Myth and History

From: Simon Hibbs (
Date: Tue 26 May 1998 - 17:45:07 EEST

Richard Develyn :

>Still, "local boy beats up lion" makes the headlines, and the local
>press write down a nice juicy story which forms the script for hero
>quests to come. There's always a grain of truth somewhere in these
>myths, but you know what story tellers are like. And if after a while
>the hero, who was blonde and blue eyed, doesn't fit the culture, which
>has become shorter and darker, then they'll change him. And if lions
>become yesterday's news and the new problem is grizzly bears then they
>might try changing the myth to suit the new problem.

That's true to an extent, but if you want to change from having a blonde
blue-eyed lion killing hero to having a brown eyed brunette lion killer,
you'd better get hold of a brown eyed brunette hero and get him to do
the quest. You can't just change the story, myths are much more than
that. Stories give you information, myths give you power too, but only
if you heroquest it. Myths incorporate elements of both folklore and
history and cannot be treated purely as one or the other, as is commonly

Simon Hibbs


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