Myth: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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en Limba Engleză Paperback – 08 Jul 2004
This book is not about myths, but about approaches to myth, from all of the major disciplines, including science, religion, philosophy, literature, and psychology. The fate of the preternaturally beautiful Adonis is one of the main fables upon which Segal focuses, in an attempt to analyse the various different theories of myth. Where the theory does not work, he substitutes another myth, showing that, for all their claims to all-inclusiveness, certain theories, infact, only apply to specific kinds of myths. A uniform set of questions is provided, to elucidate both the strengths and the weaknesses of the conjectures. A survey of the past 300 years of theorizing on myth, this book takes into account the work of such prominent thinkers as Albert Camus, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Roland Barthes, C. G. Jung, and Sigmund Freud. Finally, Segal considers the future study of myth, and the possible function of myth in the world as the adult equivalent of play. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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ISBN-13: 9780192803474
ISBN-10: 0192803476
Pagini: 176
Ilustrații: numerous halftones
Dimensiuni: 112 x 175 x 10 mm
Greutate: 0.15 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP Oxford
Seria Very Short Introductions

Locul publicării: Oxford, United Kingdom


The book provides a clear and insightful introduction to all the central theorists of myth...Robert Segal achieves a great deal in this short 150 page introduction to myth. It is a concise without being simplistic; intricate without being confusing; playful without being contrite - a must have on any student's (or indeed teacher's!) bookcase.
It isn't often that you find a book that gives you a brief, intelligible way into an entire field of study, but in Myth: A Very Short Introduction, Robert A. Segal does it in style. As a reader, especially a student reader, you walk away feeling enlightened from the power dosage of knowledge.
The book will prove a very valuable guide for anybody setting foot in this minefield of contradictory theorising.
Segal constructs a concise, accessible, and comprehensive survey... this small format volume, just the right size to fit conveniently into a pocket, is clearly written and engaging. Recommended for both classrooms and pockets.
What he achieves is part handy field guide, part playbook of holds for wrestling with this protean phenomenon, surprising for its exhaustiveness in impossibly tight quarters.
Segal's writing is entirely lucid

Notă biografică

Robert Segal lectures in the Department of Religious Studies, at Lancaster University, specialising in theories of myth, theories of religion, and gnosticism. He is the author of The Poimandres as Myth, Religion and the Social Sciences, Explaining and Interpreting Religion, Joseph Campbell, and Theorising about Myth (forthcoming). He has also edited numerous books, including The Gnostic Jung, The Allure ofGnosticism, The Myth and Ritual Theory, and Hero Myth Reader (forthcoming). He has also written the introduction to In Quest of the Hero.


