Download Chimera by John Barth PDF

By John Barth

In Chimera John Barth injects his signature wit into the stories of Scheherezade of the Thousand and One Nights, Perseus, the slayer of Medusa, and Bellerophon, who tamed the winged horse Pegasus. In a publication that the Washington put up known as “stylishly maned, tragically songful, and serpentinely elegant,” Barth retells those stories from various views, reading the myths’ courting to fact and their resonance with the modern global. A winner of the nationwide booklet Award, this feisty, witty, occasionally bawdy e-book provoked Playboy to remark, “There’s each likelihood on the earth that John Barth is a genius.”

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A return to oneness was seen as a desirable goal by the truly wise. The paradigmatic situation was symbolized by a sage practicing austerities in order to change the cosmic order—back to its original oneness. A belief in an original undifferentiated oneness seems to be reflected in the myth of Vishnu-Varâha and Bhûmî-devî, when it tells of their continuous love play (lîlâ), lasting for three hundred years (some versions say a thousand). This love play seems to be a re-creation of the cosmogonic moment of nondifferentiation before the separation of being and nonbeing and of male and female.

See chart on p. ) Birth and death are the normal markers for human or existential time. However, mythic time intrudes, and birth must be viewed as rebirth. For in mythic time, this birth or lifetime was preceded by the prior “causes” in the karmic 35 36 Handbook of Hindu Mythology chain that shape this birth—always answering why one was born in this caste (varna), into this marriage group (jati), with these disabilities, and so on. Since one is now human, there would have been many, many lifetimes and rebirths as animals and, prior to that, possibly as plants.

Each age was ruled over by its first human being, its Manu. And each age received the Vedas and was required to live the dharma, but eventually would go into a decline that precipitated another 17 18 Handbook of Hindu Mythology destruction and another creation. ) So, which came first: time, the cosmos, or a god who created one or both? Hindu mythology is rich in answers. Cosmology What is the nature of the cosmos? What are the various realms or regions of the cosmos? Are there separate realms for the gods and demons?

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