Genna (noachoc) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Reading The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion by Sir James George Frazer was a labor of... well... labor. It was one of those books that kept popping out at me in used bookstores until, finally, I relented and brought it home. It's a study of... well... magic and religion and it's very very dry. Sir Frazer really really likes giving examples of things so if he's talking about, say, harvest rituals to corn gods, he'll go through twenty of them that are all very similar with only a few minor differences. He's making a point, but it gets tedious. I did find interesting his reluctance to speak about Christianity much at all. It leaves a... very visible gap. He'll speak about the occult importance of eating one's god, and you find yourself comparing it to communion but he hardly ever uses Christian practices as examples. I found myself wondering if he was doing that on purpose, not because he didn't want the parallels drawn, but because he DID; he just didn't want to get in trouble for doing it himself.

In the end, I do think I got a good deal from the book, (a couple of story ideas, and a bunch of hints about where other people got THEIR story ideas) but it was definitely a slog.
Tags: anthropology, cultural studies, non-fiction, occult

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