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THE DISASTROUS LOVE AFFAIR OF MOON AND MARS

by Alfred de Grazia


PART THREE:
THERAPY FOR GROUP FEAR

CHAPTER FOURTEEN


THE USES OF LANGUAGE

The Love Affair is not a double entendre and was not viewed as such in its ancient production. It is not an opera with two levels of conscious meaning. If it were, it would have arrived in our hands in a different version. But the Love Affair does not permit a conscious second level. In order for the drama to have been born at all, it had to become the mask of a historical reality. It had to speak and sound and mean a love story, first and finally.

Nevertheless, upon being created, the story still had to develop in two contradictory directions. It had to retain its hidden meaning, and it had to shed more and more of its hidden meaning. It had to tell the truth and in the same breath deny it. This formidable task of the unconscious was doomed from the start, but yet it is perennially successful.

Such "success through failure" is achieved not only in the Love Affair but in all myth. It is granted to few minds to comprehend the mechanism. Even philosophers build defenses against its comprehension. Some are rigidly obsessed with the attachment of words to objects (nominalists), or with words to operations (operationalists). Others, their opposites, insist upon the correspondence of words to ideal images (idealists, Platonists); to them the contradiction is anathema. It is intolerable, unphilosophical, confusing, meaningless. To the anthropologist, psychoanalyst, and psychological linguist, however, it is the veriest grist for the mill.


METER AND METAPHOR

Homer's 28,000 lines were six-footed, the hexameter, which Paul Maas [1] renders schematically and typically as:

Each of the six long, stress syllables is followed by two short ones except at the end of the line, where a stressed sound prevails. Besides the stress, there runs a pitch that rises on some of the short syllables. The fifth and sixth syllables present a more variable combination than the other feet; they often embrace a "caesura," a pause or rhythmic division of the melody of the line. "All methods of imposing an order upon discourse by means of rhythm... are on a lower level, from the point of view of metric, than the oldest type of Greek verse, the Homeric hexameter." [2] Unfortunately, little is known about the rhythmic feeling of these measures or how dynamic and tonal accents were introduced as well. Furthermore, "we have no means of reading, reciting, or hearing Greek poetry as it actually sounded," [3] and can only form a shadowy notion of it. And, to make matters worse, nearly everyone believes that it is practically impossible to render English acceptable into epic (dactylic) hexameter, a judgement with which we do not agree. The reader may address the question by means of the author's working carried in Chapter Two above or search out a now rare translation by H. B. Cotterill done in 1911.

The rewards of metric and phonetic analysis of the Love Affair may appear slender. One can listen time after time to tapes of it recorded by a trained actor without the rhythms registering more than the serious, singsong, long-drawn tread of the epic narrative. The sophistication of the rhythm finds itself in the length of the line and the large variety of subordinate rhythms that emerge from the counterpoint of whole-word against metric division, producing a harmonic unity and disunity at the same time. No doubt it was this last that induced Aristotle and others to affirm that the basis of poetry was the syllable; but the syllabic structure, taken alone, would collapse unless coordinated with the word structure, phonetic structure, and meaning structure. These all confirm the belief that Homer's

1 3 5 7 9 ___ 11 ___ form is "advanced," technically, as Maas asserts, in consistency with the total state of his culture, regardless of the remanent social chaos of his times.

A little more is to be learned by investigating the technique of metaphor. One might expect that, if there is a second level of meaning to the passages of the Love Affair, it would crop up in the guise of metaphor. W. B. Stanford writes that Homer generally engages heavily in metaphor but that his metaphors are ordinary and uninspired; "with a very few exceptions, Homer seems always stilted and even deliberately archaistic [liturgical] in his use of metaphors." [4] In the Love Affair, we find only three "genuine" metaphors among the hundred lines: "fine as a Spider's web" refers to Hephaestus' net; Aphrodite "bridles not her passion" is an expression that may well have had the ordinary meaning of "restrain" and therefore not be metaphorical; and Poseidon speaks "winged words," a favorite hackneyed Homericism.

Hephaestus goes home "with a heavy heart," but one may regard this as literal, especially given Homeric physiological theory. And the lovers "shamed the bed" of Hephaestus, which illustrates a displaced object rather than a metaphor. Also there are epithets that refer to the gods - Poseidon, "the earth-enfolder," among others - but these we again see as literal adjectives and part of the divine names; the gods are described "as they are."

