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Nadine Gordimer

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The forces of being remain. They are what the writer, as distinct from the contemporary popular mythmaker, still engage today, as myth in its ancient form attempted to do.

 
Nadine Gordimer

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I painted a double portrait of Alma Mahler and myself...these litho graphs will always remain..in contrast to all the contemporary art of the period.. a myth,a created symbol heavy with the meeting,begetting and parting.

 
Oskar Kokoschka
 

Freud has not given an explanation of the ancient myth. What he has done is to propound a new myth.

 
Sigmund Freud
 

For the past fifty years at least, Western scholars have approached the study of myth from a viewpoint markedly different from, let us say, that of the nineteenth century. Unlike their predecessors, who treated myth in the usual meaning of the word, that is, as "fable," "invention," "fiction," they have accepted it as it was understood in archaic societies, where, on the contrary, "myth" means a "true story" and, beyond that, a story that is a most precious possession because it is sacred, exemplary, significant. This new semantic value given the term "myth" makes its use in contemporary parlance somewhat equivocal. Today, that is, the word is employed both in the sense of "fiction" or "illusion" and in that familiar especially to ethnologists, sociologists, and historians of religions, the sense of "sacred tradition, primordial revelation, exemplary model." ... the Greeks steadily continued to empty mythos of all religious and metaphysical value. Contrasted both with logos and, later, with historia, mythos came in the end to denote "what cannot really exist." On its side, Judaeo-Christianity put the stamp of "falsehood" and "illusion" on whatever was not justified or validated by the two Testaments.

 
Mircea Eliade
 

From this inheritance contemporary philosophers have continued to draw profit. Parmenides is their earliest ancestor whose work contains explicit and self-conscious argumentation. The severe conceptual difficulties posed for the first time in his verses are of perennial interest, and many of them remain in the forefront of discussion today. Recent study has thus brought his thought, in the words of another critic, "astonishingly close to some contemporary preoccupations." He should be viewed not only as "the most original and important philosopher before Socrates" but as the first extant author deserving to be called a philosopher in a present-day sense of the word.

 
Parmenides
 

[Julian Gough's] notion that shouting the word 'feck' Father Ted has a lot to answer for and being grossly scatological will make him seem echt Irish only harms his argument. We who were born and continue to live in Ireland are always distressed by the stage-Irish antics so often to be encountered among the sons and daughters of the diaspora. But it is true, as the critic Declan Kiberd remarks, that no contemporary Irish writer has yet attempted the Great Irish Novel on social and political themes. Where is our Middlemarch, our Doctor Zhivago, our Rabbit trilogy? The fact is Irish fiction tends to be poetic rather than prosaic, which is something that non-Irish reviewers find hard to grasp. John McGahern used to say that there is verse and there is prose, and then there is poetry, and poetry can occur in either form, and that in Ireland it occurs more often in prose than in verse. There may be a grittily realistic novelist even now writing a masterpiece such as Mr Gough says he longs for, and, if so, I applaud her/him.

 
John Banville
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