Volume I
Introduction by Robert Segal
Part 1: Surveys of Theories of Myth
1. Richard M. Dorson, ‘Theories of Myth and the Folklorist’, Daedalus 88 (1959): 280ߝ90.
2. Percy S. Cohen, ‘Theories of Myth’, Man, N.S., 4 (1969): 337ߝ53.
3. Alan Dundes, ‘The Psychoanalytic Study of Folklore’, Annals of Scholarship 3 (1985): 1ߝ42.
4. Jaan Puhvel, ‘The Study of Myth’, Comparative Mythology (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987), pp. 1ߝ20.
5. Robert A. Oden, Jr., ‘Myth and Mythology’, in David Noel Freedman (ed.), Anchor Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), vol. 4, pp. 946ߝ56.
Part 2: Myth and History
6. Lord Raglan, ‘The Hero of Tradition’, Folklore 45 (1934): 212ߝ31.
7. Peter Heehs, ‘Myth, History, and Theory’, History and Theory 33 (1994): 1ߝ19.
8. A. E. Wardman, ‘Myth in Greek Historiography’, Historia 9 (1960): 403ߝ13.
9. Geo Widengren, ‘Myth and History in Israelite-Jewish Thought’, in Stanley Diamond (ed.), Culture in History: Essays in Honor of Paul Radin (New York: Columbia University Press, 1960), pp. 467ߝ95.
Part 3: Myth and Nationalism
10. George Schöpflin, ‘The Functions of Myth and a Taxonomy of Myths’, in Geoffrey Hosking and George Schöpflin (eds.), Myths and Nationhood (London: Hurst, 1997), pp. 19ߝ36.
11. Jay W. Baird, ‘The Myth of Langemarck’, in To Die for Germany (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990), pp. 1ߝ12.
12. Richard T. Hughes, Myths America Lives By (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004) pp. 19ߝ44.
Part 4: Myth and Ideology
13. Ernst Cassirer, ‘Judaism and the Modern Political Myths’, Contemporary Jewish Record 7 (1944): 115ߝ26.
14. Ben Halpern, ‘"Myth" and "Ideology" in Modern Usage’, History and Theory 1 (1961): 129ߝ49.
15. Christopher G. Flood, Political Myth: A Theoretical Introduction (New York and London: Routledge, 2002), pp. 41ߝ4, 275ߝ6.
Part 5: Myth and Psychology
16. Sigmund Freud, ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, trans. James Strachey et al. (London: Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1953), vol. 4, pp. 260ߝ3.
17. Robert Eisner, The Road to Daulis: Psychoanalysis, Psychology, and Classical Mythology (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1987), pp. 9ߝ26.
18. Otto Rank, The Myth of the Birth of the Hero, trans. F. Robbins and Smith Ely Jelliffe (New York: Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease Publishing Company, 1914), pp. 61ߝ83.
19. Weston La Barre, ‘Folklore and Psychology’, Journal of American Folklore 61 (1948): 382ߝ90.
20. Alan Dundes, ‘The Flood as Male Myth of Creation’, Journal of Psychoanalytic Anthropology 9 (1986): 359ߝ72.
21. Jacob A. Arlow, ‘Ego Psychology and the Study of Mythology’, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 9 (1961): 371ߝ93.
22. Erich Fromm, ‘The Oedipus Myth’, Scientific American 180 (1949): 22ߝ7.
23. C. G. Jung, ‘The Psychology of the Child Archetype’, in Sir Herbert Read et al. (eds.), The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, 2nd edn., trans. R. F. C. Hull et al. (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1959), vol. 9, part 1, pp. 151ߝ81.
24. Joseph Campbell, ‘The Hero and the God’, in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, 2nd edn. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1968) pp. 30ߝ40.
25. Carlos C. Drake, ‘Jung and His Critics’, Journal of American Folklore 80 (1967): 321ߝ33.
26. David L. Miller, ‘An Exploded Cultural Sphere: The Death of God and the Rebirth of the Gods’, The New Polytheism, 2nd edn. (Dallas: Spring Publications, 1981), pp. 23ߝ35.
Volume II
Part 1: Myth and Ritual
27. William Robertson Smith, ‘Lecture I: Introduction: The Subject and the Method of Enquiry’, Lectures on the Religion of the Semites. First Series: The Fundamental Institutions (Edinburgh: Black, 1889), pp. 1ߝ28.
28. James George Frazer, ‘The Myth of Adonis’, Adonis Attis Osiris: Studies in the History of Oriental Religion (vol. 5 of The Golden Bough, 3rd edn.) (London: Macmillan, 1914), pp. 3ߝ12.
29. Jane Ellen Harrison, ‘Introduction’, in Themis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1912), pp. xiߝxxv.
30. S. H. Hooke, ‘The Myth and Ritual Pattern of the Ancient East’, in S. H. Hooke (ed.), Myth and Ritual (London: Oxford University Press, 1933), pp. 1ߝ14.
31. Stanley Edgar Hyman, ‘The Ritual View of Myth and the Mythic’, Journal of American Folklore 68 (1955): 462ߝ72.
32. William Bascom, ‘The Myth-Ritual Theory’, Journal of American Folklore 70 (1957): 103ߝ14.
33. René Girard, ‘What Is a Myth?’, in The Scapegoat, trans. Yvonne Freccero (London: Athlone Press, 1986), pp. 24ߝ34.
34. Walter Burkert, Homo Necans, tr. Peter Bing (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), pp. 29ߝ34.
Part 2: Myth and Literature
35. Jane Ellen Harrison, ‘Ritual, Art, and Life’, Ancient Art and Ritual (London: Williams and Norgate, 1913), pp. 204ߝ29.
36. Gilbert Murray, ‘Hamlet and Orestes: A Study in Traditional Types’, Proceedings of the British Academy 6 (113ߝ14): 389ߝ412.
37. Jesse L. Weston, From Ritual to Romance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1920) pp. 52ߝ64.
38. Northrop Frye, ‘The Archetypes of Literature’, Kenyon Review 13 (1951): 92ߝ110.
39. Herbert Weisinger, ‘The Myth and Ritual Approach to Shakespearean Tragedy’, Centennial Review 1 (1957): 142ߝ66.
