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Author Topic: Jane Harrison: Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion  (Read 3829 times)
semperfemme
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« Topic Start: October 23, 2008, 02:15:09 pm »



I've skimmed this title before and finally purchased my own copy; has anyone else read this text or any other of Jane Harrison's works?

Going into the text, what can I expect? Is this going to be something along the line of Frazer- where I am more or less learning how Greek culture was thought of during her era or will I find useful information that can translate into my overall understanding and perhaps help me in the reconstruction my own personal practices?

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« Reply #1: October 23, 2008, 02:58:54 pm »


I've skimmed this title before and finally purchased my own copy; has anyone else read this text or any other of Jane Harrison's works?

Going into the text, what can I expect? Is this going to be something along the line of Frazer- where I am more or less learning how Greek culture was thought of during her era or will I find useful information that can translate into my overall understanding and perhaps help me in the reconstruction my own personal practices?



IIRC, Caroline has had some input on this one in the past. Not sure if I can forward a link to her or not. I'll see if I can't find her address. Catja and Sasha may have some thoughts, too, come to think of it.
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Caroline
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« Reply #2: October 23, 2008, 11:00:19 pm »


I've skimmed this title before and finally purchased my own copy; has anyone else read this text or any other of Jane Harrison's works?


IMO, anyone reading Burkert and Kereyni should be reading Harrison as well - while some parts of her work are now dated it is still valuable overall. Her interpretation of myth and art was rooted in archeological discoveries and this approach was ground-breaking at the time. I wouldn't recommend this as a beginner's text - it's most useful and illuminating to someone who already has a decent grounding in the material. (And I would certainly suggest it be read before 'Themis'.) Some have called it 'the Greek Golden Bough' but I *really* hate that nomiker - the Golden Bough is a poetic work, and Harrison's work, while interpretive and lovely to read, is not.
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semperfemme
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« Reply #3: October 24, 2008, 01:06:45 am »

IMO, anyone reading Burkert and Kereyni should be reading Harrison as well - while some parts of her work are now dated it is still valuable overall. Her interpretation of myth and art was rooted in archeological discoveries and this approach was ground-breaking at the time. I wouldn't recommend this as a beginner's text - it's most useful and illuminating to someone who already has a decent grounding in the material. (And I would certainly suggest it be read before 'Themis'.) Some have called it 'the Greek Golden Bough' but I *really* hate that nomiker - the Golden Bough is a poetic work, and Harrison's work, while interpretive and lovely to read, is not.


Thanks Caroline! I've been enjoying the read so far- and I look forward to buying "Themis" as well, as soon as I finish the pile of "books to read" I have on my dresser.

And thank you for the heads up Lyric Fox. Much appreciated.
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« Reply #4: October 24, 2008, 09:20:31 am »


Thanks Caroline! I've been enjoying the read so far- and I look forward to buying "Themis" as well, as soon as I finish the pile of "books to read" I have on my dresser.

And thank you for the heads up Lyric Fox. Much appreciated.

You're very welcome. Smiley I'm just glad Caroline saw this one.
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« Reply #5: October 24, 2008, 11:38:33 am »

You're very welcome. Smiley I'm just glad Caroline saw this one.

Heh. I'm on vacation, but our timeshare has wifi now, so I've actually been online a fair bit more than usual this week.


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« Reply #6: October 24, 2008, 11:42:13 am »

Thanks Caroline! I've been enjoying the read so far- and I look forward to buying "Themis" as well, as soon as I finish the pile of "books to read" I have on my dresser.

You're welcome. I'm quite fond of Harrison these days - perhaps its my present interest in early forms of ritual, but I find her dissections fascinating.

And I hear you about 'to read' piles. I have several lovely books I been trying to get to all summer.
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« Reply #7: October 24, 2008, 12:26:36 pm »

Heh. I'm on vacation, but our timeshare has wifi now, so I've actually been online a fair bit more than usual this week.

Good deal. Smiley

Isn't your vacation late this year? For some reason I was thinking you guys usually took off earlier in the fall.
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« Reply #8: October 24, 2008, 07:21:19 pm »

Good deal. Smiley

Isn't your vacation late this year? For some reason I was thinking you guys usually took off earlier in the fall.

Nope, same week as usual, right after Thanksgiving (Canadian, of course!) Though we often have something big happening around Labour Day, so you might be thinking of that.

We start the drive back tomorrow. Woe. But Tamarack... hehehe.
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« Reply #9: October 24, 2008, 08:53:45 pm »

Nope, same week as usual, right after Thanksgiving (Canadian, of course!) Though we often have something big happening around Labour Day, so you might be thinking of that.

We start the drive back tomorrow. Woe. But Tamarack... hehehe.

Maybe that's it. Randall and I were both thinking this for some reason, so maybe that's it.
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« Reply #10: October 25, 2008, 03:23:38 pm »

IMO, anyone reading Burkert and Kereyni should be reading Harrison as well - while some parts of her work are now dated it is still valuable overall. Her interpretation of myth and art was rooted in archeological discoveries and this approach was ground-breaking at the time. I wouldn't recommend this as a beginner's text - it's most useful and illuminating to someone who already has a decent grounding in the material. (And I would certainly suggest it be read before 'Themis'.) Some have called it 'the Greek Golden Bough' but I *really* hate that nomiker - the Golden Bough is a poetic work, and Harrison's work, while interpretive and lovely to read, is not.

I agree with your assessment of Harrison, but I think you might be conflating The Golden Bough with Graves's The White Goddess:  GB is not a poetic work, but the GB-influenced White Goddess certainly is.  Frazer was no poet, nor was he trying to be.  Smiley
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« Reply #11: October 26, 2008, 01:31:38 am »

I agree with your assessment of Harrison, but I think you might be conflating The Golden Bough with Graves's The White Goddess:  GB is not a poetic work, but the GB-influenced White Goddess certainly is.  Frazer was no poet, nor was he trying to be.  Smiley


Gah. You're right, of course. Too much sun! I'd meant refer to TWG. Thanks for the catch!
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