Books

Myth (1997 and 2009)

Beginning with a reading of the Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now, and branching out from there to include discussions of most of the key writers of the Anglo-American tradition, this book proceeds to demonstrate the mythic basis of literature and culture; in doing so it puts forward a new way of thinking about how myths function and evolve, which the author calls ‘radical typology’.

The second, fully revised edition (2009) includes an extra chapter, ‘Earth’, which significantly expands the original argument.

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The Green Studies Reader: From Romanticism to Ecocriticism (2000)

A pioneering anthology of writings on the connection between ecology and literature, and between nature and culture, this book demonstrates that there is a vital ‘green’ tradition to be drawn upon in this age of planetary crisis and offers a corrective to the all-too-common notion in literary and cultural studies that ‘there is no such thing as nature’.

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Kenneth Burke on Myth (2005)

The first study of Burke’s work on mythology, this book explains the relevance of his ideas on society as ‘ritual drama’, on ‘victimage’ and the sacrificial process, and above all on the link between mythology and ecology.

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Marina Warner (2006)

The first study of this contemporary novelist and cultural historian, this book explains the structure and symbolism of her fiction, and demonstrates the connection between her various reflections on such topics as female representation, fairy tales and horror, and above all on myth and history.

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Beat Sound, Beat Vision: The Beat Spirit and Popular Song (2007)

The first ever exploration of the influence of the Beat movement (notably Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder, but also the philosopher Alan Watts) on the songwriters of the 1960s (including Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Leonard Cohen and others), this book opens up new possibilities for the interpretation of literature and popular song alike.

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Kenneth Burke: From Myth to Ecology (2013)

This is a revised version of Kenneth Burke on Myth. Being published in paperback, it is much more affordable than the original, which was only ever available as an expensive hardback. The change in title is intended to draw attention to the ‘green’ dimension of Burke‚Äôs thinking: this was fully dealt with in the first version, but not obvious from the title.

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