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Re: Mythopoeic

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  • Diane Baker
    ... I m almost tempted to say with the judge who defined obscenity, I don t know how to define it, but I know it when I see it. (I should probably shut
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 6, 1999
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      Cat Eldridge wrote:
      >
      > From: Cat Eldridge <cat@...>
      >
      > Can someone give me a definition of mythopoeic?

      I'm almost tempted to say with the judge who defined "obscenity," "I
      don't know how to define it, but I know it when I see it." (I should
      probably shut up right now while I'm ahead. But no, I burble on.)

      For me, mythopoeic story has a great deal of mythic depth, some sort of
      supernatural intrusion into the world, though a mere ghost story is not
      mythopoeic. There's often a secondary world with a long sense of
      history, hinted at. Certainly a mythopoeic story contains a quality of
      grandeur, of entering a world which deals with issues larger than paying
      electric bills, sending children to school, and shopping at the mall.
      This is not to say that these things are not often wondrous in
      themselves (when looked at in the right way); I would think a typical
      fantasy-world inhabitant would find a mall (or electricity) to be full
      of wizardry (and Lewis does a great job in Narnia dealing with schools),
      but Narnia goes beyond those things. It might help to say (at least in
      this reader's estimate), that the most "mythopoeic" book in the Narnia
      Chronicles is *Dawn Treader,* while the least mythopoeic is *The Horse
      and His Boy,* yet we do get a nice view of life in another land besides
      that of Narnia. Lastly, the world or myth is one which requires me to
      return to that world every few years, because it is so attractive in and
      of itself to experience, and has such depth that I get something new out
      of it at every fresh reading. The authors we study (JRRT, CSL, and
      Charles Williams) are mythopoeic (as are some others), but *naming*
      those qualities which make them so is dificult, and the process of
      trying to name those characteristics is part of why the Mythopoeic
      Society exists in the first place. ---djb.
      >
    • Lisa Deutsch Harrigan
      ... Mythopoeic is Greek for myth making. Which is all Greek to me Now that I ve gotten that out of my system... What it means as far as we are concerned is
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 6, 1999
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        Cat Eldridge wrote:
        >
        > From: Cat Eldridge <cat@...>
        >
        > Can someone give me a definition of mythopoeic?
        >

        Mythopoeic is Greek for myth making. Which is all Greek to me <g> Now that I've
        gotten that out of my system...

        What it means as far as we are concerned is that Glen was trying to find
        something that meant more than crass, commerical sword & sworcery type Fantasy
        (a lot of which was around in the late 1960's when the group was formed).
        Something that evoked Tolkien, but could include others, like Lewis & Williams &
        Dunsany & Kurtz (Catherine) & Beagle. See there was already a Tolkien Society,
        so if that was all you wanted to discuss, join them. But many of us wanted to
        read more and different types of fantasy, both old and new. But we wanted it to
        be the good stuff, not necessarily exactly like Tolkien, but something that had
        the special quality, that "Myth Making" feel to it.

        Yes, we've read a lot of junk looking for the gems, and one member's reject is
        another member's gem, but it keeps the meetings lively!

        And that's what the reviews in Mythprint are all about, to help us find the good
        stuff. And just making the list for a Mythopoeic Award is enough to warrant
        checking a book out (but see the warning above about differences of opinions).
        If it won, buy it, you'll probably like it, there are enough voices on the award
        committee to weed on the uneven books.

        Happy reading!
        Mythically yours,

        Lisa
      • Matthew Winslow
        ... Somewhere to Be Flying was on the short list for the Adult MFA this year and Trader was on the long list in 98. I think de Lint is definitely
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 7, 1999
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          Maria Bouzani [mari_bou@...] wrote:
          > Well,the thing is to keep an open mind,I
          > guess!Hey,does Charles DeLint count?He doesn't exactly
          > deal with myth in most of his work,rather "urban
          > fantasy",but he's really great!

          Somewhere to Be Flying was on the short list for the Adult MFA this year and
          Trader <shudder> was on the long list in 98.

          I think de Lint is definitely mythical. He just uses the apparatus of the
          modern city to create his myth. Of course, his writing is really quite
          variable, so the jury's still out (as far as I'm concerned) as to whether he
          'counts' in relation to him being what Lisa was calling 'a gem'.

          --
          Matthew Winslow mwinslow@... http://x-real.firinn.org/
          "Books are my passion, not only writing them and every once in a while even
          reading them but just having them and moving them around and feeling the
          comfort of their serene presence."
          --Fred Buechner
          Currently reading: Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg
        • Maria Bouzani
          ... Hey,what do you have against Greek,huh?It s not that hard...Of cource,I would be prejudiced,me being Greek and all...!:)) ... Actually,there are many of
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 7, 1999
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            --- Lisa Deutsch Harrigan <lisa@...> wrote:
            >
            > Mythopoeic is Greek for myth making. Which is all
            > Greek to me <g> Now that I've
            > gotten that out of my system...

            Hey,what do you have against Greek,huh?It's not that
            hard...Of cource,I would be prejudiced,me being Greek
            and all...!:))

            > What it means as far as we are concerned is that
            > Glen was trying to find
            > something that meant more than crass, commerical
            > sword & sworcery type Fantasy
            > (a lot of which was around in the late 1960's when
            > the group was formed).
            > Something that evoked Tolkien, but could include
            > others, like Lewis & Williams &
            > Dunsany & Kurtz (Catherine) & Beagle. See there was
            > already a Tolkien Society,
            > so if that was all you wanted to discuss, join them.

            Actually,there are many of them...Too many to decide
            which to join...I've joined 3-4 so far!

            > But many of us wanted to
            > read more and different types of fantasy, both old
            > and new. But we wanted it to
            > be the good stuff, not necessarily exactly like
            > Tolkien, but something that had
            > the special quality, that "Myth Making" feel to it.

            Ah,yes!The Myth...Isn't that what we're all looking
            for?

            > Yes, we've read a lot of junk looking for the gems,
            > and one member's reject is
            > another member's gem, but it keeps the meetings
            > lively!

            Well,the thing is to keep an open mind,I
            guess!Hey,does Charles DeLint count?He doesn't exactly
            deal with myth in most of his work,rather "urban
            fantasy",but he's really great!
            Maria

            =====
            "...When dreams don't become their people
            People become their dreams..."
            LOVE AND MONEY,"Hallelujia Man"
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