CS Lewis Theories of Myth

CS Lewis Theories of Myth - 1[A myth is extra-literary...

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1. “[A myth] is… extra-literary. Those who have got at the same myth through Natalis Comes, Lemprière, Kingsley, Hawthorne, Robert Graves, or Roger Green, have a mythical experience in common; and it is important, not merely an H.C.F. In contrast to this, those who have got the same story from Brook’s Romeus and Shakespeare’s Romeo share a mere H.C.F., in itself valueless.” 2. “The pleasure of myth depends hardly at all on such usual narrative attractions as suspense or surprise. Even at a first hearing it is felt to be inevitable. And the first hearing is chiefly valuable in introducing us to a permanent object of contemplation—more like a thing than a narration—which works upon us by its peculiar flavor or quality, rather as a smell or a chord does. Sometimes, even from the first, there is hardly any narrative element. The idea that the gods, and all good men, live under the shadow of Ragnarok is hardly a story. The Hesperides, with their apple-tree and dragon, are already a potent myth, without bringing Herakles in to steal the apples.”
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