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Myth : a very short introduction by Robert…

Myth : a very short introduction (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Robert Alan Segal

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Title:Myth : a very short introduction
Authors:Robert Alan Segal
Info:Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2004.
Collections:Your library

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Myth: A Very Short Introduction by Robert A. Segal (2004)



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Heard this book through, enticed by prolific name-dropping, stimulated, and finally charmed by the cinematographic apotheosis. ( )
  alik-fuchs | Apr 27, 2018 |
I found this short introduction to the major players in the study of mythology very helpful. I have dived into books by Frazer, Campbell, Bly, Eliade, and Malinowski at various times, only to find myself extremely confused and wondering what myth is. I am not the only one confused. These major figures, while falling into schools, have major disagreements with each other, not to mention huge lacunae in their own thinking which makes them confusing for someone like myself, who has a large acquaintance with the myths themselves, and is looking for big ideas to tie them together. Looks like I'll have to wait. Even Segal's own views, which he presents in the last chapter, while interesting, fails to deal with the question that is central to me, "Why these stories? Why have they been useful to us for thousands of years?" ( )
1 vote aulsmith | Nov 9, 2011 |
This is the first "Very Short Introduction" that I have found unsatisfying. It surveys a variety of 19th, 20th, and 21st c. mythologists rather than more simply _introducing_ the subject. As a survey of a field one is already familiar with, it would surely be a help, but as is seems to be too ambitious in scope to really deal with such a large number of mythologists: 33.

E.B. Tylor; J.G. Frazer; Lucien Lévy-Bruhl; Bronislaw Malinowski; Claude Lévy-Strauss; Robin Horton; Karl Popper; Paul Radin; Ernst Cassirer; Henry and H.A. Frankfort; Rudolf Bultmann; Hans Jonas; Albert Camus; Mircea Eliade [Alf Hiltebeitel's prof at Univ. of Chicago]; Wm Robertson Smith; Jane Harrison; S.H. Hooke; René Girard; Walter Burkert; Lord Raglan; Sigmund Freud; Otto Rank; Jacob Arlow; Bruno Bettelheim; Alan Dundes; C.G. Jung; Joseph Campbell; Vladimir Propp; Georges Dumézil; Louis Germet; Marcel Detienne; and D.W. Winnicott.

  kaulsu | Oct 17, 2007 |
Not a book to be read out of casual interest. That is to say, eye-crossingly dull. Do not be misled by its slender size; takes forever to get through.
  lbowman | Oct 14, 2005 |
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In memory of Skip, a beloved cat
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Let me be clear from the outset: this book is an introduction not to myths but to approaches to myth, or theories of myth, and it is limited to modern theories.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192803476, Paperback)

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, C. G. Jung, and Sigmund Freud. It focuses on different approaches to myth, from all of the major disciplines--including science, religion, philosophy, literature, and psychology. Robert Segal considers the future study of myth, and the possible function of myth in the world as the adult equivalent of play.
In order to analyze the different theories of myth, Segal focuses on the fable concerning the fate of the preternaturally beautiful Adonis. Where one 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 the weaknesses of the conjectures.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:37 -0400)

This work 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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