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The World Of Myth.

Leeming, David Adams.

308 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0195074750 / ISBN 13: 9780195074758
Published by Oxford University Press, New York/Oxford/London, 1990
Used Condition: Very Good Soft cover
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362 pages. Softcover. Very good condition. MYTHOLOGY. Provides a sweeping anthology of myths. There are fascinating stories of great floods from the ancient Babylonians, Hebrews, Chinese, and Mayans; tales of apocalypse from India, the Norse, Christianity, and modern science; myths of the mother goddess from Native American Hopi culture and James Lovelocks' Gaia. Leeming has culled myths from Aztec to Persian cultures, offering one of the most wide-ranging collections of what he calls "the collective dream of humanity." Includes an Index. "A particularly fine one-volume work that not only draws from a wide variety of sources, but also puts them in a comparative context. . . . Modern myths, such as the idea of Earth as Gaia, intermingle resonantly with their ancient counterparts. It's not just Zeus anymore, as this most useful volume makes abundantly clear." - Booklist (Key Words: David Adams Leeming, Mythology, Zeus, Theseus, Tricksters, Persephone, Osiris, King Arthur, Mount Olympus, Jesus, Isis, Gaia, Femme Fatale, Dionysos, Buddha, Christian Myths, Attis, Afterlife). Bookseller Inventory # 68492X1

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The World Of Myth.

Publisher: Oxford University Press, New York/Oxford/London

Publication Date: 1990

Binding: Softcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Edition: Seventh Printing..

Book Type: book

About this title

Synopsis:

Hercules, Zeus, Thor, Gilgamesh--these are the figures that leap to mind when we think of myth. But to David Leeming, myths are more than stories of deities and fantastic beings from non-Christian cultures. Myth is at once the most particular and the most universal feature of civilization, representing common concerns that each society voices in its own idiom. Whether an Egyptian story of creation or the big-bang theory of modern physics, myth is metaphor, mirroring our deepest sense of ourselves in relation to existence itself.

Now, in The World of Myth, Leeming provides a sweeping anthology of myths, ranging from ancient Egypt and Greece to the Polynesian islands and modern science. We read stories of great floods from the ancient Babylonians, Hebrews, Chinese, and Mayans; tales of apocalypse from India, the Norse, Christianity, and modern science; myths of the mother goddess from Native American Hopi culture and James Lovelock's Gaia. Leeming has culled myths from Aztec, Greek, African, Australian Aboriginal, Japanese, Moslem, Hittite, Celtic, Chinese, and Persian cultures, offering one of the most wide-ranging collections of what he calls the collective dreams of humanity.

More important, he has organized these myths according to a number of themes, comparing and contrasting how various societies have addressed similar concerns, or have told similar stories. In the section on dying gods, for example, both Odin and Jesus sacrifice themselves to renew the world, each dying on a tree. Such traditions, he proposes, may have their roots in societies of the distant past, which would ritually sacrifice their kings to renew the tribe.

In The World of Myth, David Leeming takes us on a journey "not through a maze of falsehood but through a marvellous world of metaphor," metaphor for "the story of the relationship between the known and the unknown, both around us and within us." Fantastic, tragic, bizarre, sometimes funny, the myths he presents speak of the most fundamental human experience, a part of what Joseph Campbell called "the wonderful song of the soul's high adventure."

About the Author:


David Adams Leeming is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, and is the author of several books on myth and literature.

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