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Showing posts from March 8, 2009

white mythology in the white magic

We get someplace, and then we wonder why we came here. And we look back and can’t remember our path. And our goal is just to get to the Castle. The Castle is just up the hill. It seems so simple. The parts of our plan are falling into place. But then we look around. Why does everybody look suspicious? Why do we feel like we have to keep talking? What do we want? What office do we hold? Who invited us here? Why am I talking about myth and folklore in the context of happiness? In an essay on the early enlightenment critique of myth first translated as To Bring Myth to an End in New German Critique, Hans Blumenberg poses the question of why the Enlightenment, defining itself in part as the war against superstition, did not bring myth to an end. Literally, why did the Greek myths survive as narratives that poets, artists, and even psychologists and historians are drawn to? Blumenberg cites Fontenelle, one of the key moderns in the quarrel between the ancients and the moderns that erupted

narrative induction

Charlotte Linde is a rather brilliant ethnographer broadly within the symbolic interaction school – although not participating in that schools downhill slide into the irrelevance of infinitely coding conversations to make the smallest of small bore points. Rather, she has taken Labov’s idea that a story is a distinguishable discursive unit and researched Life Stories – she wrote the standard book on the subject. In 2000, she wrote an article that I just read, and that I’m going to use in my book project. But I’ll use it over at News from the Zona as well, so I think I'll cross post it. By the way, I'd love to be able to signal, on this site, that I have a post up at NFZ - could one of my kind readers refer me to some widget for that? The article is a study of an insurance firm with the truly great title, “The acquisition of a speaker by a story: how history becomes memory and identity.” Identity, with its columnally Latinate Id seemingly standing for noun in general, has du


Le monde est créé de telle sorte que le mouvement y est plus fort que l’immobilité, la dynamique plus forte que la statique : toutes les princesses endormies se réveillent - D. Merezhovsky I meant to write about myth here, and plot, and conspiracy, and folklore - I meant to discuss Christina Wolf’s essay on Karoline von Günderode - Karoline, who was famous in the nineteenth century – Karoline, heroine and fiction of Bettina von Arnim’s book, Günderode, in which Karoline’s letters weere re-written, her life defended, her ghost drained of what was left of her living reality - Karoline, whose novelized biography was translated by Margaret Fuller and no doubt read by the heroine of the Bostonians, if not by her author. I meant to take the story of her suicide as the last act of a persistant mythomania, and use it as an intro to Creuzer’s book on symbolism - and use that to pose questions about how the great tradition encoded the little tradition, the encyclopedia encoded the labyrinth, th