THE HEBREW MYTHS
The Book Of Genesis
All the laconic scholarship and lightning sharp interpretations and insights which have made Graves' studies of the Greek myths one of the most seductive source books of the decade are here brought to bear with equal effectiveness on the Book of Genesis. True, the mating of religious matters with myths can offend the orthodox, for after all Hellenic polytheism is a far cry from Jewish monotheism. But Graves, along with his co-author Raphael Patai, makes short shrift of objections in a succinct, satin-tongued introduction. The offering frequents both the canonical and apocryphal tracts, and thus sheds light on much Biblical obfuscation. Among the touchier items: how Adam and Eve were initiated into the act of love; why Noah took to drink and how Ham "unmanned" him; what was what with Sodom, Potiphar, Behemoth and Leviathan; and the possibility that an earlier matriarchal culture was done in by the later patriarchy (elsewhere a consistent concern of Graves). Pietistic glossings, rabbinic expansions and multi-references are treated all over from the creation and cosmology through the Fall, the Flood, the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. Important for any literate home or library.