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The Road To Delphi

The Road To Delphi (Paperback)

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An endlessly intriguing topic - exploring the human desire to know the future, and the way this is linked to our passion for riddles and puzzles. The Road to Delphi combines vivid storytelling and perceptive analysis to give a sympathetic and entertaining account of humanity's persistent belief in 'signs'. Michael Wood begins with the oracles of ancient Greece, eagerly consulted in times of need, or at moments of crucial choice. Yet the oracles gave ambiguous answers - it was up to humans to interpret what they said. As with horoscopes today, this allowed the hearers to fit the message to what they wanted, and sometimes, as in the tragic drama of Oedipus and the oracle of Delphi, or the disastrous take of Lydian King Croesus, they could get the answer all too right or horribly wrong. For thousands of years the oracles have spoken, in Europe, in Africa, in the old civilisations of the East, and elsewhere. Wood explores the way such consultations evolved over the years in literature and in popular culture, from the witches in Macbeth to the cryptic confrontations in the works of Kafka or the film The Matrix.

He shows, too, how the culture of the oracle still lingers on in the way we accept or 'interpret' authorities - as in the doctor's consulting room - or avidly puzzle out the meaning of astrology columns of the press. Lively, engaging and revealing, full of warmth and humanity, The Road to Delphi is remarkable both for the stories it tells, and for the way it makes us think again about our age-old longing for the certainties we know we can never have.

Health & WellbeingHealth & PsychologyPopular psychologyHistory & PoliticsMind, Body & SpiritFortune-telling & divinationPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesCultural StudiesPopular culture Publisher: Vintage Publishing Publication Date: 07/07/2005 ISBN-13: 9781844135363  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: Currently unavailable to order online.  

Michael Wood studied Modern Languages at St John's College, Cambridge, where he was later a Fellow. He taught for a long time at Columbia University in New York and then at the University of Exeter, before becoming Professor of English at Princeton. Well known for his witty and brilliant reviews in the London Review of Books and the New York Times Book Review, he is the author of several books, including Stendhal, America in the Movies, Garcia Marquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Magician's Doubts: Nabokov and the Risks of Fiction and Children of Silence: Studies in Contemporary Fiction.

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