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Download Mythography: The Study of Myths and Rituals epub

by William G. Doty

Download Mythography: The Study of Myths and Rituals epub
ISBN: 0817302697
ISBN13: 978-0817302696
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Mythology & Folk Tales
Author: William G. Doty
Language: English
Publisher: Univ of Alabama Pr; First Edition edition (June 1, 1986)
Pages: 345 pages
ePUB size: 1142 kb
FB2 size: 1645 kb
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 240
Other Formats: mbr azw lit mobi

I got this for a Mythologies of the World class, and it is so dreadfully boring. It's not about myths and rituals themselves, but about the STUDY of them. I got it used and can see why it was in such good condition -- I don't see how anyone could get through it. The various mythologies that developed all over the world are fascinating, but this book did nothing to help me distinguish them.
If you want to understand what 'myth' is about you need a starting point: this is William Doty's 'Mythography'. Put boldly and simply there is none of the kind. What makes this book unique, is not only the toolkit provided for reading 'myth', but the relatively detailed and clear presentation of the different schools of thought and thinkers that have been concerned with understanding what 'myth' is about. This is exactly what the title 'Mythography' suggests: an outline of conceptualisations of 'myth'. As an outline though it is not just a list: it brings into perspective the historical development of the notion of 'myth' itself. But where William Doty has particularly succeeded is to take us further than the mere historical listing of notions of 'myth': he takes us across the disciplines. He goes beyond those traditionally concerned with 'myth' (i.e. religious studies, anthropology, depth psychology) in those we never imagined would be concerned with such controversial a notion (i.e. linguistics, literary studies, cultural studies, arts, science), since for better or for worse, to use Edgar Morin, the notion of 'myth' is found everywhere.
William Doty's Mythography: The Study of Myths and Rituals is an interesting analysis from the standpoint of content. It draws extensively on various traditions, particularly the Jungan tradition of interpreting myths as universal. Regretably, the author's attempt to make the book accessible to a non-academic public impedes readability and sacrifices clarity. The book is peppered with references to popular culture and intrusive biographical detail about the author. Rather than situating the material in an ostensibly more easilly understood milieu, the references frequently seem spurious, not particularly closely connected to the point being made or illuminating of it. The first chapter, entitled Myth Around the Clock, for example, claims to examine the universal and timeless nature of myth, the "long term nature of things mythical", but the musical reference overtly refers to a radical break in musical tradition. Dangerous generalisations are made, based not upon any heterogenous trend than anecdotal evidence (e.g. the authour's claim that "the Tanach now begins" with a progressive reference to the gods...) Certain frames of reference, such as the "ReadMe" file at the introduction of the text, are so disconnected from the content as to be glaringly irrelevant. Despite the fact that it is published under the auspices of a University press, I would not recomend the book for serious work on Mythography, because of the intensive filtering and interpretive process required to get at the content, which is in itself not poorly thought out. Within a more casual context, however, the book may be enjoyable.
This work is indispensable as perhaps the only comprehensive and encyclopedic overview of the analytical study of myth and ritual. Every significant theoretical perspective is covered in depth and placed within a systematic context. I found the author's philosophic and discursive approach valuable as he provides both a broad conceptual framework and the specific tools and resources necessary for deeper investigation and study. The personalized style-- at times lighthearted, wry, or ironic-- leavens the deep insights and consistent scholarly substance of this updated edition.
elegant stranger
I have to agree with the reviewer who find this book appalling. Mr. Doty seems to belong to the let it all hang out school of scholarship-don't deliver reasoned opinions, but any opinion as long as it is your own. This is not a scholarly book-for all of Doty's exhaustive knowledge-but a book of strange opinions spiced with Doty's all intrusive liberal opinions on current politics. This book is shameful, but probably accurately reflects the state of contemporary scholarship in out baby-boomer, narcissistic universities.