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What is a Myth?

November 22, 2013 — Leave a comment
  1. It is extra-literary. 
  2. The pleasure of myth depends hardly at all on such usual narrative attractions as suspense and surprise.
  3. Human sympathy is at a minimum. We do not project ourselves strongly into the characters. We feel indeed that the pattern of their movements has a profound relevance to our own life, but we do not imaginatively transport ourselves into theirs.
  4. Myth is always in one sense of the word “fantastic.” It deals with the impossibles and preternaturals.  
  5. The experience may be sad or joyful but it is always grave. Comic myth is impossible.
  6. The experience is not only grave but awe-inspiring. Its as if something of great moment had been communicated to us. 
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The value of myth is that it takes all the things you know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by the veil of familiarity.

C.S. Lewis