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Splitting the Difference : Gender and Myth in Ancient Greece and India - Wendy Doniger

Splitting the Difference

Gender and Myth in Ancient Greece and India

Paperback Published: 1st January 1999
ISBN: 9780226156415
Number Of Pages: 344

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Hindu and Greek mythologies teem with stories of women and men who are doubled, who double themselves, who are seduced by gods doubling as mortals, whose bodies are split or divided. In "Splitting the Difference, " the renowned scholar of mythology Wendy Doniger recounts and compares a vast range of these tales from ancient Greece and India, with occasional recourse to more recent "double features" from "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" to "Face/Off."
Myth, Doniger argues, responds to the complexities of the human condition by multiplying or splitting its characters into unequal parts, and these sloughed and cloven selves animate mythology's prodigious plots of sexuality and mortality. Doniger's comparisons show that ultimately differences in gender are more significant than differences in culture; Greek and Indian stories of doubled women resemble each other more than they do tales of doubled men in the same culture. In casting Hindu and Greek mythologies as shadows of each other, Doniger shows that culture is sometimes but the shadow of gender.

Prelude: Comparing Texts Comparing People
The Shadow Sita and the Phantom HelenSita 9
Helen 28
Interlude: Saranyu and the Sun and the Shadow
Comparison: Sita and Helen
Conclusion: Abuse and Flight
Indra and Ahalya, Zeus and AlemenaIndra as Guatama with Ahalya
Zeus as Amphitryon with Alcmena
Interlude: Pandora
Comparison: Ahalya and Alcmena
Conclusion: Did She Fall, or Was She Pushed?
Nala and Damayanti, Odysseus and PenelopeSukanya and the Ashvins
Nala and Damayanti
Damayanti and Nala
Comparison: Damayanti and Penelope
Interlude: How to Tell a Human from a God
Conclusion: Why Prefer a Human to a God?
Renuka and Scylla
Interlude: Splitting Lucy
Comparison: Heads You Lose
Conclusion: Put a Bag over Her Head
Transposed Male Heads and TalesTransposed Male Heads
Splitting Male Androgynes
Interlude: Self-Impregnating Androgynes
Comparison: Victorians and Others
Conclusion: Mind and Body (and Soul)
Bisexual TransformationsMales into Females in India
Females into Males in India
Males into Females in Greece and Europe
Conclusion: Male and/or FemalePostlude: The Shadow of Gender
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226156415
ISBN-10: 0226156419
Series: Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion, 1996-1997 : School of Oriental and African Studies University of London
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 344
Published: 1st January 1999
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.5 x 15.0  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.52
Edition Number: 2