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Elizabeth Hand
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 05:29 am:   

Okay, here goes. I should say as a caveat that I wrote WTM as a kind of lark -- i.e., it was not intended to be a scholarly overview of actual archaological or feminist research. I mention that because some folks with an archaological background have taken me to task for playing fast & loose with the facts, while others WITHOUT an archaeological background took what I wrote at face value. Othiym, a name I made up for a fantasy novel I was writing when I was twelve, has been cited as being an actual goddess (insofar as goddesses are ever real). So to crib and change a line from Dave Barry, I AM MAKING THIS UP.

But here's a thumbnail list of some reference books. I have shelves of this stuff and won't list them all. And thank god there was no internet back then, because I'd never be able to cite all the leads I've found online over the years. Also, I'm not at my cottage (office) at the moment so some of these titles are from memory and may be a bit off.

THE WHITE GODDESS, Robert Graves

Graves' scholarship is bonkers, but he has the poet's gift for taking material and making it his own. So read this as a fascinating compendium of stuff to examine as primary source material, and don't take the human sacrifice/killer goddess-muse stuff too seriously. Ideally, this should be read with Richard Perceval Graves' biographies of his uncle in hand. Laura Riding makes Angelica Furioso look like Paris Hilton.

ECSTASIES: ORIGINS OF THE WITCHES SABBATH, Carlo Ginsburg

One of the most influential and remarkable books I've ever read. The source and inspiration for my Benandanti material, and a wealth of speculation on the origins of art and religion, as well as a deconstruction of late-medieval and early-renaissance life and thought. Ginsburg's other works are also terrific. One caveat: this is a work in translation, and some of it is pretty dry.

EROS AND MAGIC IN THE RENAISSANCE, Ioan Culianu

Rodney Castleden's works on the Minoans and Ancient Crete

Marija Gimbutas' works on goddess culture and the Catal Huyuk site in Anatolia/Turkey

UNEARTHING ATLANTIS, Charles Pellegrino

Great popular science study on the Thera explosion


Again, this is a very basic reaidng list. If you have a particular area you're interested in, let me know & I'll see what I've got on the shelf.
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Iceblink
Posted on Monday, August 21, 2006 - 10:51 am:   

Oh WOW. Thank you so much! I'm off to investigate the stacks.

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