Greetings, all. I'm not sure I've ever actually introduced myself, but I've been reading posts in this list with great interest. (Especially about Children of Hurin - I'm saving to get my copy, because my recent birthday came and went with no one picking up on my hints.:-))
I felt compelled to comment on the recent discussion of introducing youth into the Society. I'm 23, and graduated from college a year ago - NYU, where I majored in Theatre and Psychology. I could have graduated early, but didn't so I could take some classes in the Medieval & Renaissance Studies dept just for fun, especially a class on Tolkien and Lewis focusing on the medieval sources that influenced their writing. (We read Beowulf, Gawain and the Green Knight, Milton, etc.) The course actually focused more on Tolkien than Lewis, so the next semester I sought out a Christian professor in the English Department who had done some work on Milton and was willing to supervise an independent study on C.S. Lewis. The final paper focused on the role of the Christian storyteller and the moral value of fantasy literature. (I hadn't yet learned the word "mythopoeic.") I drew heavily on Lewis's "On Stories" and Tolkien's "On Fairy-Stories," as well as the psychologist Albert Bandura's w
ork on social learning. I am actually strongly considering going back to NYU and writing a Master's thesis on Christian Mythopoeia. (That is, unless I can find another school that has the individualized study and extensive resources offered by NYU, but which isn't populated almost exclusively by professors who think Freudian psychoanalysis provides penetrating insight into fairy tales, and that organized religion is an interesting phenomenon from an anthropological point of view, but is obviously an oppressive force that should be discarded for the greater progress of humanity. Any ideas on schools where "Beverages not Beveridges" is an approved motto?)
Wow, that was long. I actually just spent half an hour looking back at my reading list from that course, with fond memories. Anyway, may I suggest that one reason fewer people my age might be attending is because of cost, as others have suggested. I'm just out of school, and I don't even have a full-time job. I work two part-time jobs, both in the arts, and am also acting in a regional market (Baltimore, MD). I just don't have the money for airfare, hotel, and registration fees, much as I would like to attend a Mythcon. Older folks are more likely to have established jobs and savings than us starving students or recent grads. I would love to take advantage of a scholarship or a local Mythcon, but in the meantime I'll have to save my dollars (even just to buy Hurin).
And btw, a MySpace page for the Soc might not be such a bad idea.
So there's my introduction, of sorts. I hope to speak up more often.
Currently laughing out loud as he reads Vol. 2 of The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, and feeling lonely because no one around him has a similar love of Lewisian humour