The Universe, the Gods, and Men: Ancient Greek Myth.
Vernant xii). Thus, The Universe, the Gods, and Men: Ancient Greek Myths Told by Jean-Pierre Vernant, was born
I chose this to be my first mythology book of the year because I thought it would be enjoyable. I fell in love with Jean-Pierre Vernant's writing when I read his essay "Feminine Figures of Death" (JSTOR) my freshman year in college. The essay distinguishes between thanatos (θάνατος) (the clean, quick, masculine death) and ker (κήρ)(the disgusting, destructive, feminine death). Anyway, I enjoyed his writing and decided to read his retelling of the mythology.
Vernant has a distinctly Herodotean style. He tells the story in a meandering fashion and vaguely chronological order. He discusses each of the myths, indicating when there were alternative versions of the stories, and sometimes providing brief glimpses of analysis. Overall, the book is very charming and I recommend it as a very quick and enjoyable read .
- Mythite was the term my archaeology teacher in high school called the students who were interested in mythology and joined a mythology club for a short period of time. Tyring to clean my room, I found some of the old notes from this class and it seemed that back then I had a greater mythological background than I do now, but even then I did not have significant training in the obscure that is required for poetry such as that of Propertius.
- I almost think it would be a good set of stories for children, although Vernant mostly employs euphemism, there is a lot of sexual content in the stories. On the other hand, this is the nature of Greek mythology.