By David Adams Leeming
Hercules, Zeus, Thor, Gilgamesh--these are the figures that bounce to brain after we contemplate fable. yet to David Leeming, myths are greater than tales of deities and great beings from non-Christian cultures. fantasy is immediately the main specific and the main common characteristic of civilization, representing universal issues that every society voices in its personal idiom. even if an Egyptian tale of construction or the big-bang thought of recent physics, fantasy is metaphor, mirroring our private experience of ourselves on the subject of life itself.
Now, on the planet of delusion, Leeming offers a sweeping anthology of myths, starting from historical Egypt and Greece to the Polynesian islands and smooth technological know-how. We learn tales of significant floods from the traditional Babylonians, Hebrews, chinese language, and Mayans; stories of apocalypse from India, the Norse, Christianity, and smooth technological know-how; myths of the mummy goddess from local American Hopi tradition and James Lovelock's Gaia. Leeming has culled myths from Aztec, Greek, African, Australian Aboriginal, jap, Moslem, Hittite, Celtic, chinese language, and Persian cultures, delivering the most wide-ranging collections of what he calls the collective goals of humanity.
More vital, he has equipped those myths in line with a couple of topics, evaluating and contrasting how numerous societies have addressed comparable issues, or have informed comparable tales. within the part on death gods, for instance, either Odin and Jesus sacrifice themselves to resume the area, every one loss of life on a tree. Such traditions, he proposes, can have their roots in societies of the far-off previous, which might ritually sacrifice their kings to resume the tribe.
In the realm of fable, David Leeming takes us on a trip "not via a maze of falsehood yet via a marvellous global of metaphor," metaphor for "the tale of the connection among the identified and the unknown, either round us and inside us." superb, tragic, extraordinary, occasionally humorous, the myths he offers communicate of the main primary human adventure, part of what Joseph Campbell known as "the extraordinary tune of the soul's excessive adventure."
From Library Journal
In Mythology: The Voyage of the Hero (Harper, 1980), Leeming accrued over a hundred hero myths for a comparative research. In his new quantity the myths of varied varieties are divided into 4 sections: of the cosmos, of the gods, of the hero, and of areas and gadgets, in which subdivisions care for "The Trickster," "The God as Archetype," "The Tree," and so on. His creation and pre-chapter commentaries are concise and a little bit probing. This paintings doesn't and isn't intended to rival that of Joseph Campbell, however it might be necessary to normal readers or as a highschool or university introductory textual content. very good short bankruptcy bibliographies; index and illustrations no longer obvious. -Terry McMaster, Utica Coll. of Syracuse Univ. Lib., N.Y.