If you found the perspective of The Productions of Time congenial, or at least intriguing, you may be interested in these.  There is no attempt to be comprehensive, or even objective:  some of the authors are friends, though friends who are kindred spirits sharing the same vision.  However, nothing listed should disappoint: in my opinion, these works are all first rate, though that does not necessarily mean that I agree with everything in them.  All of them, academic or otherwise, should be accessible to an interested non-specialist, though they should be of interest to scholars as well.  Students are always asking me for a list of good books to read.  Here it is (along with some recommendations of other forms of art as well). 

Note:  Northrop Frye, my chief intellectual influence, demands a bibliography of his own, to be found elsewhere on the site. 


Mythology in General

  • Feldman, Burton, and Robert D. Richardson, The Rise of Modern Mythology, 1680-1860
  • Morford, Mark P.O. and Robert J. Lenardon, Classical Mythology (any edition: new editions mostly update the list of secondary scholarship)


  • Eliade, Mircea,  A History of Religious Ideas, 3 volumes.
  • Eliade, Mircea, The Sacred and the Profane
  • Eliade, Mircea, The Two and the One
  • James, William, Varieties of Religious Experience
  • King, Karen L., What Is Gnosticism?
  • Morris, Brian,  Anthropological Studies in Religion: An Introductory Text
  • Pagels, Elaine, The Gnostic Gospels
  • Pagels, Elaine, Beyond Belief:  The Secret Gospel of Thomas
  • Tillich, Paul, The Courage to Be


  • Brown, Norman O., Life Against Death
  • Freud, Sigmund, Civilization and Its Discontents
  • Jung, C.G., Man and His Symbols
  • Jung, C.G., The Portable Jung, edited by Joseph Campbell
  • Marcuse, Herbert, Eros and Civilization
  • Maslow, Abraham, The Farther Reaches of Human Nature
  • Von Franz, Marie-Louise, C.G. Jung:  His Myth in Our Time
  • Von Franz, Marie-Louise, On Dreams and Death:  A Jungian Interpretation


  • Barzun, Jacques, A Stroll with William James
  • Jones, W. T., A History of Western Philosophy, 5 volumes
  • Whitehead, Alfred North, Science and Modern Man

History (including the history of mythology)

  • Campbell, Joseph, The Masks of God, 4 volumes
  • Campbell, Joseph, The Flight of the Wild Gander
  • Chamberlin, J. Edward, If This Is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories: Finding Common Ground
  • Eliade, Mircea, Cosmos and History (The Myth of the Eternal Return)
  • Harrison, Jane Ellen, Themis: A Study of the Social Origins of Greek Religion
  • Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture
  • Spengler, Oswald, The Decline of the West


  • Brockman, John, editor, The Third Culture
  • Donaldson, Jeffery, Missing Link:  The Evolution of Metaphor and the Metaphor of Evolution
  • Eiseley, Loren, The Night Country


  • Abley, Mark, Spoken Here:  Travels Among Threatened Languages
  • Abley, Mark, The Prodigal Tongue:  Dispatches from the Future of English
  • Havelock, Eric, Preface to Plato


  • Abrams, M.H., Natural Supernaturalism: Tradition and Revolution in Romantic Literature
  • Abrams, M.H., Doing Things with Texts: Essays in Criticism and Critical Theory
  • Barfield, Owen, What Coleridge Thought
  • Barzun, Jacques, Classic, Romantic and Modern
  • Lee, Alvin, Gold-Hall and Earth-Dragon: Beowulf as Metaphor

Art History

  • Panofsky, Erwin, Studies in Iconology
  • Panofsky, Erwin, et al, Saturn and Melancholy: Studies in the History of Natural Philosophy, Religion, and Art
  • Wind, Edgar, Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance


  • Chamberlin, J. Edward, “Mathematics and Modernism,” in The Legacy of Northrop Frye, edited by Alvin A. Lee and Robert D. Denham
  • Kline, Morris, Mathematics:  The Loss of Certainty
  • Von Franz, Marie-Louise, Number and Time

Creative Works

The works listed below are far from being the only or even the best works within their respective categories or genres, and are not even my only favorites, but are rather works that link up in some way—at times obvious, at times hidden—to the themes, images, and narratives of The Productions of Time and of this website. 

