Description : This collection of eleven original essays each by a different scholar outlines the rich body of imaginative and devotional literature which has the biblical poet-warrior-king as its subject or primary focus, showing David to have as strong an imaginative appeal for Western writers as such better-known mythic heroes as Orpheus, Oedipus, Samson, and Ulysses. The introduction to the volume surveys the development of the David myth particularly in British and American literature. The essays represent a variety of critical approaches to the myth as literature, treating in detail such works as Shakespeare's Hamlet, Cowley's Davideis, Christopher Smart's A Song to David, and Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! and examining the complex uses made of David in the Midrash, Talmud, and Patristic writings; medieval sermons and Reformation devotional treatises; and American Puritan sermons.
Description : In this collection of twelve essays, the editors attempt to define the poet as prophet in Western literature and to select the general attributes of prophetic writing. The essays focus, in the main, on the prophetic tradition in the English-speaking world, as well as on a sufficient number of writers outside that tradition, to prove that all prophetic writing shares common features.
Description : One of the most important and complex characters in the Bible, King David has been the subject of innumerable portraits, both artistic and literary. Michaelangelo's magnificent sculpture of him is perhaps the single best known work of art in the world, and the story of the humble shepherd who slew Goliath and became king has assumed a powerful mythological status. But was David a real person--and if so what kind of person was he? Through a close and critical reading of biblical texts, ancient history, and recent archeological discoveries, Steven L. McKenzie concludes that David was indeed a real person. This David, however, was no hero but a usurper, adulterer, and murderer--a Middle Eastern despot of a familiar type. McKenzie shows that the story of humble beginnings is utterly misleading: "shepherd" is a metaphor for "king," and David came from a wealthy, upper-class background. Similarly, McKenzie reveals how David's ascent to power, traditionally attributed to popularity and divine blessing, in fact resulted from a campaign of terror and assassination. While instituting a full-blown Middle Eastern monarchy, David was an aggressive leader, a devious politician, and a ruthless war chief. Throughout his scandalous reign, important figures who stood in his way died at convenient times, under questionable circumstances. Even his own sons were not spared. David's story, writes McKenzie, "reads like a modern soap opera, with plenty of sex, violence, and struggles for power." Carefully researched and vividly written, King David: An Unauthorized Biography offers a provocative reappraisal of the life of one of the Bible's most compelling figures.
Description : The exciting field of biblical archaeology has revolutionized our understanding of the Bible -- and no one has done more to popularise this vast store of knowledge than Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman, who revealed what we now know about when and why the Bible was first written in The Bible Unearthed. Now, with David and Solomon, they do nothing less than help us to understand the sacred kings and founding fathers of western civilization. David and his son Solomon are famous in the Bible for their warrior prowess, legendary loves, wisdom, poetry, conquests, and ambitious building programmes. Yet thanks to archaeology's astonishing finds, we now know that most of these stories are myths. Finkelstein and Silberman show us that the historical David was a bandit leader in a tiny back-water called Jerusalem, and how -- through wars, conquests and epic tragedies like the exile of the Jews in the centuries before Christ and the later Roman conquest -- David and his successor were reshaped into mighty kings and even messiahs, symbols of hope to Jews and Christians alike in times of strife and despair and models for the great kings of Europe. A landmark work of research and lucid scholarship by two brilliant luminaries, David and Solomon recasts the very genesis of western history in a whole new light.
Description : This collection of thirty-four major essays devoted to the theories, methods, and problems of myth criticism offers a convenient and substantial introduction to one of the most distinctive trends in contemporary literary study. The essays (many of them previously uncollected) are arranged to lead from general considerations to analyses of specific authors. The four Part I selections constitute an informal survey of the views of myth and ritual taken by disciplines other than literature. In Part II the first six essays relate the concept of myth and ritual to general literary theory, while the final three evaluate the uses of myth in critical theory and practice. The twenty-one Part III essays, which apply myth criticism to individual literary works or authors, afford a representative sampling of the mythopoeic patterns discerned in literature from Home to Faulkner. Among the contributors are: David Bidney, Gäza R¢heim, Joseph Campbell, Clyde Kluckhohn, Stanley Hyman, Philip Wheelwright, Richard Chase, Harold Watts, Northrop Frye, Andrew Lytle, Philip Rahv, Francis Fergusson, Marvin Magalaner, John Lydenberg, and Harry Slochower.
Description : Despite protestations to the contrary, myth criticism did not die with modernism: witness the more than 1000 illuminating sources in this reference book culled from thousands more published in the post-modernist era between 1970 and 1990. Seven authors, each a specialist in a literary period, have selected and carefully annotated recent critical works, some proceeding from traditional pyschological or anthropological stances and others taking new directions. The opening chapter surveys work done on the mythic or archetypal approach in general; the second chapter covers materials on myth in classical literature; and the following chapters correspond to periods in British and American literature. Included are general studies, studies of particular authors, and a subject index.
Description : A collection of essays demonstrating that both biblical literature and many of the writers of later eras who used biblical themes were guided by more complex and subtle understanding of female identity and reality than the patriarchal traditions that formed the cultural context in which the biblical texts were first compiled and read. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Description : From the stories suggested by the great cave paintings of the Paleolithic period to the thought experiments of modern scientists, From Olympus to Camelot provides a sweeping history of the development of the rich and varied European mythological tradition. David Leeming, an authority on world mythology, begins with a general introduction to mythology and mythological terms, and then turns to the stories themselves. Discussing well-known figures such as Zeus, Aphrodite, Thor, and Cuchulainn, and less familiar ones such as Perun, Mari, and the Sorcerer of Lescaux, Leeming illustrates and analyzes the enduring human endeavor to make sense of existence through deities and heroes. Following an initial exploration of the Indo-European sources of European mythology and the connections between the myths of Europe and those of India and Iran, the book proceeds to survey the major beliefs of Greek, Roman, Celtic, Germanic, Baltic, and Slavic cultures, as well as the mythologies of non-Indo-European cultures such as the Etruscans and the Finns. Among its contents are introductions to the pantheons of various mythologies, examinations of major mythological works, and retellings of the influential mythical stories. This work also examines European deities, creation myths, and heroes in the context of Christian belief, and considers the translation of traditional stories into the mythologies of modern European political, scientific, philosophical, and economic movements. European mythology is the core mythology of Western civilization. This wide-ranging volume offers a lively and informative survey, along with a provocative new way of understanding this fundamental aspect of European culture.