Stock Image

The road to Delphi : the life and afterlife of oracles / Michael Wood

Wood, Michael (1936- )

44 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0701165464 / ISBN 13: 9780701165468
Published by London : Chatto & Windus, 2004
Used Hardcover
From MW Books Ltd (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since July 12, 2005

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 23.14 Convert Currency
Shipping: Free Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

Fine cloth copy in a near-fine, very slightly edge-nicked and dust-dulled dw, now mylar-sleeved. Light yellowing to page margins. Remains particularly and surprisingly well-preserved overall; tight, bright, clean and strong. Minor library marks remain. Provenance: From the library of L. P. Coomer with his bookplate to front pastedown. ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 271 pages; Physical description: 271p. ; 25cm. Summary: 'The Road to Delphi' offers a sympathetic and entertaining account of humanity's persistent belief in 'signs'. Beginning with the oracles of ancient Greece, Michael Wood traces the evolution of the 'culture of the oracle' in literature and in popular culture. Subjects: Oracles in literature -- Divination -- History. 271 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 213546

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: The road to Delphi : the life and afterlife ...

Publisher: London : Chatto & Windus

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: First British Edition.

About this title


In this fascinating and highly original book Michael Wood combines vivid story-telling and acutely perceptive analysis to give a sympathetic and entertaining account of humanity's persistent belief in 'signs'. He begins with the oracles of ancient Greece, explaining how people consulted them when they had to make crucial choices. Yet the key point was that the oracles spoke in riddles and gave ambiguous answers - it was up to humans to interpret what they said. Like horoscopes today, this allowed the hearers to fit the message to what they wanted, and sometimes, as in the disastrous tale of the Persian general Xerxes, or in the great drama of Oedipus and the riddle of the Sphinx, - and much later in Shakespeare's tale of Macbeth and the witches' prophesy - the listeners have got things horribly wrong. Michael Wood does not only look at Europe - he considers oracles in the old civilisations of the East, and particularly in pre-Hispanic America. He also explores modern examples, like the puzzles in the Kafka's fiction. And he brings the story up into our own lives, examining oracles in the film The Matrix and looking at the way we 'interpret' authorities we don't quite understand - as in the doctor's consulting room - or avidly puzzle out the meaning of astrology columns of the press. Lively, engaging and revealing, full of warmth and humanity as well as scholarship, The Road to Delphi is a book that sticks in the mind. It is remarkable both for the stories it tells, and the way it makes us think again about our dangerous longing to trust in signs - just as long as we have that tiny bit of freedom to twist them to promise what we hope for.

About the Author:

Michael Wood taught for many years at Exeter University, before moving to become Professor of English at Princeton. He is well known here for his witty and brilliant reviews of modern fiction and film in the London Review of Books. His own books include a study of Nabokov, The Magician's Doubts, and the essays Children of Silence (both in Pimlico). (His daughter, Gaby Wood, is now also a well known journalist at writer)

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

Store Description

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

MW Books Limited. Registered at 70A Renmore Road, Galway, Ireland. Email; Tel; +353.91.768981. Authorized representative; Jim
Shaughnessy. US Returns to; 364 Degraw St. Brooklyn, NY 11231. Company
registration; 382786. Vat; IE 6402786L.
Immediate, same-day dispatch on all pre-paid orders. All books securely
packaged. Condition is guaranteed with all items shipped fully on approval.
If a
book is heavy, over-weight, or requires a supplement to the ABE standard

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 1 business day from our Irish or US locations.
costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your order is heavy or
oversized, we may contact you through ABE's 'Request Extra Shipping' facility
let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express