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Introduction to Mythology: Contemporary Approaches to Classical and World Myths introduces students to a wide range of myths from various critical perspectives. Featuring original texts from sources around the world, it includes readings from Greek and Roman classics (by Homer, Hesiod, Ovid, and other writers); Nordic mythology (by Snorri Sturluson); Hindu culture (The Ramayana); and from such ancient works as The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Bible. Selections from Native-American sources and fairy tales and stories from Africa, Germany, and the United States are also included. In addition, authors Eva Thury and Margaret Devinney draw comparisons between classical myths and such contemporary cultural phenomena as The X Files, Star Trek, and Mother Goose. They also incorporate readings by Carl Jung, Levi-Strauss, Victor Turner, and other scholars who consider mythic material from different analytical perspectives. Finally, works by Milton, Keats, Updike, and Joyce are presented as examples of modern literary texts with mythological roots. The selections are organized into seven topical sections: myths of creation and destruction; hero and trickster myths; ritual and myth; myths and dreams; folktale and myth; modern American myths; and myths and literature.
Introduction to Mythology: Contemporary Approaches to Classical and World Myths employs an innovative pedagogical structure to help students unravel the complex web of literary allusions often found in mythological texts. Extensive marginal notes provide cross-references and explanations of terms and culture-specific concepts, while a glossary of deities, suggested readings for each chapter, and more than 200 illustrations, photographs, and maps further enhance the volume. Ideal for courses in classical and world mythology, this text can also be used in world culture, world literature, and comparative religion courses. An Instructor's Manual and a Student's Website featuring chapter objectives and summaries, key terms, study questions, self-tests, and off-site links of interest will accompany the book.