Thinking in Circles: An Essay on Ring Composition (The Terry Lectures Series)

3.98 avg rating
( 59 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780300117622: Thinking in Circles: An Essay on Ring Composition (The Terry Lectures Series)
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

Many famous antique texts are misunderstood and many others have been completely dismissed, all because the literary style in which they were written is unfamiliar today. So argues Mary Douglas in this controversial study of ring composition, a technique which places the meaning of a text in the middle, framed by a beginning and ending in parallel. To read a ring composition in the modern linear fashion is to misinterpret it, Douglas contends, and today’s scholars must reevaluate important antique texts from around the world.

Found in the Bible and in writings from as far afield as Egypt, China, Indonesia, Greece, and Russia, ring composition is too widespread to have come from a single source. Does it perhaps derive from the way the brain works? What is its function in social contexts? The author examines ring composition, its principles and functions, in a cross-cultural way. She focuses on ring composition in Homer’s Iliad, the Bible’s book of Numbers, and, for a challenging modern example, Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, developing a persuasive argument for reconstruing famous books and rereading neglected ones.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

The late Mary Douglas was professor of social anthropology at University College London. After her retirement she was an honorary research fellow there.

Review:

“The importance of this book consists in the fact that it is Mary Douglas, an extraordinarily influential anthropologist, who seeks to make cross-cultural sense of the literary phenomenon, ‘ring composition.'"—Harold Attridge, Yale Divinity School

(Harold Attridge)

 “Mary Douglas’s mission is to rescue great works of art from the trash heap in which they may have been thrown for lack of understanding, precisely, of their ring structure. In this she certainly succeeds.”—Leonard C. Muellner, Brandeis University

(Leonard C. Muellner)

"Not since Levy-Strauss has any anthropologist done so much to cast light on literary problems as Mary Douglas. Everything she touches she illuminates."—Gabriel Josipovici, author of The Book of God: A Response to the Bible 
 

(Gabriel Josipovici)

"Succinct, unpretentious, wise and, best of all, reconstructive. . . . [A] valuable contribution to cultural studies in the widest sense of the term, making one wish the term were more often stretched this finely. . . . a sagacious field guide, pleasing and teasing our tastes for turnings."—Jennifer Formichelli, Essays in Criticism (Jennifer Formichelli Essays in Criticism 2009-02-10)

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780300167856: Thinking in Circles: An Essay on Ring Composition (The Terry Lectures Series)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0300167857 ISBN 13:  9780300167856
Publisher: Yale University Press, 2010
Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Mary Douglas
Published by Yale University Press (2007)
ISBN 10: 0300117620 ISBN 13: 9780300117622
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Yale University Press, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0300117620

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 48.80
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Douglas, Mary
Published by Yale University Press (2007)
ISBN 10: 0300117620 ISBN 13: 9780300117622
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Griffin Books
(Stamford, CT, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Yale University Press, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand new gift quality hardcover Please email for photos. Larger books or sets may require additional shipping charges. Books sent via US Postal. Seller Inventory # 66969

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 50.12
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Mary Douglas
Published by Yale University Press (2007)
ISBN 10: 0300117620 ISBN 13: 9780300117622
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Yale University Press, 2007. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0300117620

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 56.17
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Douglas, Mary
Published by Yale University Press
ISBN 10: 0300117620 ISBN 13: 9780300117622
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Yale University Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0300117620 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.1012670

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 59.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Douglas, Mary
Published by Yale University Press (2007)
ISBN 10: 0300117620 ISBN 13: 9780300117622
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Yale University Press, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110300117620

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 71.45
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Mary Douglas
ISBN 10: 0300117620 ISBN 13: 9780300117622
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
BennettBooksLtd
(San Diego, CA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # S-0300117620

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 85.43
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds