Transformations of Circe : the history of an enchantress /
Judith Yarnall.
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c1994.
x, 245 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
0252063562 (pbk. : alk. paper) 0252020634 (cloth)
More Details
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c1994.
0252063562 (pbk. : alk. paper) 0252020634 (cloth)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1994-04-01:
The ancient goddess Circe is best remembered as the enchantress who tempted the mighty Odysseus and turned some of his unfortunate crew into swine in Homer's Odyssey . In this work, Yarnall (literature, Johnson State Coll., Vt.) examines the goddess's role in the Odyssey , as well as her appearance in various other literary works throughout history. The author suggests that Circe is an archetypal character associated with human vulnerability and feminine sexual attractiveness. She traces Circe's longevity throughout human social history, from goddess worship in Neolithic Anatolia to her presence in modern literary works by Eudora Welty and others. Yarnall correlates the relationship between the roles of women in society and society's attitudes toward feminine mythological figures. She presents a well-written study that will enhance any collection.-- Jacqueline Garlesky, Univ. of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, Pa. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 1994-12:
This book surveys representations of Circe in myth, literature, and art from Homer to Margaret Atwood. Its readings of individual works are on the whole interesting and informative. Unfortunately, they occupy a relatively small portion of the volume. Many more pages are given over to analysis of the cultural context within which the individual works in question were created. As intellectual history, the book is tralatitious and cursory. The first half in particular, which concentrates upon ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern cultures, is based on out-of-date and discredited ideas about the place of women in prehistoric societies and relies too much on slender evidence and unprovable theories. In the second half, which deals with the period from the Renaissance to the present, the argument is on more solid ground, but tends (with the exception of a single chapter devoted to Spenser) to jump quickly from one subject to another, leaving the reader hungry for more penetrating discussion. On the whole, the book is neither entirely trustworthy nor especially provocative, and therefore not very useful either to students or to specialists. J. A. Farrell Jr.; University of Pennsylvania
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Unpaid Annotation
Stories also have stories. Circle's begins in the Odyssey, on the island of Aiaia that Homer dreamed for her, in the chambers of the palace where she richly entertained Odysseus and in her sty full of sailors turned pigs.
Table of Contents
Homer's Storyp. 9
Where Did Circe Come From?p. 26
From Myth to Allegoryp. 53
The Legacy of Allegoryp. 79
Renaissance Circesp. 99
Spenser, the Witch, and the Goddessesp. 127
The Lovelorn Temptressp. 145
Whore and Femme Fatalep. 163
Her Voicep. 182
Conclusion: Transformationsp. 194
Notesp. 201
Bibliographyp. 223
Indexp. 239
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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