Responses to MYTH, 2nd fully revised edition (2009)

In her review for the International Journal of Jungian Studies, Susan Rowland writes:

I have been recommending this excellent book, Myth, by Laurence Coupe to colleagues, students, scholars and friends ever since the arrival of the first edition in the late 1990s. Now in a revised, even better edition, with the inestimable benefit of a far stronger section on Jung, Myth deserves even wider appreciation. …

Also, as this new edition offers us, we see the extraordinary and vital growth of myth in response to environmental apocalypse. Coupe illustrates this in the example of James Lovelock’s environmental science known as ‘Gaia’. Lovelock readily adopted the ancient Greek myth of Gaia as Mother Earth who both nurtured and destroyed her children. His theory posited the Earth as a self regulating system capable of ridding itself of a dangerously invasive species such as human beings. Such an idea brings Coupe’s radical typology into the heart of one of our most urgent debates. …

In his review in Green Letters Tom Bristow writes:

You may wish to fasten your seatbelt when you open Coupe’s revised edition of the Critical Idiom on myth but it is unnecessary for this thoroughly engaging enquiry into the mechanics of myth and the methodological and ideological implications of mythology is not only wise and clear but highly accessible. Coupe’s two-part text aims to cast light upon the mythopoeic imagination by means of a critical examination of: (a) what it means to read myth – a form of practical criticism; and (b) what constitutes mythic reading – how the interpretation of myth can lend itself to the making of myths.

In the final analyis, Coupe’s text contributes to an understanding of the dialectic between wonder and wisdom, the interface between theology and ecology, and how experiencing beings constitute their world. Most interestingly, it demonstrates the incredible potential presented by open interdisciplinary thought that mobilizes distinct studies … without abstraction into loose meditations on consciousness and its place in nature.

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