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What the Bee Knows: Reflections on Myth, Symbol, and Story (Codhill Press) Paperback – 31 Aug 2010
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About the Author
Born in 1899, P. L. Travers is perhaps best known as the author of the Mary Poppins books, but she also wrote extensively on myth and story. She served as a consulting editor for Parabola Magazine from its inception until her death in 1996.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Turns out Travers edited the philosophical magazine "Parabola" for many years, and this book is a collection of her contributions and editorials. There is tremendous depth here, as well as great writing. Each chapter is fortunately short - they are so rich it's like a box of chocolate truffles - eat one and it's heaven - eat more and it's too much. "Fear not the heat of the sun..."
Side note: I am a huge fan of the book, The Shamanic Way of the Bee, so when I read that about 60% of The Shamanic Way of the Bee was plagiarized from the "What the Bee Knows", I really wanted to see for myself and if true, read those ideas & stories in their original form.
What I found out was that yes, a large portion of The Shamanic Way was plagiarized and that the original by P.L. Travers, What the Bee Knows, is an absolutely gorgeous book and Travers is a wonderful thinker.
But after reading both, I also came to the conclusion that these are two very different books by two honestly talented writers. I hate to say that about someone who obviously plagiarized most of his material, but what Simon Buxton did with what he stole- and he stole a lot, there is no way this guy isn't getting sued at some point- but what he did with it, as awful as it is to say this, is actually quite good.
If you are a fan of The Shamanic Way of the Bee, read this book right away. It shows, sadly, that without a doubt, Buxton's book is mostly, if not all, fiction and that most of the words of the bee masters- which were so beautiful and profound- came from Travers' amazing lyrical brain and not Buxton's.
Travers has the ability to combine an absolutely astounding amount of information on myths and folktales from all over the world into insightful and fascinating text. Throughout weaves the story of her own life, told in snatches, reminding the reader again and again how story reflects aspects of our own lives. "Only Connect", the phrase borrowed from E.M. Forster by Travers, sums up the underlying purpose which motivates every essay.
This book continually draws me back for the wisdom and inspiration it offers. I love it because it makes me stop and think.