The Universal Myths * Alexander Eliot (1976 myths / 1990 meridian * isbn 0452010276)

There were mainly two reasons for me to buy this book, first “with contributions by Joseph Campbell and Mircea Eliade” and the price of $ 11,70. The Universal Myths is a book with mythology of all over the world and given by theme. This brings magnificent similarities between myths as far apart as far Eastern with “Amerindian” or Babylonian with Northern. Very nice indeed! What is less nice, is that you get but one page (or even less) of a myth so in the end the curtain-fire of shallow information becomes a bit tiring. The promised: “its detail is overwhelming” of the quote on the cover is not made true in my opinion. More even, if regards the mythology that I know best, being the Northern European, I even have to conclude that the writer mixes things up, gives half stories and adds elements that spring from his own imagination. This definately makes a warning about the other stories, so I would say “be a bit carefull”. Also I fail to find the contributions of Campbell and Eliade, I only see three Eliade quotes.The book is very nice because it easily compares a wide variety of myths, but I would use it only as a starting point, to get some hints to inspire further information. <14/5/07><2>

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