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Title: Dialectics of Myth
Author: Losev, Aleksei Fedorovich
Publisher: Routledge/Taylor & Francis; Publication Date: 2003
Hardcover; ISBN: 9780415284677
Volumes: 1; Pages: 320
List Price in Hardcover: $135.00 Our price: $135.00
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Alexei Fedorovich Losev (1893-1988) was among the greatest Russian philosophers, thinkers and classicists of the twentieth century. A contemporary of Mikhail Bakhtin, and a scholar of astonishing erudition with a love of the ancient world, his work remained almost unknown to the public until the fall of communism in 1990. The Dialectics of Myth, published here for the first time in the English language, remains his foremost achievement. Setting out a provocative and spiritually informed account of the way that myth informs secular and religious ideologies, it challenges limited interpretations of myths as mere poetic allegories, primitive scientific constructs, or channels for religious dogma and political fabrication. Insisting upon the miraculous elements of myth, the book creates a powerful and readable defence for mythic experience as a genuine part of consciousness, reality and being.
The Dialectics of Myth is possibly the last book of non-Marxist philosophy to have been published in Russia prior to the onset of Stalinism. It was suppressed during Stalin's regime, and its editions confiscated and destroyed, whilst its implicit attack on the authorisation Russian state resulted in Losev's arrest in 1930 and his confinement for three years in a forced labour camp. Following his release, Losev was never again permitted to write on spiritual or political themes: The Dialectics of Myth thus remains his final work as well as his masterpiece. It stands today as a timeless classic of inestimable importance for scholars of religion, philosophy, literature, psychology and politics. This special Routledge edition, based upon the definitive Russian text, includes a full introduction, glossary, chronology and notes.
Table of Contents
Chapter I Myth is neither invention nor fiction nor fantastic fabrication.
Chapter II Myth is not ideal being.
Chapter III Myth is not a scientific nor, more specifically, a primitive scientific construct
Chapter IV Myth is not a metaphysical construction
Chapter V Myth is neither schema nor allegory
Chapter VI Myth is not a poetic work
Chapter VII Myth is a personalistic form
Chapter VIII Myth is not an especially religious construction
Chapter IX Myth is not religious dogma
Chapter X Myth is not an historical event as such
Chapter XI Myth is miraculous
Chapter XII A review of all dialectical elements of myth from the standpoint of the concept of miracle
Chapter XIII The final dialectical formula.
Chapter XIV The transition to actual mythology and the idea of absolute mythology