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Mythopoeia lives

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  • Stolzi@aol.com
    I was at Harpers Ferry a week ago (Sunday) so of course I went to the library and got a few books about the episode of John Brown s insurrection. One of them
    Message 1 of 1 , May 14, 2000
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      I was at Harpers Ferry a week ago (Sunday) so of course I went to the library
      and got a few books about the episode of John Brown's insurrection.

      One of them describes the idea which swiftly spread that John Brown kissed a
      Negro baby on his way to the gallows.

      Only one thing - there were no blacks present, or very few, and no women and
      children present; the authorities had made sure of that. The author refers
      to the whole thing as "mythopoetic" - =our= word!

      And there are two or three paintings of the non-event, one of which forms the
      frontispiece of the book, very touching. And two or three poems, one of them
      by John Greenleaf Whittier.

      Interesting to see how myths arise, out of things which are "truer than
      truth." Brown had in fact said that if he had his wish, he would wish for
      no official chaplains to pray at his death, but an "old slave mother."

      Mary S
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