Mythical Trickster Figures: Contours, Contexts, and Criticisms

Mythical Trickster Figures: Contours, Contexts, and Criticisms by William J. Hynes

English | Jan 30, 1997 | ISBN: 0817308571 | 279 Pages | PDF | 29,6 MB

A collection of essays about mythical trickster figures, ranging from the Coyote of America to African, Japanese, Greek and Christian figures, plus examples found in contemporary American fiction and drama. The work examines how cultural values are challenged and enforced by these comic creations.

Hynes, Doty, and the other authors in this collection do a pretty good job of negotiating a path through postmodern jargon in order to get to something to say. I especially like the distinction made (and blurred) between the trickster and the shaman--that while both trickster and shaman function as (un)reality instructors within a given group, each can address quite different fields of understanding. In an attempt not to present a unified monomyth but to address issues of divergence as well as commonality, the book's chapters cover a wide geographical and historical range: Native America to Africa, classical to contemporary lore. Well worth reading, this collection implies (as I believe its editors intend) a wealth of possibilities for future study.


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