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Wisdom of the Mythtellers Paperback – 30 Oct 1998

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"A rare and wonderful introduction to mythic thought, Wisdom of the Mythtellers marks an advance in relating this profound human activity to our entire relationship with the earth and the world we live in." - Robert Lawlor, author of Voices of the First Day: Awakening in the Aboriginal Dream Time

"Loren Eiseley once speculated that there must be a small, simple, child-sized hole in the metaphysical hedge we all walk along in life—an entrance into the awesome mindscape of the Spirit of the Earth. He was convinced a child would spot it easily—and spent the rest of his life in search of it. Sean Kane, I believe, has found it." - Calvin Luther Martin, Rutgers University

"In the full sense of the word this is a courteous book. It is passionately thoughtful and passionately caring—a wise book and a courageous one. Anybody who cares about our fate in an age of information should read it." - Gordon Teskey, Cornell University

From the Back Cover

Mythtelling: the ideas and emotions of the Earth expressed through stories--stories distilled from millennia of treading warily in nature, rather than undertaking to rearrange her furniture. Wisdom of the Mythtellers uncovers four kinds of ancestral dream-mapping: Native Australian, Native American, Celtic, and Greek.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9952bcf8) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9952dec4) out of 5 stars One of the best books on mythtelling ever 18 Jan. 2007
By Marek Oziewicz - Published on
Format: Paperback
Kane's perspective of mythtelling as a human dialogue with nature seems an idea so obvious that at least some in long line of scholars who dealt with myth before him must have hit upon it. Not quite so. Though this connection between what we would now call environmental awareness and the stories a culture tells itself has been bandied about in earlier works, The Wisdom of The Mythtellers is unique in making this gentle, unassuming and deeply ecological angle its central point. Simple things often can have a flash of genius about them.

Kane's idea, perhaps his most important one and definitely most appealing to me, is that "myths which evolve in sympathy with nature are different from myths which compete with it" (22). His argument for that claim has a clearly modern, even postmodern feel to it. Kane is sensitive not only to the ecological consciousness as expressed in myths but also to the uniqueness of specific mythic traditions. Without imposing any uniformity on the myths he examines, Kane gives us their unique flavor. He also deals with the danger myth may pose to modern humans--what in the Conclusion he calls "the lure of ancient meaning". At the same time he asserts that mythtelling has gone on and will go on as long as humans will interact with their environment. In this sense I find his ideas about "the wisdom of the mythtellers" particularly relevant to our modern civilization, increasingly oriented (at least theoretically) toward practices of living with the earth on the earth's terms. In the course of this process, Kane says, we are discovering the respect for nature demonstrated by archaic humanity. If so, we may, perhaps, learn something from them. A humble and profound work. Highly recommended!
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99b9f45c) out of 5 stars A unique, powerful and gentle book 17 Jun. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Wisdom of the Mythtellers is one of the few books that changed the way I view the world and my place in it -- for the better.
This is an exploration of the myths and cultures of living hunter/gatherer societies. It is not a rehash of the mythology you learned in ninth grade English class.
Sean Kane supports his assertions with ample evidence from many cultures, living and ancient, and presents them with poetic grace and gentle humor.
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