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25 Local Warehouse Mythology- Folklore and Storytelling

A Short History of Myth (Myths)

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A Short History of Myth (Myths) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Human beings have always been mythmakers.” So begins best-selling writer Karen Armstrongs concise yet compelling investigation into myth: what it is, how it has evolved, and why we still so desperately need it. She takes us from the Paleolithic period and the myths of the hunters right up to the “Great Western Transformation” of the last five hundred years and the discrediting of myth by science. The history of myth is the history of humanity, our stories and beliefs, our curiosity and attempts to understand the world, which link us to our ancestors and each other. Heralding a major series of retellings of international myths by authors from around the world, Armstrongs characteristically insightful and eloquent book serves as a brilliant and thought-provoking introduction to myth in the broadest sense—and explains why if we dismiss it, we do so at our peril.

Review:

"This is an pedestrian study from the noted and popular religion scholar, in which Armstrong takes a historical approach to myth, tracing its evolution through a series of periods, from the Paleolithic to the postmyth Great Western Transformation. Each period developed myths reflecting its major concerns: images of hunting and the huntress dominated the myths of the Paleolithic, while the myths of Persephone and Demeter, Isis and Osiris developed in the agricultural Neolithic period. By the Axial Age (200 B.C. through A.D. 1500), myths became internalized, so that they no longer needed to be acted out. Reason, says Armstrong, largely supplanted myth in the Post-Axial Period, which she sees as a source of cultural and spiritual impoverishment; she even appears, simplistically, to attribute genocide to the loss of 'the sense of sacredness' myth offers. Armstrong goes on to relate that in the 20th century, a number of writers, such as Eliot, Joyce, Mann and Rushdie, recovered the power of myth for contemporary culture. Although the book offers no new perspectives or information on the history of myth, it does provide a functional survey of mythology's history. But a more engaging choice would be Kenneth Davis's Don't Know Much About Mythology (Reviews, Sept. 5)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A Short History of Myth is a handy stand-alone overview of the ever-evolving partnership between myth and man from Paleolithic times to the present. Succinct and cleanly written, it is hugely readable and, in its journey across the epochs of human experience, often moving." New York Times

Review:

"[Armstrong] challenges readers to think about myth in new ways, especially the importance she believes it should have in our modern world." Children's Literature

Synopsis:

Heralding a major series of retellings of international myths by authors from around the world, Armstrong's characteristically insightful and eloquent book serves as a brilliant and thought-provoking introduction to myth in the broadest sense.

About the Author

Karen Armstrong is an author, feminist and writer on Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. She was born into a family with Irish roots who after her birth moved to Bromsgrove and later to Birmingham.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

elanltomlinson, August 6, 2012 (view all comments by elanltomlinson)
this volume serves as an introduction to the "Myths Series" by Canongate Books - i highly recommend the entire series. the individual myths i would rate much higher than the introduction, though Armstrong's contribution serves as an interesting point of entry to rethinking (or for some, beginning to think about) the role myths play in our lives. the first book from the series i read was The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood; i expected to read a few pages as i ate my morning cereal, but ended up staying at the breakfast table straight through the last page. i've enjoyed similar reading experiences with all the other "Myths" titles i've tracked down. these are not tomes, but short rich pockets of text - they are incredibly engaging and thought-provoking contemporary works.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781841958002
Author:
Armstrong, Karen
Publisher:
Canongate Books
Subject:
Folklore & Mythology
Subject:
Folklore & Mythology - Mythology
Subject:
History
Subject:
Myth
Subject:
Mythology-General
Subject:
Mythology-Folklore and Storytelling
Edition Description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Series:
Myths, The
Publication Date:
20061031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
7.75 x 5 in 5 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Humanities » Mythology » Folklore and Storytelling
Humanities » Mythology » General

A Short History of Myth (Myths) New Trade Paper
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Product details 176 pages Canongate Books - English 9781841958002 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This is an pedestrian study from the noted and popular religion scholar, in which Armstrong takes a historical approach to myth, tracing its evolution through a series of periods, from the Paleolithic to the postmyth Great Western Transformation. Each period developed myths reflecting its major concerns: images of hunting and the huntress dominated the myths of the Paleolithic, while the myths of Persephone and Demeter, Isis and Osiris developed in the agricultural Neolithic period. By the Axial Age (200 B.C. through A.D. 1500), myths became internalized, so that they no longer needed to be acted out. Reason, says Armstrong, largely supplanted myth in the Post-Axial Period, which she sees as a source of cultural and spiritual impoverishment; she even appears, simplistically, to attribute genocide to the loss of 'the sense of sacredness' myth offers. Armstrong goes on to relate that in the 20th century, a number of writers, such as Eliot, Joyce, Mann and Rushdie, recovered the power of myth for contemporary culture. Although the book offers no new perspectives or information on the history of myth, it does provide a functional survey of mythology's history. But a more engaging choice would be Kenneth Davis's Don't Know Much About Mythology (Reviews, Sept. 5)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A Short History of Myth is a handy stand-alone overview of the ever-evolving partnership between myth and man from Paleolithic times to the present. Succinct and cleanly written, it is hugely readable and, in its journey across the epochs of human experience, often moving."
"Review" by , "[Armstrong] challenges readers to think about myth in new ways, especially the importance she believes it should have in our modern world."
"Synopsis" by , Heralding a major series of retellings of international myths by authors from around the world, Armstrong's characteristically insightful and eloquent book serves as a brilliant and thought-provoking introduction to myth in the broadest sense.
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