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Myth: Its Meaning & Functions in Ancient & Other Cultures

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  26 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Sather Classical Lecture
Paperback, 312 pages
Published June 8th 1973 by University of California Press (first published 1970)
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Tim Pendry
This is an academic book written in a very ponderous and somewhat arrogant style. If it has any value, it is historical, as a text that helps us to understand the state of mythological studies towards the tail end of the 1960s if that matters to you.

While Kirk can be almost snidely brutal about other academics and there is the prevailing scent of old battles of little current importance, his primary interest is in responding (favourably if cautiously) to the emergence in France of Levy-Strauss'
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Christy
Sep 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2013
Spends too much time trash talking the systems of deeper thinkers and better writers, but still makes some good points about the variety of possible origins and functions ("narrative, operative or validatory, and speculative or explanatory") of myth, its nuance, arguments for the localized social meaning of many mythic stories, but also generally a seriousness of purpose, a recurrence of themes, and a connection to a radically different concept of time than the historical/chronological.

Paul Groos
May 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
The collected opinions of G.S. Kirk
It is certainly possible to write entertaining books about the theory of myth. Kirk failed. This is a very badly written book containing very bad science. Where to begin...
First of all, the writing style is terrible. This book is a jungle, the sentences and vocabulary are vines. One needs a machete to get through. Sentences are long, convoluted and very hard to parse, even for someone fluent in English. Kirk will always use a more difficult word or expression,
...more
Adam
Apr 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Horribly written. Apparently, Kirk never started a run-on sentence he didn't like. As if that's not bad enough, he insists on adding countless parenthetical asides which further obscure any point he might have originally had.
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