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Other Peoples’ Myths

The Cave of Echoes

Other People’s Myths celebrates the universal art of storytelling, and the rich diversity of stories that people live by. Drawing on Biblical parables, Greek myths, Hindu epics, and the modern mythologies of Woody Allen and soap operas, Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty encourages us to feel anew the force of myth and tradition in our lives, and in the lives of other cultures. She shows how the stories of mythology—whether of Greek gods, Chinese sages, or Polish rabbis—enable all cultures to define themselves. She raises critical questions about the way we interpret mythical stories, especially the way different cultures make use of central texts and traditions. And she offers a sophisticated way of looking at the roles myths play in all cultures.

240 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1988, 1995

With a new Preface.

Folklore and Mythology

Religion: Comparative Studies and History of Religion

Table of Contents

Preface to the 1995 Edition
Metamyth as Method
Strangers, Animals, Gods, and Children as Others
The Argument
1. Other Scholars’ Myths: The Hunter and the Sage
The Hunter and the Sage
Scholars and People
The Sage’s Myth
Fire and Ice
Academic Hardware and Religious Software
2. Other Peoples’ Lies: The Cave of Echoes
What a Myth Is and Is Not
The Cave of Archetypes
Myths and Classics
3. Other People’s Classics: Retelling the Mahabbarata
The Page and the Stage in the West
The Otherness of the Classics
Myth as Child’s Play
Fluid and Fixed Texts in the East
Impermanence and Eternity in India
4. Other People as Animals: Rudra, Lord of Sacrificial Beasts
If I Were a Horse
Humans as Sacrificial Animals
Carnivorous Hunters and Vegetarian Sages
Animals as Non-Others
5. Other Peoples’ Rituals: Daksha, Pentheus, and Jesus
Daksha and Shiva
Pentheus and Dionysus
Jesus: Myth with Ritual
6. Other Peoples’ Myths: The Place in the Woods
The Theater of Myth
Orthopraxy and Heterodoxy: Ritual without Myth
Myth without Ritual
The Shock of Recognition
The Myths about Rituals
7. Other Peoples’ Lives: The Rabbi from Cracow
The Rabbi from Cracow
Shooting at Pluralistic Ducks
The Audience inside the Story
The Recognition of Myth in Life
The Roundhouse of Myths

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