MYTH (London & New York: Routledge, 1997 and 2009)

My first book, Myth has been a best-seller in academic terms. It has influenced several other books, the authors of whom have kindly acknowledged my influence. It offers an overview of the theory of myth, as well as an exploration of the way myth has developed and adapted over the centuries.

However, I began to have doubts about the reception of the book when I came across citations which suggested that my theory of myth was being read as endorsing the idea that everything is culture and there is no such thing as nature (ie, ‘nature’ is just a word).

I had argued that all thinkers inevitably subscribe to some sort of mythic narrative (the more so if they deny that myth has meaning anymore, since they are thus espousing ‘the myth of mythlessness’).

This had been read by some as meaning that there is no reality which myths talk about. But to me it had always been assumed that, eg, fertility myth did ultimately refer to the life of the earth: the seasonal cycle, the growth of vegetation, etc.

The second edition of the book, which appeared at the beginning of 2009, makes the link between mythology and ecology quite clear.

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