My Burning Quest(ion) of the Day

26 Jun

Preface: After browsing through a book titled “HISTORY OF MODERN ART”, I decided to take a whittle break with a branch I found on a walk. When I returned inside, I looked down at the book, on top of which I had placed my cell phone. obscuring the full title to its still relative but abbreviated form, “STORY OF MODERN ART.”  

Question: What is the fundamental distinction between myth and hi(s)tory?

Exploration: The Online Etymology Dictionary reinforced my curiosity by exemplifying my confusion in the distinction.

“History”: 1390, “relation of incidents” (true or false), from O.Fr. historie, from L. historia “narrative, account, tale, story,” from Gk. historia “a learning or knowing by inquiry, history, record, narrative,” from historein “inquire,” from histor “wise man, judge,” from PIE *wid-tor-, from base *weid- “to know,” lit. “to see” (see vision). Related to Gk. idein “to see,” and to eidenai “to know.” In M.E., not differentiated from story; sense of “record of past events” probably first attested 1485. Sense of “systematic account (without reference to time) of a set of natural phenomena” (1567) is now obs. except in natural history. What is historic (1669) is noted or celebrated in history; what is historical (1561) deals with history. Historian “writer of history in the higher sense,” distinguished from a mere annalist or chronicler, is from 1531. The O.E. word was þeod-wita.

So it seems that history and myth are indistinguishable, apart from perspective-weather one believes it to be true or not, and weather one regards the characters to be omnipotent or demi-gods or mortals.

A Novel Character Idea: Man who is able to live in civilization without being tainted/brainwashed/charmed by the over-controlling ideology dissemenated by the government, through macro and micro infrastructures,down to the family unit. One who is resistant to civilization but can live within it. Physicality: Similar to a salamander, where salamander is described as–“The Salamanders have, like lizards, an elongated body, four feet, and a long tail, but are destitute of scales. They are true Amphibia, related to the frogs. Formerly, it was a superstition that the salamander could live in fire without harm, and even extinguish it by the natural coldness of its body.”

Because salamander is also a term for a portable stove or burner, this character could deliver a commodity of worth from civilization-be it a resource of physical or mental nourishment- to the cold, the dark, the underwater dwellers, subconscious of civilizations care or awareness. From here, there are many myths about fire stealers and subsequent relay races that take fire from the have’s (the gods, the society, the sun, etc) and commit a heroic deed in delivering it to the have not’s.


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