- Series: Mythos: The Princeton/Bollingen Series in World Mythology (Book 90)
- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press (June 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0691086613
- ISBN-13: 978-0691086613
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ariadne's Clue: A Guide to the Symbols of Humankind (Mythos: The Princeton/Bollingen Series in World Mythology)
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This is a fascinating book, packed with ideas and out-of-the-way information. . . . a thesaurus of symbols. [Stevens] aim[s] to provide clues to the origin, meaning, and development of some of the most common symbols and, like Ariadne's thread, to trace connections between different parts of what seems like an impenetrable maze.---John Habgood, The Times Higher Education Supplement
What sets this book apart from many others . . . is Stevens's viewpoint. He approaches symbols as an evolutionary psychologist . . . one who seeks to understand the biological reasons underlying our symbols. . . . [This] would be of interest to anyone who tries to understand themselves, whether they do it by biology, psychology, astrology, or tarot. The symbols are always there.---David Smillie, Discovery Channel
One need not be a Jungian to appreciate this fine book both as a reference and a contemporary introduction to symbolism. A brilliant integration of psychological archetypes with Darwinian theory. . . . Stevens presents vast learning easily and precisely in prose that is at once calm and exciting. . . . [A] standard--if not the standard--in the field; essential for most libraries. (Library Journal)
"Stevens has a unique capacity for relating myths and symbols to the way our psyches function today, thus bringing symbols alive rather than dismissing them as historical curiosities. He is also a stylish writer, and is able to link his conclusions from a variety of fields into a consistent, readable whole."―Anthony Storr, University of Oxford
From the Back Cover
"Stevens has a unique capacity for relating myths and symbols to the way our psyches function today, thus bringing symbols alive rather than dismissing them as historical curiosities. He is also a stylish writer, and is able to link his conclusions from a variety of fields into a consistent, readable whole."--Anthony Storr, University of Oxford
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If you want an accessible book on symbols that reads like a pop science book, this may a good choice (I do sort of like the way it categorizes entries rather than just listing everything alphabetically). However, this book is too fluffy, subjective, and oversimplified for my taste.
Perhaps I should keep my book for pleasure and they should (thoughtfully not haphazardly) turn it into a Kindle product to solve the indexing problem.
The only problem I had was that the language of the writing, although very rich in content, was unnecessarily tangled and complex. Such complexity did not add to the value of the writing. It just made it less enjoyable to read.
Overalll, however, a very good book that gives one insights to the depths of human evolutionary nature. I recommend it.