Stock Image

The Mythology of Transgression: Homosexuality As Metaphor

Highwater, Jamake

21 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0195101804 / ISBN 13: 9780195101805
Published by Oxford Univ Pr, New York, 1997
Used Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Works on Paper (DeKalb, IL, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since October 1, 2003

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 6.75 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 3.99 Within U.S.A. Destination, rates & speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

A very good copy of the first hard cover edition (full number line ending with 1) in a like (not price-clipped) dust-jacket. Previous owner's modest embossed bookplate to front free endpaper.The text is wholly unmarked, pristine, and the binding and jacket are bright and fresh in appearance. A sharp copy. Bookseller Inventory # 014678

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Mythology of Transgression: ...

Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr, New York

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: First Edition

About this title


Jamake Highwater is a master storyteller and one of our most visionary writers, hailed as "an eloquent bard, whose words are fire and glory" (Studs Terkel) and "a writer of exceptional vision and power" (Anaïs Nin). Author of more than thirty volumes of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, Highwater--considered by many to be the intellectual heir of Joseph Campbell--has long been intrigued by how our mythological legacies have served as a foundation of modern civilization. Now, in The Mythology of Transgression, he uses his remarkable narrative powers to offer a personal and extraordinarily far-ranging examination of how people who stand outside of society--by dint of their sexual orientation, physical appearance, ideas, artistic inclinations, or ethnic heritage--often achieve lasting, even profound influence upon the culture at large.
Drawing from a stunningly rich variety of sources ranging from the arts and literature to biology, physics, psychology, and anthropology, Highwater looks at his own outsider status--as a gay man, an artist, and an orphaned Native American--in an attempt to explore how mythologies from ancient times to the present have shaped the ways we think about social "abnormality" and alienation. Throughout, he points to a paradox at the center of Western values--the competing notions that the outsider is at once sinful and wise, that in everyday life the transgressor is ostracized, while in our most durable folklore and religious legends, heroes must break the rules to achieve greatness. Focusing in particular on homosexuality as a modern metaphor of transgression, Highwater brilliantly mixes personal anecdotes with wide ranging research, leading us on a tour through the history of social conformity and rejection, citing examples that span from Judeo-Christian-Islamic doctrines of good and evil, to the Navajo Nation's ambivalence toward the nature of sexuality, to Carson McCullers's treatment of physical deformity in the novella Member of the Wedding, to Descartes's theories of dualism. He also pays special attention to the debates currently raging in science regarding the biology of homosexuality and provides an engaging discussion of why we are motivated to seek a genetic basis of sexual orientation in the first place.
Jamake Highwater has long been celebrated as a writer uniquely suited to give voice to the social outsider. Often provocative, always fascinating, The Mythology of Transgression is a tour de force of eloquent scholarship, a book that will prompt discussion and debate on the subject for years to come.


Jamake Highwater is a world-renowned mythologist and anthropologist who has focused primarily on the history and meaning of Native American art and lore. The Mythology of Transgression illuminates how the cultural history of male homosexuality is also the history of social transgression. Using myth, science, religion, literature, and popular culture, Highwater explicates how homosexual behavior and identity challenge much of how our world is ordered. Filled with startling and sometimes brilliant insights, The Mythology of Transgression is joyfully iconoclastic and shockingly relevant.

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

Store Description

In order to keep our prices as low as possible we currently conduct business only online.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

All items are offered subject to prior sale. We accept checks (drawn on U.S. banks) and money orders (in U.S. funds); payment via PayPal; and credit card payment via the ABE Commerce options offered by (Note: ABE processes all credit card payment via its secure servers). All shipments to residents of the state of Illinois (U.S.A.) are subject to a 8% sales tax on the book price only. All items are may be returned within 14 days days for a full refund of the book price for any reason...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Check Money Order PayPal