Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book. Velikovsky was a mid-twentieth Century controversialist, usually in the areas of biblical and Egyptian history. He began with a controversial book called "Worlds in Collision" positing that the current set of Planets in our solar system has had a number of collisions and near collisions. One of which had occurred at the purported time of the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt, say BC. Venus, entering the solar System had made a pass at the Earth, creating the phenomena associated with the narrative of the Book of Exodus. This upset the "Steady State" Astronomers of the 's and gave him a wide market for his future productions.
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Velikovsky is a controversial figure, whether writing about Worlds in Collision and Ages in Chaos which do not seem so remote as when he envisioned them - or today with his provocative theory relating to the Oedipus legend.
This is an ingenious and often entertaining and persuasive attempt to equate the myth of King Oedipus with the historical facts about the great Egyptian reformer-king, Akhnaton, Egypt's builder of a monotheistic cult.
The drive behind this book is the finding of an historical basis for a familiar myth. Just as Schliemann by his excavations at Troy turned Helen from a legend into a woman of flesh and blood, so Velikovsky approaches the Oedipus myth.
The key facets of the myth- the exiled prince who returns to his native land not even Velikovsky admits to slay his father but to marry his mother, and who brought destruction thereby upon his native land and was sent forth discredited — can be made, with a bit of pushing and pulling, to apply to the similar story of Akhnaton. Part of the claim is that Thebes in Greece took its name from the older Thebes in Egypt.
The Egyptian story is loose and inexact, as reality is apt to be; the Greek myth is tightened by the Greek gift for story telling. It will be for scholars and Egyptologists to explore Velikovsky's thesis.
His scholarship in this field has yet to be proved, though as usual he has used his theme as a book to hang his very considerable fund of knowledge and his inexhaustible fancies on. He writes with imagination and style. This book, however controversial, is certainly entertaining. It may even serve to take readers back to Sophocles. The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald.
There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions.
Bibliophiles will love this fact-filled, bookish journey. It was surreal. Brian Karas. Already have an account? Log in. Trouble signing in? Retrieve credentials. Sign Up. Page Count: Publisher: Doubleday. No Comments Yet. More by Immanuel Velikovsky. Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children.
The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.
Pub Date: Jan. Review Posted Online: Oct. More by Elie Wiesel. An engaging, casual history of librarians and libraries and a famous one that burned down. Pub Date: Oct. Show all comments. More by Susan Orlean. More About This Book. Please sign up to continue. Almost there! Reader Writer Industry Professional. Send me weekly book recommendations and inside scoop. Keep me logged in. Sign in using your Kirkus account Sign in Keep me logged in. Need Help?
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OEDIPUS AND AKHNATON
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Oedipus and Akhnaton: Myth and History