This week the World Lit. class begins reading—well—world literature, with myths of ancient Mesopotamia. The introduction to one of the oldest texts, possibly a preserved temple ritual that reflects even older myths, “The Descent of Inanna,” describes its story as “the type of journey undertaken by mythological heroes in cultures throughout the world and throughout literary history; Persephone, Attis, Orpheus, Osiris, and Jesus are among the many figures . . . who make such a descent and return” (Bedford Anthology of World Literature 25).
Turns out the latest anthropological and archaeological views are somewhat different from the popularized mythic-mysticism of Frazer and Campbell, according to this blog, which begins with, of all things, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Do their clarifications amount to more of a distinction without much difference? In any case, C.S. Lewis’s points as described in parts III-IV of this essay remain valid [n.b., despite the many strengths of the essay, a spellcheck snafu appears to have resulted in the name “Aslan” appearing as “Asian” throughout part V—let this be a lesson to us all].
Now I have to look up Smith, and Wright for more details…