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By Marcel Detienne

Rich with implications for the background of sexuality, gender concerns, and styles of Hellenic literary imagining, Marcel Detienne's landmark e-book recasts long-standing rules concerning the fertility fable of Adonis. the writer demanding situations Sir James Frazer's thesis that the crops god Adonis-- whose untimely loss of life was once mourned via ladies and whose resurrection marked a joyous occasion--represented the yearly cycle of progress and rot in agriculture. utilizing the analytic instruments of structuralism, Detienne indicates as an alternative that the fairs of Adonis depict a seductive yet impotent and fruitless deity--whose actual ineptitude resulted in his demise in a boar hunt, and then his physique used to be present in a lettuce patch. Contrasting the gala's of Adonis with the solemn ones devoted to Demeter, the goddess of grain, he unearths the previous as a parody and negation of the establishment of marriage.

Detienne considers the short-lived gardens that Athenian girls planted in mockery for Adonis's pageant, and explores the functionality of such vegetal topic as spices, mint, myrrh, cereal, and rainy vegetation in non secular perform and in a big variety of myths. His inquiry exposes, between many stuff, attitudes towards sexual actions starting from "perverse" acts to marital relations.

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