P24
Accommodating the primordial: the function of myth in a globalising world

Convenors:
Leon Burnett (University of Essex)
Location:
CSSS Committee Room No.013, Ground Floor, SSS-II
Start time:
6 April, 2012 at 8:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

The efficacy of myth in engaging with global concerns depends upon our recognition of the vitality and continuing presence - or timelessness - of the primordial. This panel will explore how and why we 'accommodate the primordial' in our aesthetic appreciation of myth.

Long abstract:

Myth informs and invigorates the arts. It provides a basis for an aesthetic appreciation of the world by engaging in a unique way with many of the most pressing global concerns. The operation of myth is best understood in its function as techne, that is to say there is always a practical aspect to the creation and transmission of myth, which grounds it in the cultural realia of the present moment, while it endeavours at the same time to reach back to an imagined original source to recover an awareness and an understanding of life that is archaic, sacred and ultimately irretrievable. Nevertheless, the attempt of myth to accommodate the primordial appeals directly to - and draws upon the will of - the community. The panel will explore specific instances from across the arts of what 'accommodating the primordial' means. It will be concerned, at a theoretical level, with the question of what myth communicates - and how it renews itself - in order to underpin its interpretation of myth as fundamentally the property of the people.