To Commerce Books

Commerce 8

1907
A Centenary Cookbook
by Donelle Woolford

4-color offset
70 pages, spiralbound
17.5 x 10.8 cm



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The peculiarity of this book is that it has no subject. In the first place, it is restricted to the study of one myth, and yet in order to do so it must assimilate the subject matter of a hundred others. Anxious though I am to keep within a clearly defined moment in time, I cannot prevent this book from taking on the appearance of a general treatise on mythology. In other words, this book may well create more myths than it dispels.

I must admit, however, that this generative effect, far from alarming me, seems rather to be a sign that I have succeeded in depicting certain fundamental properties of my subject, thanks to a plan and a method that were not so much chosen by me as forced upon me by the nature of the material. The constant recurrence of the same themes expresses this ineffable mixture of persistence and powerlessness. Mythology has no interest in definite beginnings or endings, so it never develops any theme to completion: there is always something left unfinished.

It follows, then, that this book on myths is itself a kind of myth. If it has any unity, that unity will only appear behind or beyond these pages, and, in the best hypothesis, will only become reality in the mind of the reader.