January 09, 2006

Sigh ... still running behind. (Self-imposed commitments: is there anything more binding?) Share, for now, an insight given me by a friend during a bit of social time when for once my body decided not to seize the moment and catch up on lost sleep.

Technology asks "what" and "how". Humanities ask "why". Each of these can be questions of detail or of the greater picture (although the first is the more likely -- if not exclusively so -- not to see the forest for the trees): but the first seeks only continuity (of effect, of character), while the second acknowledges evolution and the possibility -- probability! -- of comprehensible change over time.

Thus, shaped by its environment, what passes for fandom analysis of a popular series these days increasingly seems to be a lost-in-detail study of continuity issues in exactly the same manner as a film continuity editor would examine it ... and nothing else ... and especially no alteration to the existing Archetype which had attracted the fandom in the first place. For this is what the understanding of myth has been reduced to in these days: a plug-in-the-archetype equation for identification and categorisation.

Jung's structure still does remain useful, but as a starting point only. Once that structure itself begins to be considered destination and fulfillment, it is time to toss it out and start anew -- and is this not one of the truths myth teaches us?

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