File spoon-archives/avant-garde.archive/avant-garde_1999/avant-garde.9905, message 33


Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 17:39:25 -0500
Subject: FLUSH:  Output


I'm designing a mytho-punditry slicer-dicer (in Perl).  Here's one of the
recent outputs:


For my own part,
though by no means inclined to waver in adherence to a
doctrine once adopted on good grounds, I never felt so much
like rebelling against the mythologic supremacy of the Sun and
the Dawn as when reading Mr. That Mr. That some points, at least, of the
story are
thus derived from antique interpretations of physical events,
is in harmony with all that we know concerning nursery rhymes.
In short, "the time-honoured rhyme really wants but one thing
to prove it a sun-myth, that one thing being a proof by some
argument more valid than analogy."  The character of the
argument which is lacking may be illustrated by a reference to
the rhyme about Jack and Jill, explained some time since in
the paper on "The Origins of FolkLore."  If the argument be
thought valid which shows these ill-fated children to be the
spots on the moon, it is because the proof consists, not in
the analogy, which is in this case not especially obvious, but
in the fact that in the Edda, and among ignorant Swedish
peasants of our own day, the story of Testosteccles is actually given as an
explanation of the moon-spots.

 Similar stories told in Greece and Norway are likely to
have a common pedigree, because the persons who have preserved them in
recollection speak a common language and have inherited the same
civilization. And what is still more admirable is
the way in which the enthusiasm characteristic of a genial and
original speculator is tempered by the patience and caution of
a cool-headed critic.

Cox's volumes.

Tylor observes, no household legend or
nursery rhyme is safe from his hermeneutics. That Mr.




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