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Re: [mythsoc] How does myth "work"?

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  • scribbler@scribblerworks.us
    ... Oh, I quite agree that that is the difficulty about trying to get inside myth in order to write about it. Objective analysis keeps you outside looking
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 19, 2012
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      > Don't mistake the vaguely academic tone in some of that material for an
      > overly logical approach in regard to myths, directly. But there is talking
      > ABOUT something, and there is doing it. I do both, but when I'm in the
      > analytical mode, how else does one write an essay?

      Oh, I quite agree that that is the difficulty about trying to "get inside"
      myth in order to write about it. Objective analysis keeps you outside
      looking in, but you can be precise and use words with specificity. But to
      consider myth from inside is inevitably a subjective experience, because,
      as I said, myth is about meaning, about what "something means to me" or
      you (as the case may be). And subjective evaluations are slippery things.
      "Oh, that's just YOUR (subjective) opinion!" As though there was something
      nasty about subjective experience.

      As so, to write about myth in any way is a great challenge. There are no
      short answers. If you wish to consider what your personal myth would look
      like, you need to being by considering what things are important to you,
      and what imagery speaks most powerfully to you. Analytically speaking, you
      may be able to determine WHY those images have that power - which may or
      may not affect the way you shape your personal myth.
    • James Curcio
      I agree, I wrote and had published two books (one rather long - The Immanence of Myth) and one rather short (Apocalyptic Imaginary) on the subject. I don t
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 19, 2012
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        I agree, I wrote and had published two books (one rather long - The Immanence of Myth) and one rather short (Apocalyptic Imaginary) on the subject. I don't consider them final in any regard or form whatsoever. That wasn't the point. Nor do I consider them authoritative because on this issue there is no singular authority. But they do, I believe, come from a genuine place when you take it all in, and are meant to help other people find something for themselves. If in a somewhat labyrinthine way out of necessity. If that's helped even one person, I think I've accomplished something. I think from the student responses at least they seemed to really get something from it though they were admittedly rather baffled at first. 
        --------------------------------------------------
        Independently produced, genre-bending works of modern mythology: http://www.mythosmedia.net
        The Modern Mythology blog: http://www.modernmythology.net

        --------------------------------------------------




        On Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 10:12 PM, <scribbler@...> wrote:
         

        > Don't mistake the vaguely academic tone in some of that material for an
        > overly logical approach in regard to myths, directly. But there is talking
        > ABOUT something, and there is doing it. I do both, but when I'm in the
        > analytical mode, how else does one write an essay?

        Oh, I quite agree that that is the difficulty about trying to "get inside"
        myth in order to write about it. Objective analysis keeps you outside
        looking in, but you can be precise and use words with specificity. But to
        consider myth from inside is inevitably a subjective experience, because,
        as I said, myth is about meaning, about what "something means to me" or
        you (as the case may be). And subjective evaluations are slippery things.
        "Oh, that's just YOUR (subjective) opinion!" As though there was something
        nasty about subjective experience.

        As so, to write about myth in any way is a great challenge. There are no
        short answers. If you wish to consider what your personal myth would look
        like, you need to being by considering what things are important to you,
        and what imagery speaks most powerfully to you. Analytically speaking, you
        may be able to determine WHY those images have that power - which may or
        may not affect the way you shape your personal myth.


      • dimwoo
        Hi James, Thanks for your links, interesting reads. I also moved on to your Living Your Myth piece. The comment on Friedrich Schelling was especially
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 22, 2012
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          Hi James,

          Thanks for your links, interesting reads. I also moved on to your "Living Your Myth" piece.

          The comment on Friedrich Schelling was especially pertinent to me:

          "..set a new tone by rejecting all attempts to impose on myth a secondary `meaning,' be it euhemeristic or allegorical. Instead he applied to myth the term `tautological,' implying that it must be understood on its own terms as an autonomous configuration of the human spirit, with its own mode of reality and content that cannot be translated into rational terms."

          This chimes very much with the Lewis and Tolkien quotes I posted and will be useful in my essay.

          Weaponized.net is in Guildford? That's just down the road from here. Amazing how you can feel that no one shares your interests...

          I haven't read your material closely. To me your definition of myth may be too broad to be useful. If we recognise the myths we live by, won't that then "kill" them?

