It was Freidenberg's special genius that anticipated the structural and semiotic approaches to myth and literatue. Image and Concept develops the notion that with the transition from mythological thinking to formal-logical concepts came the appearance of literature. Inherited mythological forms were reinterpreted conceptually: causalized, ethicized, generalized, and abstracted. This reinterpretation brought about poetic figurality. Folkloric material began to be differentiated from mythological images of the past into the various disciplines of religion, philosophy, ethics, literature, and art. Yet, differentiated and reinterpreted as it was, the folkloric material remained formally preserved in poetic image, structure, and plot. Olga Freidenberg, primarily known to Western readers as Boris Pasternak's cousin, correspondent and confidante, was, in her own right, an author and scholar of great accomplishments. Image and Concept-here for the first time available in English-is Freidenb.
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