Jean-Pierre Vernant and Pierre Vidal-Naquet are leaders in a contemporary French classical scholarship that has produced a stunning reconfiguration of Greek thought and literature. In this work, the authors present a disturbing and decidedly nonclassical reading of Greek tragedy that insists on its radical discontinuity with our own outlook and with our social, aesthetic, and psychological categories. Originally published in French in two volumes, this new single-volume edition includes revised essays from Volume I as well as the first English translation of Volume II.
“What is Dionysiac about Greek tragedy, Vernant suggests, and specific to the genre, is the ‘otherness’ of the hero, his belonging to an absent world that no longer exists, and the blurring and shifting of the boundaries between illusion and reality that result for the audience from the enacted fictions of the tragic theatre…. Myth and Tragedy is a book to be unreservedly welcome for its progressive unfolding of ideas which have proved consistently fertile in new perceptions and for thinking that is in the best sense individual as well as collective.”
—Times Literary Supplement