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On Stories Ancient and Personal

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Nausicaa, by Frederic Lord Leightondf at Breakfast With Pandora just wrote a fantastic post. I am jealous. I wish I’d written it. Starting off discussing Nausicaa, he soon moves into the power of stories (remembered myths) in shaping our lives and particularly the question of our cultures’ approaches to children’s independance. One line I particularly wish I’d written:

I believe in the power of retelling this type of experience. I believe that we build ourselves up by building up our own history, our worthwhile narratives, the myths, the traditional “good stories” of our lives. I believe that when we suppress the events of our lives and do not recount them, parts of us are destroyed, never to return.

You can always tell a healthy family, for example, by the amount of stories it tells on itself.

I could not agree more.

This post is what I like best about when people write about myth. I’d do more of it myself if it weren’t so hard to do it well. It is a big part of why I studied Classics in the first place. A good academic example of such writing is, for example Somewhere I Have Never Traveled: A Hero’s Journey, by Classics prof. Thomas Van Nortwick.  It’s not so much about current events or culture as how “The ancient hero’s quest for glory offers metaphors for our own struggles to reach personal integrity and wholeness.”


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