The ancient Athenians were "quarrelsome as friends, treacherous as neighbors, brutal as masters, faithless as servants, shallow as lovers--all of which was in part redeemed by their intelligence and creativity." Thus writes Philip Slater in this classic work on narcissism and family relationships in fifth-century Athenian society. Exploring a rich corpus of Greek mythologyThe ancient Athenians were "quarrelsome as friends, treacherous as neighbors, brutal as masters, faithless as servants, shallow as lovers--all of which was in part redeemed by their intelligence and creativity." Thus writes Philip Slater in this classic work on narcissism and family relationships in fifth-century Athenian society. Exploring a rich corpus of Greek mythology and drama, he argues that the personalities and social behavior of the gods were neurotic, and that their neurotic conditions must have mirrored the family life of the people who perpetuated their myths. The author traces the issue of narcissism to mother-son relationships, focusing primarily on the literary representation of Hera and the male gods and showing how it related to devalued women raising boys in an ambitious society dominated by men. "The role of homosexuality in society, fatherless families, working mothers, women's status, and violence, male pride, and male bonding--all these find their place in Slater's analysis, so honestly and carefully addressed that we see our own societal dilemmas reflected in archaic mythic narratives all the more clearly."--Richard P. Martin, Princeton University...
|Title||:||The Glory of Hera: Greek Mythology and the Greek Family|
|Number of Pages||:||544 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Glory of Hera: Greek Mythology and the Greek Family Reviews
On the recommendation of peers and professors in my graduate program in Mythology, I purchased this book while working on my doctoral dissertation on the role of the goddess Athene in the lives of the (male) heroes of Greek myth. Reading the only the sections relevant to that paper, I found it fascinating. To be sure, parts were a bit overwritten, with frequent use of the jargon of Freudian discourse, but on the whole Philip Slater’s insight were sound—and often helped me understand several myths.So, I decided to read the whole thing. And as I did, my evaluation of the book declined. I had to slog my way through the conclusion, where there was little reference to the Greek myths considered in the books first 400 pages. And there were many sentences which sounded lofty, but which made little sense, a good number which had little reference to Greek myth, such as this one:Modern narcissism is a spirochete that has produced a facsimile of cure by abandoning its most visible manifestations, burrowing beneath the surface, diffusing itself, and establishing an elaborate dominion over the host organism.But, most striking of all in this a book which bills itself in its subtitle as considering “Greek Mythology and the Greek Family,” is that there is no reference to the family at the heart of the Odyssey. You will find the great epic in the index, but you will not find the name of its hero, Odysseus, nor that of his wife Penelope nor that of their son Telemachus. And for an author who spends much time on the “mother-son” relationship and “oedipal” this and “oedipal” that, the failure to address that son’s relationship to his mother prevents him from addressing the changing dynamics in that type of relationship. (And from considering a story of a family where the father and son fight together and each cares about the mother, but in different ways.) There we see a young man, with the help of a female deity, stand up to his mother so that he might seek out his father, and then when finding his father, developing a new relationship to her. That son, our Telemachus, is most eager for his mother and father to reconcile.To understand the significance of Slater’s failure to consider the family dynamics in the Odyssey, imagine a study of the family in mobster movies that failed to consider The Godfather. You could make interesting points, but your study would far from complete, indeed, it would ignore the most prominent mobster movie about family.And the Odyssey was fare more significant to the culture of ancient Greece than is The Godfather to ours.In short, if you are doing research into the myths that Slater does discuss, this book is an excellent resource. If you are looking for a comprehensive consideration of the Greek family in classical myth, you will be most disappointed.