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The Time Falling Bodies Take To Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture
In this book, William Irwin Thompson explores the nature of myth. Acknowledging the persuasive power of myth to create and inform culture, he weaves the human ability to create life with and communicate through symbols with myths based on male and female forms of power.
Paperback, Second Edition, 280 pages
Published April 15th 1996 by St. Martin's Griffin
(first published 1980)
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(showing 1-30 of 271)
Oh my. This was my lightbulb book. I don't remember much except the notion- new to me ajt the time - that male archeologists saw those tiny stick figure men on the cave wall as lords of all they surveyed for a reason, but not reasonably. Seems so obvious now, but for me it was like having a science fiction story happen inside me: an idea went viral in my brain & nothing was the same. Well, no, everything on the outside was the same as it ever was, but I had never seen it.
I don't know why I ...more
I don't know why I ...more
Occasionally frustrating mixture of speculative spirituality and solid paleoanthropology taking as its starting point the idea that myth is an ever-present body of story constantly informing culture. There's a certain quantum mechanical view of the entangled observer in this that's rather appealing, but Thompson has axes to grind with sociobiology. He never once mentions Stephen Jay Gould, however, and cites E.O. Wilson before that scholar adapted his consilience view of human cooperation and pr ...more
Thompson's poetic language and depth of insight are inspiring and illuminating. His scholarship is profound, yet he doesn't profess, his learning dances across the page and dazzles the mind. Drawing from a wide array of disciplines, he comments on the origins of human culture and the major cultural transformations that have defined humankind as expressed in the great early myths of Inanna, Gilgamesh, and Osiris. The first few chapters are a bit slow-going, but they lay the foundation for the jui ...more
An eccentric mythological interpretation of human history, dealing with meaning and interpretation rather than history and facts. Some of the author's views tend to stick in my mind, particularly about the relation of the sexes. He argues against the "just so stories" of evolutionary psychologists that are still quite fashionable, pointing out that they are myths parading as facts or history, and not very good myths at that. In places he comes off as a bit of a sexist, even though he does conced ...more