          Thanks


          Steve




          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, James Curcio <jamescurcio@...> wrote:
          >
          > What I can offer to this question is two sided.
          >
          > One, looking at myth as a personal phenomenon as well as a cultural one:
          >
          > http://www.modernmythology.net/p/what-is-modern-myth.html
          >
          > Second, looking at the predomenant myth of our times, though this is an
          > excerpt from a much longer book that goes more in depth:
          >
          > http://www.scribd.com/doc/55984853/IoM-is-Myth-Dead (feel free to skip the
          > intro though it has a few things that may be useful.) This book was taught
          > in several classes at SUNY Binghamton so it could be a worthwhile reference
          > for you depending on your angle of approach.
          >
          > I hope these are at all helpful to you or others on the list.
          >
          > JC
          >
          > --------------------------------------------------
          > *Independently produced, genre-bending works of modern mythology: *
          > http://www.mythosmedia.net
          > *The Modern Mythology blog:* http://www.modernmythology.net
          >
          > *Past work*: http://www.jamescurcio.com
          > *My LinkedIn*: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescurcio
          > --------------------------------------------------
          > *
          > *
          >
          >
          >
        • James Curcio
          Good question. I m not sure if there s a point in defining myth in a singular way. There s a chapter in The Immanence of Myth that deals with a series of
          Message 4 of 9 , Oct 22, 2012
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            Good question. 

            I'm not sure if there's a point in defining myth in a singular way. There's a chapter in The Immanence of Myth that deals with a series of problems, or reasons why looking for a definition is kind of beside the point-- though I'll be the first to admit that that book is intentionally provisional in many ways, I don't pretend finality on any issue.

            I think what is more important is looking at the different ways that the word is used, if you want to look externally - but my focus is much more on the internal, in which case the focus is instead on the narrative process through which we come to know ourselves, which is the closest I would come to a definition of myth- myself. The fact that it resonates with many people, transmits, and transforms over time through the collective needs of those time speaks to, I think, the common elements of our mutual experience. 

            --------------------------------------------------
            Independently produced, genre-bending works of modern mythology: http://www.mythosmedia.net
            The Modern Mythology blog: http://www.modernmythology.net

            --------------------------------------------------




            On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 9:19 AM, dimwoo <dimwoo@...> wrote:
             

            Hi James,

            Thanks for your links, interesting reads. I also moved on to your "Living Your Myth" piece.

            The comment on Friedrich Schelling was especially pertinent to me:

            "..set a new tone by rejecting all attempts to impose on myth a secondary `meaning,' be it euhemeristic or allegorical. Instead he applied to myth the term `tautological,' implying that it must be understood on its own terms as an autonomous configuration of the human spirit, with its own mode of reality and content that cannot be translated into rational terms."

            This chimes very much with the Lewis and Tolkien quotes I posted and will be useful in my essay.

            Weaponized.net is in Guildford? That's just down the road from here. Amazing how you can feel that no one shares your interests...

            I haven't read your material closely. To me your definition of myth may be too broad to be useful. If we recognise the myths we live by, won't that then "kill" them?

            Thanks

            Steve

            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, James Curcio <jamescurcio@...> wrote:
            >
            > What I can offer to this question is two sided.
            >
            > One, looking at myth as a personal phenomenon as well as a cultural one:
            >
            > http://www.modernmythology.net/p/what-is-modern-myth.html
            >
            > Second, looking at the predomenant myth of our times, though this is an
            > excerpt from a much longer book that goes more in depth:
            >
            > http://www.scribd.com/doc/55984853/IoM-is-Myth-Dead (feel free to skip the
            > intro though it has a few things that may be useful.) This book was taught
            > in several classes at SUNY Binghamton so it could be a worthwhile reference
            > for you depending on your angle of approach.
            >
            > I hope these are at all helpful to you or others on the list.
            >
            > JC
            >
            > --------------------------------------------------
            > *Independently produced, genre-bending works of modern mythology: *
            > http://www.mythosmedia.net
            > *The Modern Mythology blog:* http://www.modernmythology.net
            >
            > *Past work*: http://www.jamescurcio.com
            > *My LinkedIn*: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescurcio
            > --------------------------------------------------
            > *
            > *
            >
            >
            >


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