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The Wisdom of the Myths: How Greek Mythology Can Change Your Life

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The Wisdom of the Myths: How Greek Mythology Can Change Your Life Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

More than 100,000 copies sold in France

A fascinating new journey through Greek mythology that explains the myths' timeless lessons and meaning

Heroes, gods, and mortals. The Greek myths are the founding narratives of Western civilization: to understand them is to know the origins of philosophy, literature, art, science, law, and more. Indeed, as Luc Ferry shows in this masterful book, they remain a great store of wisdom, as relevant to our lives today as ever before. No mere legends or clichés ("Herculean task," "Pandora's box," "Achilles heel," etc.), these classic stories offer profound and manifold lessons, providing the first sustained attempt to answer fundamental human questions concerning "the good life," the burden of mortality, and how to find one's place in the world. Vividly retelling the great tales of mythology and illuminating fresh new ways of understanding them, The Wisdom of the Myths will enlighten readers of all ages.

Review:

"This comprehensive analysis of Greek myth seeks to uncover the basic worldview that lies behind such varied and disparate stories, and allusions such as 'a Herculean task' and 'Pandora's box.' In this, Ferry (A Brief History of Thought), a professor of philosophy at the Sorbonne, is surprisingly successful: time and again he proves that 'wisdom consists of finding our natural place in a divine and everlasting order.' Those who fight to uphold this divine order — Theseus, Heracles — are rewarded with a heroic legacy. But those who go against the natural order — even unwittingly, like Oedipus — are swiftly and brutally struck down. Ferry excuses much of what modern readers might perceive as injustice on the part of the gods. When Apollo flays a satyr who challenges him to a musical contest, for example, it is not vanity but the literal triumph of harmony over discord. Despite his claim that 'I recount the legends as if to an audience of children,' Ferry's narration proves long-winded and repetitive. However, he never loses sight of his central argument, and despite the pedantic tone, the breadth of evidence will sway most readers." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

“With Luc Ferry as a guide, our passage through the storied landscape of Greek mythology becomes a captivating lesson in philosophy.” Le Monde (France)

Review:

“Ferry's charm as a teacher bursts through on every page.” Wall Street Journal

Review:

“A marvelously wise and expansive book....Ferry writes with warmth, wit, and energy; one could call his prose conversational, but its rare to have a conversation quite this wonderful.” Boston Globe

About the Author

Luc Ferry, PhD, is a philosopher at the University of Paris. Professor Ferry has been awarded the Prix Médicis, Prix Jean-Jacques-Rousseau, and Prix Aujourdhui. He lives in Paris.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780062215451
Subtitle:
How Greek Mythology Can Change Your Life
Author:
Ferry, Luc
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
Philosophy : General
Subject:
General Philosophy
Subject:
Ancient
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20140107
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8 x 5.3125 x 0.936937 in 10.4 oz

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The Wisdom of the Myths: How Greek Mythology Can Change Your Life New Trade Paper
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Product details 416 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780062215451 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This comprehensive analysis of Greek myth seeks to uncover the basic worldview that lies behind such varied and disparate stories, and allusions such as 'a Herculean task' and 'Pandora's box.' In this, Ferry (A Brief History of Thought), a professor of philosophy at the Sorbonne, is surprisingly successful: time and again he proves that 'wisdom consists of finding our natural place in a divine and everlasting order.' Those who fight to uphold this divine order — Theseus, Heracles — are rewarded with a heroic legacy. But those who go against the natural order — even unwittingly, like Oedipus — are swiftly and brutally struck down. Ferry excuses much of what modern readers might perceive as injustice on the part of the gods. When Apollo flays a satyr who challenges him to a musical contest, for example, it is not vanity but the literal triumph of harmony over discord. Despite his claim that 'I recount the legends as if to an audience of children,' Ferry's narration proves long-winded and repetitive. However, he never loses sight of his central argument, and despite the pedantic tone, the breadth of evidence will sway most readers." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , “With Luc Ferry as a guide, our passage through the storied landscape of Greek mythology becomes a captivating lesson in philosophy.”
"Review" by , “Ferry's charm as a teacher bursts through on every page.”
"Review" by , “A marvelously wise and expansive book....Ferry writes with warmth, wit, and energy; one could call his prose conversational, but its rare to have a conversation quite this wonderful.”
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