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Introduction to Mythology


 

Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009)

 

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French Structuralist Anthropologist and Ethnologist

 

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Research Focus - Pre-Literate Cultures of South America

 

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His Main Assertion: "Myth Is Language"

 

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Role of Language in Myth Is Different than in Ordinary Communication

 

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Language of Myth Is More Complex than Other Linguistic Expressions

 

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Meaning of Myth is Greater Than Just the Sum of Its Parts

 

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Elements of Myth ("Mythemes") Function as "Bundles of Relations"

 

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Myths Consist of:

1) Mythemes that Oppose or Contradict Each Other and

2) Mythemes that Reconcile these Oppositions

 

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Principal Book: La Pensée sauvage (1962)

 


Home Myths Legends Folktales Fairytales Fables Oral Transmission Textual Transmission Storytellers Plato Euhemerus Max Müller E. B. Tylor James Frazer Sigmund Freud G. I. Gurdjieff Giorgio de Santillana Carl Jung Evans-Wentz Joseph Campbell Marija Gimbutas Vladimir Propp Claude Lévi-Strauss Walter Burkert Bronze Age Persia and India Ancient Europe Africa and Australia Native American Modern Myths