The article deals with a plot in Plutarch’s Septem Sapientium Convivium: the sage Bias answers to the Egyptian king Amasis, to whom an Ethiopian king sent “an extraordinary and awful demand… to drink up the ocean”, that he had to “tell the Ethiopian to stop the rivers which are now emptying into the ocean depths, while he himself is engaged in drinking up the ocean that now is; for this is the ocean with which the demand is concerned, and not the one which is to be”. An interpretation of the plot is founded on the seeming parallel in the Ancient Egyptian Book of Repulsing the Evil: its passage (Urk. VI. 125.21—127.2) means to contradict to Seth’s intention to make the sea water sweet (probably, with the flow of rivers) in order to drink them eventually. It seems that the Ethiopian king not only set an unfeasible task to Amasis but also actually forces on him this deed of Seth; contrary to that, Bias helps to supply this task with a reservation, at which Seth’s aim to achieve disappearing both the sea and the sweet water will not be accomplished.
It is about the peculiarities of the mythological language anacreontic lyrics of the first third of the XIX century. The problem is considered in the analysis of the lyrics A. Pushkin, K. Batiushkov, etc.
The article discusses the changes undergone by historical themes and heroes of ancient Chinese history in the poetic texts of the Ming period (fourteenth to seventeenth centuries) collected by the noted anthologist Shen De-qian (1637–1769) in his Ming shi be cai. In later verse, poets increasingly tend to abandon the simple historical analogy – which was typical of the earlier poetic tradition – in favor of the symbolic game based on the age-old typification of historical figures: the “hero,” the “villain,” the “avenger.” In doing so, they diverge from the typical historical narrative with its attention to subtle detail and gradation of moral assessments. The hypothesis advanced in the article is that, for lack of a consistent mythology and a fullfledged epic tradition in China, historical figures eventually begin to perform the function of the heroes of myths and epic narratives, eventually supplanting them, whereas the historical narrative – e.g., the Historical Records (Shi ji) by Ssu-ma Qian (ca. 145–85 B.C.) – becomes, in a manner of speaking, a source of quasi-mythological or pseudo-epic subject matter.
The purpose of the Mythologies of Capitalism and the End of the Soviet Project is to show that in order to understand popular disillusionment with democratization, liberalization, and other transformations associated with the attempts of non-Western societies to appropriate the ideas of Western modernity, one must consider how these ideas are mythologized in the course of such appropriations. Olga Baysha argues that the seeds of post-revolutionary frustration should be sought in pre-revolutionary discourses on democracy, liberalism, and other concepts of Western modernity that are produced outside local contexts and introduced through the channels of global communication and interpretations of politicians, activists, and experts
Roland Barthes’ works on cinema remain insufficiently understood. The aim of the present article is to reconstruct his theory of cinema, focusing on semiotic issues and tracing its development in the general evolution of his thoughts from so called pre-structuralist to the structuralist period. I set to analyze well-known articles from the book “Mythologies” (1957), as weak as some little-known ones that have not been translated in Russian, such as the voice-over for the film “Sport and Men”, a review of Mario Ruspoli’s film “The Strangers of the Earth”, an answer about James Bond et al. The assumption is that in the first period the analysis of films consisted mainly of debunking the myths of mass culture, which did not imply the creation of an integral theory of cinema. At the same time, the mythology model became the starting point for his “semiology of the film image”. Faced with a number of difficulties in applying the linguistic methodology to the analysis of films, he left the further development of this project and did not create a structuralist cinema theory. In the early 1960s, he returned to the mythological issues in cinema, its sociology and politics, which can be seen, for example, in his collaboration with Canadian documentary filmmakers.