Tuesday, December 31, 2002

There's a long-running debate going on about myth on and off of Andrea Harris' blog. I have said what I have to say, so I won't repeat but will just suggest that you scroll down for that discussion, but I wanted to add a clarification: My contention is that there is no such thing as a 'genuine' myth. There are simply stories, some of them older than others. Every one of these stories was made up by a human being. The difference between a "myth" and any other old story simply seems to be that a myth has circulated widely through a culture over a long period of time, with many "singers" or "poets" adding value at each iteration. That transmission process may be the explanation for why "myths" appear to be so aesthetically effective, since there's a rigorous selection process at work for many generations, but that does not mean, as someone keeps asserting without argument or evidence, that "myths" are fundamentally different than any other story.

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