The Visionary Tradition in Modern and Contemporary Poetry

  • Mark Abley (Canada)
  • Hart Crane
  • James Dickey
  • Lorna Goodison (Jamaica)
  • Jay Macpherson (Canada)
  • Edwin Muir (Scotland)
  • James Merrill
  • E. J. Pratt (Canada)
  • James Reaney (Canada)
  • Theodore Roethke
  • Wallace Stevens
  • Dylan Thomas (Wales)
  • William Butler Yeats (Ireland)

The Visionary Tradition in Modern and Contemporary Fiction, Drama, and Creative Non-Fiction

  • Robertson Davies (Canada), the Deptford trilogy (Fifth Business, The Manticore, World of Wonders) and the Cornish trilogy (The Rebel Angels, What’s Bred in the Bone, The Lyre of Orpheus)
  • John Gardner, Grendel
  • James Joyce, Ulysses
  • James Joyce, Finnegans Wake
  • William Kennedy, Ironweed
  • Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
  • Thomas Mann, Joseph and His Brethren, 4 volumes
  • Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
  • Alice Munro, Friend of My Youth
  • Alice Munro, Open Secrets
  • Alice Munro, Hateship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage
  • Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
  • Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow
  • Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping
  • Sarton, May, Journal of a Solitude
  • George Bernard Shaw, The Devil’s Disciple
  • George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra
  • George Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara
  • George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman
  • George Bernard Shaw, Heartbreak House
  • George Bernard Shaw, St. Joan

Comic Strips, Comic Books, Graphic Novels

  • Barry, Lynda, The Best of Marlys
  • Barry, Lynda, What It Is
  • Batiuk, Tom, Lisa’s Story
  • Bechdel, Alison, Fun Home
  • Bechdel, Alison, Are You My Mother?
  • Eisner, Will, A Contract with God
  • Eisner, Will, A Life Force
  • Alan Moore, From Hell
  • Pekar, Harvey, Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland

Science Fiction and Fantasy

  • Crowley, John, Little, Big
  • Crowley, John, Aegypt, 4 volumes
  • Delany, Samuel R., The Einstein Intersection (original title, A Fabulous, Formless Darkness)
  • Samuel R. Delany, Nova
  • Samuel R. Delany, Driftglass
  • Ellison, Harlan, Deathbird Stories
  • LeGuin, Ursula, The Earthsea books (originally a trilogy, later expanded to 6 volumes)
  • LeGuin, Ursula, The Dispossessed
  • Robinson, Kim Stanley, Pacific Edge
  • Stapledon, Olaf, Star Maker
  • Sturgeon, Theodore, More than Human
  • Wolfe, Gene, The Fifth Head of Cerberus

Folk Singer-Songwriters

  • Gordon Bok
  • Dave Carter
  • Leonard Cohen
  • Bob Dylan
  • Pete Morton
  • Richard Shindell
  • Richard Thompson
  • Robin Williamson

[For the record, no pun intended, my own guitar playing, such as it is, is rooted in the interlinked (fingerstyle) traditions of country blues, Piedmont-style blues (Rev. Gary Davis, Jorma Kaukonen, Ernie Hawkins), English and Celtic fingerstyle (Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Nic Jones), and guitarists who bridge the American and UK traditions (Stefan Grossman, Al Petteway, Robin Bullock, Martin Simpson)].   

A marvelous book on the relationship of the British folk tradition to a larger visionary tradition is Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music, by Rob Young. 

Also recommended:  Hadestown, Anais Mitchell’s musical based on the myth of Orpheus. 

The author with a small sample of his books and guitars.