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Welsh Mythology: A Neo-Structuralist Analysis By Jonathan Miles-Watson ...

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Welsh Mythology:

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

A little-known lecture by Lévi-Strauss is the inspiration for this book.1 In this lecture, he intuitively suggested that in medieval Europe, there once existed a set of myths, centred on the Grail, which are structurally the opposite of the goatsucker myths that he famously analysed in his Mythologiques series. This work uses Lévi-Strauss’ inspirational lecture as a launch pad for an exploration of a group of related medieval Welsh myths, two of which have been briefly considered previously by Lévi-Strauss himself.2 The root of the methodological approach I employ throughout is the structuralism of Claude Lévi-Strauss (1963, 1977, 1983, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2001); however, it has been modified to incorporate the suggestions of Hugh-Jones (1979), Kunin (1995, 1996, 1998, 2001a, 2003a, 2004), Leach (1970, 1977, 2000b), and Mosko (1985, 1991), as well as new modifications developed during this research.

This analysis tool is applied to a group of myths, which have become conveniently, if somewhat erroneously, known as the Mabinogion. The name Mabinogion appears as part of a colophon at the end of one