Myths of Love: Echoes of Ancient Mythology in the Modern Romantic Imagination

Myths of Love: Echoes of Ancient Mythology in the Modern Romantic Imagination

by Ruth K. Westheimer, Jerome E. Singerman
     
 

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Dr. Ruth Westheimer, America’s favorite sex therapist, analyzes ancient myth and its relevance to 21st century relationships in her new book “Myths of Love: Echoes of Greek and Roman Mythology in the Modern Romantic Imagination.” From humanity’s earliest beginnings, people have puzzled over the dual nature of love. For the ancient Greeks

Overview

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, America’s favorite sex therapist, analyzes ancient myth and its relevance to 21st century relationships in her new book “Myths of Love: Echoes of Greek and Roman Mythology in the Modern Romantic Imagination.” From humanity’s earliest beginnings, people have puzzled over the dual nature of love. For the ancient Greeks and Romans, love was sweet, but it was also irrational, cruel, and often deadly. Faced with the terrible paradox of love, classical civilization produced some of the most psychologically insightful myths of all time—stories of classic archetypes such as Narcissus, Helen of Troy, and Venus and Adonis.

Dr. Ruth and classical scholar Jerome E. Singerman insightfully examine the underlying psychology of the ancient myths and explain why their universal appeal has shaped the imagination of Western civilization for millennia. “Myths of Love” traces how these myths of endured in literature and art across the centuries and how they still influence how we think about sex and relationships today.

Surveying a vast range of Greek and Roman literature from Homer to Ovid, “Myths of Love” retells and reconsiders the full gamut of human sexual experience, from the tenderest expressions of married love to the savage, self-destructive passions of narcissism on jealousy. Bridging high culture and pop culture, “Myths of Love” reveals the secret connections between classic literature and today’s popular novels and films.

A stimulating blend of art, science, ancient religion, and the passions and contradictions of the human heart, “Myths of Love” is a smart and sexy revisit to the roots of Western culture’s eternal fascination with love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/30/2014
The famed sex therapist Dr. Ruth and her friend Singerman undertake a pet project, examining and speculating on the messages relevant to contemporary romance as presented in ancient Greek and Roman myths. The two authors tackle famous and lesser known myths, from Cupid and Psyche and Narcissus to Iphis and Ianthe. Themes explored—or suggested at—include homosexuality, abusive relationships, transgender issues, female sexuality, incest, and masturbation. Dr. Ruth clearly has a great familiarity with these ancient myths, and the obscure tales, including unknown versions of familiar stories, are fascinating to read. However, despite a premise full of potential, this title feels merely like a skeleton or outline of a book: chapters are often only a few pages long ending with vague conclusions, suggestions, or occasionally no conclusion at all. Where are the arguments or thesis statements one expects? Where are the sections explaining the applicability to today's society? The "Reading Notes" included at the end encourage much more thought than the book's actual contents. This book may best serve undergraduate English majors seeking ideas to inspire essays. (June)
From the Publisher
"Myths of Love" provides lively, informative essays, each excellent food for thought. To a casual reader on human sexuality, folklore or history, or to a serious student of any or all, it should be a fascinating study. —Foreword Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781610352116
Publisher:
Linden Publishing
Publication date:
06/01/2014
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
1,095,295
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer is one of America's best-known names in relationship therapy. Widely known for her honest and humane approach to human sexuality, Westheimer pioneered frank sex advice on radio with her program Sexually Speaking, which premiered in 1980 on WYNY in New York. Since then Westheimer has become America's favorite sex expert, giving help to millions through radio, television, newspapers, magazines, books and her website, DrRuth.com.

Jerome E. Singerman is a book editor who lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He holds a doctorate in comparative literature from Harvard University. His articles on museums and painting have appeared in “The Magazine Antiques,” and he is author of the book “Under Clouds of Poesy: Poetry and Truth in French and English Reworkings of the Aeneid.”

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