reflections on a Colour" (Reaktion, 2013).