Tales of the Tribe

Tales of the Tribe

Society creates the stories it tells itself: factual, specious, apocryphal, dishonest; by any rendition, that according to Wallace Stevens, will still be a fiction.  Myth wears the clothes of its culture, will always be a social fact, and those who would eschew these basic facets of humanity, will prove to be the poorer.  There are Truths to be found in Myths, even if Metaphorical.  This is a book of Mythopoesis – Mythoi, by verse.

Myth has its Realities.  You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.

Fiction can be dangerously misleading or distracting.  We weave common myths, hold them close or far,  such as the biblical creation story, the Dreamtime myths of Aboriginal Australians, the nationalist, patriotic, and historical myths of modern states.  Institutional and Bureaucratic Standard Operating Procedures are rife with myth – commonly held though perhaps unreal standards of belief, where Large numbers of strangers [societies] can cooperate successfully by believing in common myths. Any large-scale human cooperation — whether a modern state, a medieval church, an ancient city or an archaic tribe — is rooted in common myths that exist only in people’s collective imagination.

Yet none of these things may exist outside the stories fictions and myths] that people invent and tell one another.

Tales of the Tribe, a book of mythopoeisis, are such stories . . . some old, some new; some with some basis of factuality, some with none . . . which have served to gel societies at various levels and degrees in the historical records.  These are just some of the myths we have told ourselves.

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