In Weston's "From Ritual to Romance" she uses the term "Waste Land" (two
words) not wasteland (one word). Where do you get the latter term?
In TWL we have a wrecked Fisher King; no reason given but also no questor.
Do you have an analogue for the questor of the grail legend? It is the
questor who with the correct question can restore the land. Is the questor
the poem's poetic self? Is the questor the reader?
Do you think that TSE is following modernist mythic method "rules"?
McIntosh, NM, USA
McIntosh, NM, USA
From: Rickard Parker <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Monday, May 28, 2001 3:58 PM
Subject: Re: myth and reality
>I wish to take exception with Gopika's assertition "In order to create a
>new myth the old ones have to be dispelled first." Perhaps if you equate
>a myth with a religion, but as I see a myth it is a story that helps
>people find their position in the the order of things such as religion
>or culture. (And as Alan Watts used it in the "Myth and Ritual in
>Christianity" book I mentioned awhile ago, a myth need not be a fictious
>story.) While in ancient times it may not have been possible to have
>myths from different cultures exisiting together (unchanged anyway) that
>certainly should not be the case now. Frazer collected similar myths
>together and Joseph Campbell has shown how these myths represent common
>human ideals. Even the titles of some of Campbell's books indicate how
>the basis of the myth is common: "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" and
>"The Masks of God" (compare with "He Do the Police in Different Voices."
>Each myth could be seen as a different way to see the same human
>condition. I don't see any problem having a number of myths because
>each is a different way of illustrating something. I do like the quote
>that Gopika passed on to us "Myth embodies the nearest approach to
>absolute truth that can be stated in words" because that shows an
>I also disagree with Rick Seddon's suggestion that Eliot was trying to
>create a new myth for Tiresias but I don't really have a better
>substitute for what the myth might be other than my own suggestion that
>perhaps Eliot was trying to show our position in society as a myth might
>but instead of using gods or heroes he used mere mortals like outselves
>For a slight turn in the topic, one that I hope will interest a few out
>there, a number of years ago PBS had a series of TV shows where Bill
>Moyers interviewed Joseph Campbell and from that they created a book.
> Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers, "The Power of Myth"
>In Chapter 7, "Tales of Love and Marriage," a number of figures familiar
>to the readers of TWL are brought up. Tritan and Isolde, Francesca and
>Paolo, The Fisher King, Percival, Galahad and Tiresias. Also the
>Dante, Wagner and even Eliot himself. A Campbell quote from page 196:
> The theme of the Grail romance is that the land, the country, the whole
> territory of concern has been laid waste. It is called a wasteland.
> And what is the nature of the wasteland? It is a land where everyone
> living an inauthentic life, doing as other people do, doing as you're
> told, with no courage for your own life. That is the wasteland. And
> that is what T.S. Eliot meant in his poem The Waste Land.
> In a wasteland the surface does not represent the actuality of what it
> is supposed to be representing, and people are living inauthentic
> "I've never done a thing I wanted to in all my life. I've done as I
> told." You know?
> Rick Parker