Marc Nash
Marc Nash
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Anthony Simeone

I agree with you that old mythologies should pass away as time progresses, dying as their human creators die. However, myth making is an ongoing, living process. Every society creates them by virtue of the simple process of living. Human beings are communal storytellers. When we create stories, we create myth. Perhaps we no longer create gods like Osiris, Zeus, and the like, but we do have a tendency to immortalize and revere heroes that fit the age in which we live.

There's a fallacy at work here, I think: the fallacy that myth is something ancient and "past." We continually create myth, and have our own modern mythologies at work today. For example, look at the mythology of Silicon Valley, with its pantheon of heroes like Jobs, Wozniak, and Gates. These figures, for better or worse, are venerated and act as paragons which younger generations aspire to emulate.

Can myth become antiquated and therefore no longer serve the common good? Yes indeed. But to dismiss the human instinct for myth-making is, to me, a dangerous prospect.

I also think your definition of myth in this piece is very narrow, as you confine it to simply a force that reinforces collectivism and the "hive mind" or (as you put it) "singularity" of the tribe. However, as pointed out by Joseph Campbell, myth has always served to help us to both become our own individuals while also strengthening the bonds of community. A shared story brings together a society while also celebrating the individual.

That is, of course, when myths are respected and used responsibly. 

Dogma is a form of mythology. Look at the various political groups in the US, for instance, and their rhetoric, their divisiveness, their urge to scapegoat those who are not a part of the “tribe.” Dogma is mythology that has become, as you put it, "monolithic."

The modern world, in the face of the growing tide of rabid individualism and mistrust of "the other" sown by our constant negative news cycle, could actually benefit from more attention to the mythologies we continue to create unconsciously. When we make ourselves unaware of the narratives we create, we put ourselves in the path of danger.

I think I see what you're trying to say, though: you seek a future where both your vision of "antiquated myth" as well as unchecked individualism are replaced by...something else? Am I on the right track in that assumption? I think you have the right idea, and have an interesting viewpoint that I would love to watch and read as it develops. Best of luck in your efforts!

Marc Nash
Hi Adriano,

I think part of the problem is because the literary avant garde is fractured into so many labels: meta-fiction, sur-fiction, anti-novel, non-linear etc. And unlike genre where on the whole the author stays within fairly recognised parameters, experimentalists can go in any direction they choose, for that is the nature of experiment. It's hard to collect together diverse approaches and ideas, but not impossible. One of the ways to achieve this is for avant garde to collaborate not with each other but with other creative artists, musicians, video makers, typographers etc, you get your numbers and greater networks that way, rather than through lone furrow writers somehow banding together. But it still represents a challenge for you have to find a shared language; for example, working with kinetic typographer video designers, they are used to applying their skills to corporate videos for branding and advertising purposes. Trying to get them to see the possibilities of applying their creative vision to fiction writing at the moment doesn't readily compute for them. That's where the change lies. Readers will always respond to what's out there for them to read. Yes the torrent of work submerges avant garde work, but then it pretty much submerges all work. It is possible, just hard and personally I savour the challenge. My self-promotion & marketing skills leave a lot to be denied, but then ultimately I trust in the quality of the work. The rest is just garnish.