Image and Concept: Mythopoetic Roots of Literature

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Image and Concept: Mythopoetic Roots of Literature here - finally - available in English, is devoted to the origins of Greek tragedy. In it, Freidenberg develops the notion that it was the very transition from thinking based on mythological images to the kind of thinking that makes use of formal-logical concepts that resulted in the appearance of literature. With the transition from mythological thinking to conceptual thought, the content of mythological images became the texture of the new concepts. The inherited mythological forms now were reinterpreted conceptually: causalized, ethicized, generalized, abstracted. This reinterpretation, in turn, brought about poetic figurality. Folkloric material began to be differentiated from the mythological images of the past into various disciplines such as religion, philosophy, ethics, literature, and art. Yet, differentiated and reinterpreted as it was, the folkloric material remained formally preserved in poetic image, structure, and plot.

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About the author (1997)

Olga Freidenberg founded the Department of Classical Philology at Leningrad University, and for many years served as its Chair.

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