Mythology: From Ancient to Post-Modern

By Jürgen Kleist; Bruce A. Butterfield | Go to book overview
Save to active project


"The head of a man is like a labyrinth of a thousand streams of water. . . . Man's head is not a trustworthy implement, nor is it a machine about which we know, with any certainty, what it is good for or is not good for.

". . . codified (or at least established) law . . . only attends to the surface of events--that minutia which history can record--and ignores the flying body--the essence of history itself.

"The heart of a man is like a labyrinth of a thousand streams of liquor . . . ."

Camilo José Cela, "Postscript: The Head, Geometry, and the Heart," in his novel Mrs. Caldwell Speaks to Her Son, trans. J. S. Bernstein ( Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1968), pp. 195, 197, 205.

"The ultimate weaver of world mythology is a woman, and the loom is her body."

Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson ( New York: Vintage Books, 1990), p. 585.

With these statements Camilo José Cela and Camille Paglia suggest the central metaphors on which are focused the fifteen essays and one novel-fragment that follow in this collection. Although these sixteen writers--participants in an interdisciplinary symposium on mythology held at SUNY Plattsburgh in March 1991--obviously approach the topic of mythology from the vantage point of many disciplines and for many purposes, they all explicitly or implicitly play with the metaphors of the labyrinth and of the body in order to explain the workings of mythology as they see them.

Paglia's metaphor is, of course, the body itself as mythology--as the loom on which the mythmaker weaves, again and again, in constantly changing patterns and combinations, the stories that interpret, and thus create, the universe. Cela's metaphors--the head and the heart of man as labyrinths, the essence of history as a flying body--suggest the further metaphoric possibility of mythology as the flying body by which the


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Mythology: From Ancient to Post-Modern


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 226

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?