Wild Men in the Looking Glass: The Mythic Origins of European Otherness

University of Michigan Press, 1994 - 232 pages
"Long before the age of exploration, wild men inhabited the European imagination. These fascinating, hairy creatures have a long history of representation in art, literature, and folklore, appearing among other guises as satyrs and fauns in ancient Greece, mythical forest - and mountain-dwellers in the Middle Ages, and Shakespeare's Caliban and Cervantes's Cardenio in the Renaissance. Wild folk also captured the attention of naturalists, who investigated homo ferus and homo sylvestris, and philosophers, who elaborated the image of the noble savage." "In Wild Men in the Looking Glass, Roger Bartra searches out the roots of the European wild man myth and explores its long evolution. Turning the tables on those who suggest that the primitive peoples "discovered" and colonized by European explorers gave rise to the myth, Bartra finds that the wild man myth preceded and helped shape European reactions to real peoples. Indeed, he shows that the wild man underpins the notion of civilization on which much of Western identity has been based. The man we recognize as "civilized" has not been able to take a single step without the shadow of the wild man at his heel."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Barren Nature
The Epic of the Wild Man
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