BEGINNINGS: Creation Myths of the World by Penelope--Ed. Farmer

BEGINNINGS: Creation Myths of the World

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From diverse world cultures Farmer has selected numerous creation myths and grouped them here according to theme: The Beginning, Earth, Man, Flood, Fire, Death, Food Plants (all sprung from a dead god or human), and The End of the World. It might be interesting to read that in the beginning there was only darkness, water, two great eggs, or the word of God, depending on your source, or that man was seen to be made from maize, clay, or the union of two elements of nature. But without cultural or theoretical context the interest is limited. Farmer does attempt to provide a bit of the latter with introductions of a page or less to each section, but her remarks are mostly either commonplace observations or simplistic interpretations (we all create worlds because we are lonely; the flood stories stem from ""a clearly universal human longing to get rid of an unsatisfactory past and start all over again""), and she makes some bland undue assumptions--as on Aztec ritual sacrifice, currently under heated discussion. Perhaps this sampling will encourage young people to read further, but Farmer's presentation is unstimulating and the project smacks of a digest mentality, proffering instant edification.

Pub Date: March 9th, 1979
Publisher: Atheneum (Margaret K. McElderry)