Hathor: Exploring Flexibilities in Identity through Egyptian Mythology

What is an identity? Are we defined by where we are from, who our parents and children are, or what we look like? Do our names signify our essence? Can facts, variables, and perceptions clearly describe the nature of Self? Questions such are these are being asked in our twenty-first-century society. No longer contained by villages, limited by singular racial and cultural heritage, or relegated to one expression of individuality, we find modern men and women struggling to find a vocabulary to express the sustained substance of self-ness. Just as the question of identity is currently being challenged, so it … Continue reading Hathor: Exploring Flexibilities in Identity through Egyptian Mythology

Fairy Tales: Critical Theory and Archetypal Interpretation

The question of how to read a text has been asked and argued by theorists since the first work was offered to an audience for interpretation. Questions of what should be considered separable and inseparable from the review of the text are many, the stronger of which have developed into schools of critical theory. The initial debate in reading a text is over the precedence of form versus content. Though Aristotle began this debate, it became publicly popular in the 20th century because of the cultural critic Susan Sontag. Taking a firm stance, Sontag argued for the supremacy of form, … Continue reading Fairy Tales: Critical Theory and Archetypal Interpretation

Alchemy and the Hermetic Tradition: Mircea Eliade and Carl Jung

The relationship between Mythology and Religious traditions is an intricate weaving of metaphor. Both Mythology and Religion have a similar function of relating lived experience to a universal purpose. Often, religion relates life choices to divine models, while Mythology creates narratives that contextualize the experience. In many instances mythology and religion function simultaneously. However, a major distinction between the two traditions is that mythology is defined as an adaptive narration, and dogmatic perspective restricts religion to a lived mythic model. Though there is a wide continuum of religious interpretation ranging from orthodox to eclectic, as a lived mythology, religion is … Continue reading Alchemy and the Hermetic Tradition: Mircea Eliade and Carl Jung

Existentialism and Post-Modernism: Value in Lingering

Exhaustion, deconstruction, existential uncertainty–these are some of the qualities associated with post-modernism. Even the name suggests passing from a known state into ambiguity. In “Myth and postmodernist philosophy,” William Doty defines the challenges of postmodernism and mythology, while also provoking the complexity of interaction between the two perspectives as they engage in a conversation with the philosophical tradition. Specifically, these interactions are defined by Doty’s article, synthesized by the question of the role of narrative in philosophy, and actualized by Albert Camus’ 1942 essay “The Myth of Sisyphus”, and Jorge Luis Borges’ short story “The Maker,” published in 1960. The … Continue reading Existentialism and Post-Modernism: Value in Lingering

Modern Fairy Tales: Archetype vs. Stereotype

Since 1923 The Walt Disney Company has been making animated films, building theme parks, and accessing all other forms of entertainment. Much of the Disney Company’s box office success has come from their re-visioning of fairytales into animated events. Typical childhood memories include Disney’s renditions of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, and many others. Marie Louis Von Franz describes the position of fairy tales in society in the following statement from The Feminine in Fairy Tales: Fairy tales express the creative fantasies of the rural and less educated layers of the population. They have the great advantage of being naïve (not … Continue reading Modern Fairy Tales: Archetype vs. Stereotype

Narrative and Myth: Exploring Identity through Mythopoesis

Thus my life is a flight and I lose everything and everything belongs to oblivion, or to him. The reshaping of a myth into a contemporary form is one of the great challenges of 20th-century literature. The modernist poet and critic, T.S. Eliot wrote about the mythical method, which gave form and called on the archetypal power of the classics to serve as platforms for new works of art and thought. However, it is impossible to discuss the re-visioning of myth from the modern to post-modern literary periods, it is impossible not to speak of identity. Myth provides a context … Continue reading Narrative and Myth: Exploring Identity through Mythopoesis

Remedios Varo: The alchemy of art in exile

Remedios Varo was exiled from her native country of Spain. Having moved to Paris, France in pursuit of a lover and being associated with leftist political thinkers, she found the border closed to her return during the Spanish Civil War. When World War II broke out, she found herself fleeing Nazi persecution aided by the resources of the intellectually powerful Surrealist artists. Her second exile was one of uncertainty, fear, and physical strain. Varo was accepted into Mexico as a political refugee. The experience of immigration is one of redefinition. The context of identity shifts from being founded in shared … Continue reading Remedios Varo: The alchemy of art in exile