40. Richard Chase, ‘Myth as Literature’, in English Institute Essays 1947 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1948), pp. 3ߝ22.
41. Ian Watt, ‘Robinson Crusoe as a Myth’, Essays in Criticism 1 (1951): 95ߝ119.
42. Philip Rahv, ‘The Myth and the Powerhouse’, Partisan Review 20 (1953): 635ߝ48.
43. Daniel Russell Brown, ‘A Look at Archetypal Criticism’, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 28 (1970): 465ߝ72.
44. Denis Donohue, ‘Yeats, Eliot, and the Mythical Method’, Sewannee Review 105 (1997): 206ߝ26.
Volume III
Part 1: Myth and Anthropology / Structuralism
45. [Friedrich] Max Müller, ‘On the Philosophy of Mythology’, Contemporary Review 19 (1871ߝ2): 97ߝ119.
46. Andrew Lang, ‘Mythology’, in Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th edn., vol. 17 (Edinburgh: Black, 1884), pp. 135ߝ58.
47. Richard M. Dorson, ‘The Eclipse of Solar Mythology’, Journal of American Folklore 68 (1955): 393ߝ416.
48. Franz Boas, ‘The Growth of Indian Mythologies’, Journal of American Folklore 9 (1896): 1ߝ11.
49. Bronislaw Malinowski, ‘Myth in Primitive Psychology’, in Magic, Science and Religion and Other Essays (Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, 1948), pp. 93ߝ148.
50. Claude Lévi-Strauss, ‘The Structural Study of Myth’, Journal of American Folklore 68 (1955): 428ߝ44.
51. K. R. Walters, ‘Another Showdown at the Cleft Way: An Inquiry into Classicists’ Criticism of Lévi-Strauss’ Myth Analysis’, Classical World 77 (1984): 337ߝ51.
52. Georges Dumézil, ‘The Archaic Triad: The Documents’ and ‘Interpretation: The Three Functions’, Archaic Roman Religion, tr. Philip Krapp (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970), pp. 141ߝ7.
53. C. Scott Littleton, ‘The Comparative Indo-European Mythology of Georges Dumézil’, Journal of the Folklore Institute 1 (1964): 147ߝ66.
54. Roland Barthes, ‘Myth Today’, in Mythologies, trans. Annette Lavers (New York: Hill and Wang, 1972), pp. 109ߝ37.
55. Michael Moriarty, ‘Myths’, Roland Barthes (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991), pp. 19ߝ30, 212ߝ14.
Part 2: Myth and Philosophy
56. Lucien Lévy-Bruhl, ‘The Transition to the Higher Mental Types’, How Natives Think, tr. Lilian A. Clare (New York: Washington Square Press, 1966), pp. 323ߝ47.
57. E. E. Evans-Pritchard, ‘Lévy-Bruhl’s Theory of Primitive Mentality’, University of Egypt Bulletin of the Faculty of Arts 2 (May 1934): 1ߝ36.
58. Paul Radin, ‘Psychological Types: The Man of Action and the Thinker’ in The World of Primitive Man (New York: Abelard-Schuman, 1953), pp. 37ߝ67.
59. Ernst Cassirer, ‘The Mythical Consciousness of the Object’, The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, vol. II (‘Mythical Thought’), tr. Ralph Manheim (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1955), pp. 29ߝ59.
60. Donald Verene, ‘Cassirer’s View of Myth and Symbol’, Monist 50 (1966): 553ߝ64.
61. Rudolf Bultmann, ‘New Testament and Mythology’, in Hans-Werner Bartsch (ed.), Kerygma and Myth, vol. I (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1953), pp. 1ߝ44.
62. R. F. Aldwinckle, ‘Myth and Symbol in Contemporary Philosophy and Theology: The Limits of Demythologizing’, Journal of Religion 34 (1954): 267ߝ79.
63. Albert Camus, ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays, tr. Justin O’Brien (New York: Vintage Books, 1960), pp. 88ߝ91.
64. Paul Ricoeur, ‘The Symbolic Function of Myths’, The Symbolism of Evil, tr. Emerson Buchanan (Boston: Beacon Press, 1969), pp. 161ߝ74.
65. Cristiano Grottanelli, ‘Nietzsche and Myth’, History of Religions 37 (1997): 3ߝ20.
Volume IV
Part 1: Myth and Religion
66. Raffaele Pettazzoni, ‘The Truth of Myth’, Essays on the History of Religions, Supplements to Numen, vol. I (Leiden: Brill, 1954), pp. 11ߝ23.
67. Mircea Eliade, ‘The Prestige of the Cosmogonic Myth’, Diogenes, 23 (1958): 1ߝ13.
68. H. and H. A. Frankfort, ‘Myth and Reality’, The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man: An Essay on Speculative Thought in the Ancient Near East (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1946), pp. 3ߝ27.
69. Theodor H. Gaster, ‘Mythic Thought in the Ancient Near East’, Journal of the History of Ideas 16 (1955): 422ߝ6.
70. John L. McKenzie, ‘Myth and the Old Testament’, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 21 (1959): 265ߝ82.
71. C. K. Barrett, ‘Myth and the New Testament: The Greek Word MUTHOS’, Expository Times 68 (1957): 345ߝ8.
Part 2: Myth and Science / Science in Myth
72. Edward Burnett Tylor, ‘Mythology’, Primitive Culture, 5th edn. (London: John Murray, 1913), pp. 273ߝ315.
73. Karl R. Popper, ‘Towards a Rational Theory of Tradition’, Conjectures and Refutations, 2nd edn. (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1965), pp. 120ߝ35.
74. Samuel Noah Kramer, ‘Myths of Origins’, Sumerian Mythology, revised edn. (New York: Harper and Row, 1961), pp. 30ߝ75.
75. Thorkild Jacobsen, ‘Sumerian Mythology: A Review Article’, Journal of Near Eastern Studies 5 (1946): 128ߝ52.
76. Giorgio De Santillana, ‘Prologue’, The Origins of Scientific Thought (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961).
77. Mott T. Greene, ‘Hesiod’s Volcanoes I. Titans and Typhoeus’, Natural Knowledge in Preclassical Antiquity (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), pp. 46ߝ72.
78. William Ryan, and Walter Pitman, ‘Other Myths’, Noah’s Flood (London: Simon and Schuster, 1999), pp. 250ߝ66.