Karl Kerényi





Karl Kerényi


Born
in Temesvár, Hungary
January 19, 1897

Died
April 14, 1973

Genre


Károly (Carl, Karl) Kerényi was one of the founders of modern studies in Greek Mythology.

Karl Kerenyi is also published under the names Carl Kerenyi and Károly Kerényi.

Average rating: 4.17 · 970 ratings · 51 reviews · 39 distinct works · Similar authors
The Gods of the Greeks

4.10 avg rating — 351 ratings — published 1951 — 3 editions
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Dionysos: Archetypal Image ...

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4.43 avg rating — 95 ratings — published 1976 — 9 editions
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Eleusis: Archetypal Image o...

4.32 avg rating — 69 ratings — published 1960 — 8 editions
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Hermes: Guide of Souls

4.29 avg rating — 56 ratings — published 1944 — 6 editions
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The Heroes of the Greeks

4.04 avg rating — 47 ratings — published 1958 — 4 editions
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Prometheus: Archetypal Imag...

4.30 avg rating — 30 ratings — published 1959 — 4 editions
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Athene: Virgin and Mother i...

4.39 avg rating — 23 ratings — published 1978 — 2 editions
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Gli dèi e gli eroi della Gr...

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4.63 avg rating — 19 ratings — published 1958 — 3 editions
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Goddesses of Sun and Moon: ...

3.87 avg rating — 15 ratings — published 1979
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Apollo: The Wind, the Spiri...

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4.18 avg rating — 11 ratings — published 1937
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More books by Karl Kerényi…
“Kerényi was as aware as anybody today of the territorial limits of Greek myths and of the non-importability of Hermes. He writes: “In his ‘such-ness,’ he is an historical fact that cannot, by strict and honest historical means, be reduced to something else: neither to a concept, to a ‘power,’ nor to a ‘spirit’ – a gravestone or signpost spirit – not even to an idea that would not contain in a nutshell everything that Hermes’ ‘such-ness’ constitutes.” …

Working more in Hermes’ own sleight of hand way, Kerényi is soon saying things like this: “If a god is ‘idea’ and ‘world,’ he remains nonetheless in connection with the world that contains all such ‘worlds’; he can only be an ‘aspect of the world,’ while the world of which he is an aspect possesses such idea-aspects.” Now, if you will let Kerényi get away with a statement like that – and I hope you will – you will end up owning the Brooklyn Bridge. … Kerényi’s Hermes is the only one that is going to rob you or enrich you, enlighten you or screw you. …

“Guide of Souls” is the usual translation given to the Hermes-epithet “Psychopompos” and it refers to his role as the god who leads souls into the underworld when they die. But πομπóς (still present in every French funeral store’s “Pompes funèbres” description of itself) is more than guide, and even more than guide to the underworld. It means to lead, but Hermes as leader is not quite right either. It means something more like to lead on. Hermes is the god who “leads you on.” … This means he is deceiving you, taking advantage of your gullibility, “taking you for a ride.” That, however, is how Hermes works, and how he gets your soul to move anywhere, how he gets you to budge even a hair off whatever you’re in … .

… Go ahead and buy the Brooklyn Bridge from this man. Be had. Be incorrect. Be foolish. You pay with your soul for this kind of reading. And Hermes does not take plastic.”
Karl Kerényi, Hermes: Guide of Souls

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