A Very Short Introduction

Book - 2004
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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 thevarious 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, in fact, only apply to specific kinds of myths. A uniform set of questions is provided, to elucidate both the strengths and theweaknesses 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 Levi-Strauss, Roland Barthes, C. G. Jung, and Sigmund Freud. Finally, Segal considers the future study of myth, and the possible function of myth in theworld as the adult equivalent of play.
Publisher: Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2004.
ISBN: 9780192803474
Branch Call Number: 398.2 S454
Characteristics: 163 p. : ill. ; 18 cm.


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Aug 21, 2010

Segal sets out not so much to define what myth is as to trace out what others have said of it. This results in a capable survey of the field of mythology, but one is a bit disappointed that a bolder claim was not made.

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