Re: Is Levi-Strauss essential? was It still works? Avoid it anyway.

rmd (
Fri, 17 Jan 1997 05:54:07 GMT

In article <5blqbg$>, (Chad
Ryan Thomas) wrote:

> >And -- what anthropological literature IS useful to science fiction and
> >fantasy writers?
> Any literature on anthropology, and for fantasy especially, I'd recommend
> some folklore theory. Joseph Campbell doesn't work very well anymore for
> interpreting mythologies, but his ideas are just peachy for fantasy authors.

I wonder why this would/should be? I remember reading Kay's _Summer Tree_
series and enjoying it immensely, except for two things: 1) the overt
Tolkien copying, and 2) the absolutely incorrect impression of Celtic
religions it conveys (he seems to have cribbed directly from Robert Graves
and/or James Frazer, two "sources" I would avoid at all costs). Now maybe
this is just me as a student of ancient religions speaking, but shouldn't
sf/fantasy make some attempt to be accurate in the cultures they render?
And if so, what does this accuracy entail?

I don't have definite answers for these questions, but I'd like to hear
what the rest of you think.

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