By Patricia Storace
A brand new York instances impressive e-book of the Year
"Full of insights, marvelously wonderful . . . haunting and wonderfully written."
--The ny evaluation of Books
"I lived in Athens, on the intersection of a prostitute and a saint." So starts off Patricia Storace's brilliant memoir of her 12 months in Greece. blending affection with detachment, rapture with readability, this American poet completely conjures up a rustic delicately balanced among East and West.
Whether she is examining Hellenic dream books, pop songs, and cleaning soap operas, describing breathtakingly appealing seashores and archaic villages, or braving the overwhelm at a saint's tomb, Storace, winner of the Whiting Award, rewards the reader with expert and sensual insights into Greece's soul. She sees how the country's delight in its earlier coexists with profound doubts approximately its position within the smooth global. She discovers an international within which earlier and current have interaction in a passionate discussion. fashionable, humorous, and erudite, Dinner with Persephone is commute writing increased to a good art--and the easiest publication of its type because Henry Miller's The Colossus of Maroussi.
"Splendid. Storace's account of a yr in Greece combines earlier and current, legend and truth, in an strange and pleasant entire. "
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Extra info for Dinner with Persephone: Travels in Greece
Here too, myth and language are seemingly inseparable: they constitute two modalities of one and the same impulse towards symbolic expression. Myth is language, but also religion: mythology encom passes the original qualities of both speaking and believing. In the belief that provides the basis for the unity of its experience, mythology is religious thought, or at least potential religion. In mythical experience, religion is already totally present. Mythology, concomitant in language and religion, finds itself assigned a central function in theory regarding the human mind.
That was certainly true right across the world, but also and above all in so many ancient societies that appeared to have attained a high degree of civilization. Beneath the surface, the ancient Greek and the Vedic priest were obsessively linked to the 'savage' and the Iroquois. But the strategy adopted by Tylor was quite unlike that of Muller. The earliest concept of anthropology is reflected in the proposed aim, taken over from Lafitau and Fontenelle, of reveal ing the 'astonishing conformity between the fables of the Americans and those of the Greeks'.
Then, in the course of the fifth century, this semantic development, to which Anacreon's poem happens to testify, took a more precise turn in the vocabulary of Pindar and Herodotus, where the word 'myth' , still used quite sparingly, came to designate simply such discourse of 'others' as was illusory, incredible or stupid. In works such as Herodotus's Histories and Pindar's Epinicians, which seem to accommodate a large number of what we should be tempted to call 'myths' , the occurrences of the word mythos can be counted on the fingers of one hand: it appears only twice in the nine books of Herodotus's Histories (ll.