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The World of Myth: An Anthology

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The World of Myth: An Anthology Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Hercules, Zeus, Thor, Gilgamesh--these are the figures that leap to mind when we think of myth. But to David Leeming, myths are more than stories of deities and fantastic beings from non-Christian cultures. Myth is at once the most particular and the most universal feature of civilization, representing common concerns that each society voices in its own idiom. Whether an Egyptian story of creation or the big-bang theory of modern physics, myth is metaphor, mirroring our deepest sense of ourselves in relation to existence itself.

Now, in The World of Myth, Leeming provides a sweeping anthology of myths, ranging from ancient Egypt and Greece to the Polynesian islands and modern science. We read stories of great floods from the ancient Babylonians, Hebrews, Chinese, and Mayans; tales of apocalypse from India, the Norse, Christianity, and modern science; myths of the mother goddess from Native American Hopi culture and James Lovelock's Gaia. Leeming has culled myths from Aztec, Greek, African, Australian Aboriginal, Japanese, Moslem, Hittite, Celtic, Chinese, and Persian cultures, offering one of the most wide-ranging collections of what he calls the collective dreams of humanity.

More important, he has organized these myths according to a number of themes, comparing and contrasting how various societies have addressed similar concerns, or have told similar stories. In the section on dying gods, for example, both Odin and Jesus sacrifice themselves to renew the world, each dying on a tree. Such traditions, he proposes, may have their roots in societies of the distant past, which would ritually sacrifice their kings to renew the tribe.

In The World of Myth, David Leeming takes us on a journey "not through a maze of falsehood but through a marvellous world of metaphor," metaphor for "the story of the relationship between the known and the unknown, both around us and within us." Fantastic, tragic, bizarre, sometimes funny, the myths he presents speak of the most fundamental human experience, a part of what Joseph Campbell called "the wonderful song of the soul's high adventure."

Synopsis:

A sweeping anthology of myths, ranging from ancient Egypt and Greece to the Polynesian islands and modern science. "A particularly fine one-volume work that not only draws from a wide variety of sources, but also puts them in a comparative context. . . ".--Booklist.

About the Author

David Adams Leeming is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, and is the author of several books on myth and literature.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195074758
Author:
Leeming, David Adams
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
null, David Adams
Location:
New York
Subject:
History
Subject:
Folklore & Mythology
Subject:
Folklore
Subject:
Folklore & Mythology - Mythology
Subject:
Mythology
Subject:
Myth
Subject:
Anthropology - General
Subject:
Literature/English | Mythology
Subject:
Literature/English | Mythology and Folklore
Subject:
Literature/English | Mythology & Folklore
Subject:
Mythology-General
Subject:
Mythology-Folklore and Storytelling
Copyright:
Edition Number:
revised
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
503
Publication Date:
19920231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
5 illus.
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9.21x6.13x1.00 in. 1.20 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Business » Communication
Business » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
Humanities » Mythology » Anthologies and Collections
Humanities » Mythology » Folklore and Storytelling
Humanities » Mythology » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

The World of Myth: An Anthology Used Trade Paper
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Product details 384 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195074758 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A sweeping anthology of myths, ranging from ancient Egypt and Greece to the Polynesian islands and modern science. "A particularly fine one-volume work that not only draws from a wide variety of sources, but also puts them in a comparative context. . . ".--Booklist.

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