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The Wisdom of the Myths: How Greek Mythology Can Change Your Life Paperback – 30 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (30 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062215450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062215451
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 170,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

“In this marvelously wise and expansive book, Luc Ferry argues for the primacy of Greek myth. ... Ferry writes with warmth, wit, and energy; one could call his prose conversational, but it’s rare to have a conversation quite this wonderful.” (Boston Globe)

“With Luc Ferry as a guide, our passage through the storied landscape of Greek mythology becomes a captivating lesson in philosophy.” (Le Monde (France))

“Ferry’s charm as a teacher bursts through on every page.” (Wall Street Journal)

“A marvelously wise and expansive book. ... Ferry writes with warmth, wit, and energy; one could call his prose conversational, but it’s rare to have a conversation quite this wonderful.” (Boston Globe)

About the Author

Luc Ferry is a philosopher and the author of the national bestseller A Brief History of Thought. From 2002 to 2004 he served as France's minister of national education. He has been awarded the Prix Médicis, Prix Jean-Jacques-Rousseau, and Prix Aujourd'hui, in addition to being an officer of the French Legion of Honor and a knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. He lives in Paris.


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Dunbar on 17 Mar 2014
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So often, the Ancient Greek myths are re-told to give a timeless spin to some modern event or other. The beauty of Ferry's book is that it presents the myths as a metaphysical unity - the struggle of maintaining the cosmos against the ever-present threat of chaos and the tendency of man to be an agent of that chaos. As such, the myths take on new life and meaning because their context is restored. What used to be (for me) a lot of picturesque individual stories now have the cohesive power of a philosophy of life. Ferry has caused me to re-think many of my assumptions - particularly around the meaning of Apollo's exhortation to 'Know Thyself' and 'Nothing to Excess' - and to see hubris as the enemy of the 'good life'. The adventures of Odysseus could serve as a metaphor for our individual life journey, if only we are awake enough to realise it. Not sure if the Greek Myths have changed my life yet - that may be an overblown claim - but for sure Ferry's book gives plenty of food for thought about how I might go about it.
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As someone who never learnt the classics at school, this is an introduction like no other. Luc Ferry digs deeper into the philosophy of the Greek myths and so his interpretations are very different to those I've read before; he doesn't relate them to modern theories of mind but rather the philosophy of the time. Ferry doesn't go into too much detail on the myths themselves so you may need a companion book if you're unsure of the stories.
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Amazing, the author gives a somewhat new approach of the myths as the real foundation of Greek philosophy and offers an explanation to the main problems of real life of humankind, its aspirations, desires, fears,love and death and, in a whole, the reconquest of lost harmony
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If you are knowledgeable about mythology, there is going to be nothing new here. Those with only a little knowledge may find it an interesting introduction into how mythology works. It's not just fairy tales for the ignorant but worked as an imaginative world created by those who wished to make sense of their world without any scientific knowledge to explain it.
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This book has made think of the world and our lives in a very different way.Before reading this book mythology and philosophy were unknown to me.A very well written explanation of the ancient myths and their relevance to modern life.
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