By Stephen Belcher
Collecting a variety of conventional African myths, this compelling new assortment bargains stories of heroes scuffling with robust serpents and significant birds, brutal family members clash and vengeance, and determined migrations throughout tremendous and alien lands. From impassioned descriptions of animal-creators to dramatic tales of groups compelled to escape substantial crocodiles, all of the narratives chanced on right here predicament origins - no matter if of the universe, peoples or households. jointly, they bring about a kaleidoscopic photograph of the wealthy and sundry oral traditions that experience formed the tradition and society of successive generations of Africans for millions of years, in the course of the lengthy fight to outlive and discover this huge and environmentally various continent.
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Extra info for African Myths of Origin (Penguin Classics)
23) constitute ideology, male ideology at that, not historical testimonial (Dowden 1997). That is not to say, however, that these myths cannot speak to our own times: Euripides’ Trojan Women can tell us through the power of myth about Iraq or Afghanistan; Amazons can speak archetypally to those concerned with women’s proper place in twenty-first century society – the fact the myth did not mean that to ancient Greeks does not imply that it is illegitimate in a different society to hear a different voice; and issues of race and the relative role of cultures supreme in European education compared with the worlds that Europe has exploited are worth new consideration provided we do not lose our critical instincts.
First is the use of myth as an allusive poetic shorthand, making it possible to communicate and evoke a great deal in very few words; this role of myth is increasingly important as the classical literary tradition travels and mutates from Greece to Rome and beyond. Second is the role of myth as a rhetorically powerful virtual world, like and yet unlike reality, and highly charged (with authority, glamour, beauty, and emotive force), in such a way that intense effects may be achieving by linking the two.
West (2007: 15, quoting Calvert Watkins)). For discussion of myth in earlier Greek lyric see, for example, Nagy (2007) and chapters in Parts One and Two of Budelmann (2009). 7. Myth, and Homeric myth in particular, was clearly an important ingredient in the works of the early comic playwright Epicharmos (active in the Syracuse in Sicily in the early fifth century BC), who wrote plays with titles like Odysseus the Deserter, Kyklops, and Sirens, as well as a Prometheus or Pyrrha. Sadly, only meagre fragments of his works survive.
African Myths of Origin (Penguin Classics) by Stephen Belcher