The transformation of human beings to animals, plants, and stones is one of the commonest and most characteristic themes of Greek mythology; whereas many cultures contain some such stories, in none are they so popular as in the Greek myths.Transformations are also some of the most mysterious and fantastic episodes in Greek mythology. Given the intriguing nature of the subject-matter, it is surprising that no study of these stories has ever appeared in English. But this book is unusual in its approach. Studies of Greek myths have usually tended to try to explain them away in terms of some external entity, whether it be some hypothetical ritual, some curious phenomenum of nature or some long-forgotten historical event. The book argues that this attitude ignores what is of most interest about Greek myths - their appeal as stories. The author analyses the various ways in which these stories imagine and explore what it means for a person to change his or her form.
`refreshing ... Trumpeting an elegant raspberry at structuralists, and refusing to look for a Deeply significant Single Meaning to myth.'
`evidently rich and productive in interesting interpretations`
`F-I's selections and juxtapositions offer valuable insights into the fascinating complexities of thee myths`. Bryn Mawr Classical Review. `excellent book ... he has succeeded splendidly in reconstructing the unwritten set of rules or motivations which enabled the poets, story-tellers and mythographers of the Graeco-Roman world to turn out variants of old tales' R.L. Gordon, Norwich, Classical Review, 1991 'the kind of book which improves on second reading though a first reading by itself will quickly reveal a wealth of material collected by Forbes Irving'& P. Walcot, Greece and Rome, October 1993
Series: Oxford Classical Monographs
Number Of Pages: 344
Published: 30th July 1992
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.34 x 14.22 x 2.29
Weight (kg): 0.49