The Value of Myth

A favorite quote—so much so that I included it as a selection for study in Poetics & Progym II!

The value of the myth is that it takes all the things we know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by ‘the veil of familiarity’. The child enjoys his cold meat (otherwise dull to him) by pretending it is buffalo, just killed with his own bow and arrow. And the child is wise. The real meat comes back to him more savoury for having been dipped in a story; you might say that only then is it the real meat. If you are tired of the real landscape, look at it in a mirror. By putting bread, gold, horse, apple, or the very roads into a myth, we do not retreat from reality: we rediscover it. ~ C. S. Lewis, On Stories and Other Essays

Kuchenesser by Bartolome Murillo, c 1670

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