BwP's Reason to be

  • Breakfast with Pandora caters to everyone interested in ancient Greek and comparative mythology, good stories, the craft of writing, food, theology, education, and other humane things. Ask a question at teenage underscore heroes at yahoo dot com.
My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad

December 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      

Powered by FeedBurner

« A libation for Nora Ephron | Main | Cryptic post title day: MPDGs and ENFPs »

Comments

Fiona Siobhan Powell

David,
I often deal with violent, aggressive, cruel characters in stories...and often the stories have sad endings.
This is often deemed "acceptable" to adult audiences, but I cannot even begin to count the number of times that adults panic over the same scenario when children are listening.
Actually, I find that children cope better. They have a far better sense of reality; and a far more down to earth sense of justice....for example, in telling of the 3 Little Pigs, I had a teacher object, loudly , that the first two pigs were eaten. It was a 4 year old boy who told her
"Miss, the other two pigs broke ALL the rules, disobeyed their mother, acted stupid, of COURSE they're gonna get eaten for it, cos that's right!"
In my early days as a storyteller, I grappled with the violence inherent in the myths of every society I have studied. Not just background violence, but often, gleeful, shocking, "In-your-face" violence. I still cannot tell the tale of Branwen without inwardly recoiling as her infant son is hurled into a fire by her brother. And yes, I've asked myself often, can that bit be left out? My conclusion is always no. It cannot. It serves the story, and serves a deeper purpose. Sometimes the shared experience of violence (a bloody good bust up, war, fighting) serves to relieve a tension. I'm not a particularly violent human being, although I have a pretty hot temper. After the telling of a tale, I feel satiated. All hint of aggression worn out in default through the story. (Perhaps this is why, over the years, my temper has worn away to nearly nothing).
In the case of the tale of Branwen, by the end we are grieving, all together, sharing our most primal fears. I think it teaches us that we do share that common humanity. I've never told the story without witnessing a quietening in the room. Often, folk are weeping, even grown men. It is by the sharing of these fears and troubles, that the individual realises that they are not alone...or lone. Someone who can place themselves in the shoes of others, is; I think, unlikely to go out and rampage. I cannot speak of Batman etc...not my genre, not my area. Except to say that I feel strongly that we can never blame the story for the crime. Myth shows us how to share pains, and joys,and fears; how to relieve ourselves of the burdens of aggression; and teaches us basic justice.

Fiona Siobhan Powell

I am bemused to see that Mr. LaSalle thinks we've lost the "female principle".....and are thus more violent. He obviously hasn't looked into the myths of Matriarchal societies, such as the early Celts..violent as all get-out!!
I think there are more stories of women, mothers, sisters , wives, exerting life power over their tribe/family than there are men. Men are too busy hunting and bashing up other tribes who threaten them; to plan horrific schemes against their own kind.

DF

Fiona, Thanks for your wisdom. As Mr. LaSalle is a journalist and limited to a certain number of words not exactly thought out perfectly before he must go to print, I would like to think that he is pointing to a kind of violent story that is exactly not cathartic, not unifying us in our humanity, but brutalizing us. Violence in stories, as you rightly point out, can be helpful to us. I think in particular of the movie Pan's Labyrinth, which is a rough and terrifying ride, but which left me with a deep sense of the connectedness of humanity. I cannot think of a movie that LaSalle would consider devoid of the "Female Principle," whatever that is, but he must have thought "The Dark Knight Rises" was this type of dehumanizing story.

http://myth.typepad.com/breakfast/2007/07/pans-labyrinth-.html

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

My Fantasy Novel - Skater in a Strange Land

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format

Episcopal Relief and Development

Search BWP

  • Google

    WWW
    myth.typepad.com

Your email address:


Powered by FeedBlitz

Subscribe to BwP

  • Bloglines Feedreader