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The Greek myths are recognized as universal stories without equal. Here, Cambridge classicist Nigel Spivey presents them for precocious youth as the spellbinders they are.
Said Spivey, "I intended to write this book for my young children -- with due regard for their delicate sensibilities. They, however, grew up more quickly than I wrote. So, I accepted the violence and sensuality of the myths and make little effort to purify them."
In bold, easily understood prose, he tells of Demeter and Persephone, of Prometheus' creation of humankind, of Jason and the Argonauts, of the wrath of Achilles and the travels of Odysseus, of Oedipus’s crime and Orpheus’s excursion into the Underworld. In his hands, these stories are revealed anew as outsize tales of love and strife, of secret compacts and open rivalries, and of the overwhelming power of Eros.
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Nigel Spivey is the author of The Ancient Olympics: A History, among other books. A professor of classics at Cambridge, Spivey, born in 1958, will be the host of a forthcoming public-television documentary about the origins of art and how it defines us as human.
Psychological realism infuses Greek myths as reimagined by Cambridge classicist Spivey. Thus Herakles sounds as if he were confessing to a therapist when he explains his bravery: "It's an act, isn't it? The power of make-believe. The odd thing is... promise you won't laugh... I used to get fired up by believing that my opponent was some maniac—yes, a maniac—coming after my wife and children." Spivey's heroes, as a result, are emotionally accessible but divested of their frightening grandeur. Their adventures still make for rollicking good tales, of course, and Spivey is at his best when clipping his diction and telling it straight; neatly closing one story with Odysseus overcoming his reluctance to go to war, Spivey writes: "Odysseus shrugged. His forebodings told him otherwise. His armor was rusting on hooks in an outhouse. Yet he went to fetch it." Spivey's language is sometimes pleasingly epigrammatic: Eros is "zero's opposite." But too often he dresses up classical myths in togas of pop psychology. After Pandora's box is opened, for instance, we are told Prometheus and his brother "knew their world would never be the same." The Greek myths are formidable, but apparently they do have an Achilles heel: clichéd English makes them go limp. (June)
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Book Description Blackstone Audio Inc., 2006. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0786143649
Book Description Blackstone Audio Inc., 2006. Audio Cassette. Condition: New. Unabridged. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0786143649n