By David Adams Leeming
Hercules, Zeus, Thor, Gilgamesh--these are the figures that bounce to brain after we think about fantasy. yet to David Leeming, myths are greater than tales of deities and magnificent beings from non-Christian cultures. fable is without delay the main specific and the main common characteristic of civilization, representing universal matters that every society voices in its personal idiom. even if an Egyptian tale of construction or the big-bang concept of recent physics, delusion is metaphor, mirroring our inner most experience of ourselves relating to lifestyles itself.
Now, on the planet of fable, Leeming presents a sweeping anthology of myths, starting from historic Egypt and Greece to the Polynesian islands and glossy technology. We learn tales of significant floods from the traditional Babylonians, Hebrews, chinese language, and Mayans; stories of apocalypse from India, the Norse, Christianity, and sleek technological know-how; myths of the mum goddess from local American Hopi tradition and James Lovelock's Gaia. Leeming has culled myths from Aztec, Greek, African, Australian Aboriginal, eastern, Moslem, Hittite, Celtic, chinese language, and Persian cultures, delivering probably the most wide-ranging collections of what he calls the collective desires of humanity.
More very important, he has prepared those myths based on a couple of subject matters, evaluating and contrasting how quite a few societies have addressed comparable issues, or have advised comparable tales. within the part on loss of life gods, for instance, either Odin and Jesus sacrifice themselves to resume the area, every one death on a tree. Such traditions, he proposes, can have their roots in societies of the far-off previous, which might ritually sacrifice their kings to resume the tribe.
In the realm of fable, David Leeming takes us on a trip "not via a maze of falsehood yet via a marvellous international of metaphor," metaphor for "the tale of the connection among the identified and the unknown, either round us and inside of us." extraordinary, tragic, strange, occasionally humorous, the myths he provides communicate of the main basic human adventure, part of what Joseph Campbell referred to as "the fantastic track of the soul's excessive adventure."
From Library Journal
In Mythology: The Voyage of the Hero (Harper, 1980), Leeming accumulated over a hundred hero myths for a comparative examine. In his new quantity the myths of varied kinds are divided into 4 sections: of the cosmos, of the gods, of the hero, and of locations and items, in which subdivisions care for "The Trickster," "The God as Archetype," "The Tree," and so forth. His advent and pre-chapter commentaries are concise and a little bit probing. This paintings doesn't and isn't intended to rival that of Joseph Campbell, however it can be precious to normal readers or as a highschool or university introductory textual content. first-class short bankruptcy bibliographies; index and illustrations no longer noticeable. -Terry McMaster, Utica Coll. of Syracuse Univ. Lib., N.Y.
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Hercules, Zeus, Thor, Gilgamesh--these are the figures that jump to brain after we consider delusion. yet to David Leeming, myths are greater than tales of deities and excellent beings from non-Christian cultures. delusion is without delay the main specific and the main common characteristic of civilization, representing universal matters that every society voices in its personal idiom.
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Additional resources for The World of Myth
E. His Theogony contains the preclassical Greek view of the founding of the universe. Essentially, Hesiod gave voice to an early Greek understanding of the myths of Homer and the mythic lore of the ancient Near East in general. Not surprisingly, then, we find in Hesiod's cosmogony a number of familiar themes: creation out of chaos, a war in heaven, and the establishment of an organized monarchy in heaven. What Hesiod adds, as Norman O. Brown points out ("Introduction," Theogony p. 43), is a reconciliation between that monarchy— that patriarchal order— and the female creative principle represented by Earth (Gaia).
In creation stories we are given a context; in flood myths we express a cosmic basis for the pervasive idea of the cleansing sacrifice; in afterlife and apocalypse myths we celebrate the immortality of human consciousness against the background of personal and universal physical decay. This page intentionally left blank THE CREATION A myth of creation, a cosmogony (Greek kosmos, meaning "order/' and genesis, meaning "birth"), is a story of how the cosmos began and developed. Typically, though not always, cosmogonies include the creation of the world, the creation of humankind, and the fall of humankind from a state of perfection, or the struggle in heaven between various groups of immortals.
This page intentionally left blank THE CREATION A myth of creation, a cosmogony (Greek kosmos, meaning "order/' and genesis, meaning "birth"), is a story of how the cosmos began and developed. Typically, though not always, cosmogonies include the creation of the world, the creation of humankind, and the fall of humankind from a state of perfection, or the struggle in heaven between various groups of immortals. Each person's birth is the subject of a story that is somehow revealing about that person.
The World of Myth by David Adams Leeming