chapter
36 Pages

Introduction

WithFrederick Turner

This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book expresses the integrity of the term "epic" itself, both by reestablishing the continuity between folk epic and literary and other forms of epic, and by turning the focus from differences of compositional technique to profound commonalities in epic content. It argues that epic is basically about human evolution—that is, epic is the traditional way the authors have explained as a species their emergence from nature and the stresses within their own nature that result from that emergence and their look back at it. The book is in some respects a defense of Joseph Campbell's claims of universality and naturalness. It also expresses that there are grounds for a genuine reassertion of the old dream of human siblinghood and solidarity. The book is concerned with natural science, history, society, technology, economics, law, ethics, philosophy, and language.