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Contemporary Mythic Anthropology

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The “Contemporary Mythic Anthropology” Project aims to explore our reception of myths from the end of the 19th century until the present day.  The material to be studied is essentially literary: novels, plays and poetry all offer unique insights into the archetypes, symbols and myths which shape our thoughts and populate our imaginations. The concept of the myth can be explored in any of its aspects (philosophical, cultural, ethnological, religious, psychoanalytic or linguistic); the only requirement is that each study should observe trends in criticism coherently.

The project pays particular attention to myths inherited from the ancient world (Narcissus, Phaedra, Orpheus), the great medieval and modern myths (Faust, Don Juan) and other mythic formulations; philosophical (the eternal return), religious (the Grail), typical (el Cid) or social (the Empire, Marxism). As in ancient and modern times, writers today have recourse to mythical imagery to express their aporias and their desires. They may do so critically, fragmentarily or subversively, but always differently.

This project will attempt to discern the ways in which myths are adapted to our contemporary mentality (translation, version, rejection, subversion), to identify those still relevant to women and men today, and finally to discover why some have ceased to be applicable while others, after acquiring a more contemporary veneer, are perfectly suited to represent our aspirations and frustrations.


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