Moreover, only the single simile is to be found in the passage. Yet it would have been easy to conceal catastrophe in one of Homers' famous similes. He might have chanted, "and as the gods laughed, it was as when great thunderclaps and bursts of light came from the blue skies, shaking the trees and setting the rocks to trembling, alarming the shepherd to gather his flock into the shelter of the cave."

Instead, the Love Affair is completely matter-of-fact. Hence one may consider the opposite hypothesis: there must be reason for the passage to be barren of metaphor and simile. The reason is not slow to suggest itself. Since the parallelism between what is said in the lines and what is happening in the sky and on earth is so close, and, furthermore, so well-kept a secret, the need for metaphor and simile is negligible. Indeed, the whole passage is a single great simile ! And similes upon similes don't go.

A second clue is intriguing. Stanford was cited to have praised Homer's similes and depreciated his metaphors. "Why," one asks, "would Homer be apt to this criticism?" A statement of Stanford deserves repetition:

The essence of effective metaphor is a clear and definite understanding of the two constituent ideas incorporated in the metaphorical term, together with an appreciation of the new concept integrated from those constituent ideas... In order to insure that a reader or hearer will thus fully appreciate his metaphors, a poet must be certain that his audience understands clearly and precisely the meanings of words as he uses them [5] .

Then comes his thesis: "Because words lacked precise definition in Homer's time, Homer could not, even if he had wished, have used daring metaphors." [6]

Since Stanford is unaware of catastrophic theory and of this book's alternative short-term theory of the Dark Ages of Greece, he pursues his arguments in the typical manner. Homer was building a primitive language and savage customs into the dawn of Greek civilization. So again, Stanford's evidence support unwittingly the 'Crazed Survivors' theory.

Stanford quotes C. M. Bowra who holds that Homer's language is clearly not primitive but "in other ways he employs a speech which has not settled to fixed forms and uses... This inexactness of function is natural in speech which is still finding itself." Stanford agrees and adds, "This is the common experience of all readers of Homer. In his dialects, grammar, prosody, and syntax, everything points to the growth of conciliatory order out of chaos and not to deliberate variation of an existing uniformity." [7] Demetrius long ago had written, "Homer impresses his hearers greatly by the employment of words descriptive of inarticulate sounds, and by their novelty above all." Homer had to make the meaning of many words - "to combine," as Stanford puts it, "with his poetic gifts the work of a pioneer grammarian, semiologist, and rhetorician." Another facet of the greatly and eternally confused "Homeric question," it appears, is resolved by our theory. Homer is too sophisticated to be a primitive minstrel, yet he is first and foremost of the Greek poets, and nobody feels that he stood upon the shoulders of great predecessors. Many contradictions, both technical and sociological, characterize his work, his subjects, his times. These are largely resolved if Homer is regarded to be part of his times, at one with his subjects and their fathers and grandfathers, and working in a new alphabet upon a polyglot, untutored Hellenic population surviving from a set of recent natural and social disasters.


HOMER: EDITOR AND PUBLISHER

Scholars have arrived at a fair concert of opinions about Homer. "The prevalent theory today" is that the Odyssey is not the full creation of one person [8] . Since it would be senseless for Homer to have put on a somewhat different vocabulary for each story, this evidence is weighty.

The Odyssey's language is more consistent than the Iliad's, hence it is considered to be the later work. Its concepts are more abstract, another sign of its being written later. However, both these facts would also jibe with the two-author theory.

Page makes the telling point that the Iliad and the Odyssey do not refer to each other. He repeated Monro's claim that the Odyssey "never repeats or refers to any incident related to the Iliad." [9] They neither boost nor knock each other. Yet they are consistent; there is no discrepancy between them. Some of the characters overlap, of course, and some of the statements correspond.

Further, both epics are written from the same perspective of time. Their parallelism with regards to the events described extends beyond coincidental probability, whether these events were 400 years or 30 years before Homer.

Both poems carry a style that is agreed to be oral. That is, they were intended for oral recitation, in parts and as wholes, extending over some days of recitation, if needs be. The major internal evidence of this rests in the great number of formular phrases that are employed time after time. "If the poet wishes to begin his verse with the thought 'But when they arrived... ', he has one way, and one only, of expressing this..." He has to deny himself all other ways [10] . In a sense unappreciated by modern writers, who search unendingly for an expanded, particularistic vocabulary and a way of avoiding cliches, the Greek epics were built upon collections of phrases, not words. The conclusion is that "the creation of the vast number of formulas, adaptable to almost all possible emergencies, must have been the work of many generations of poets... This is the memory technique of verse-making." But many formulas might be adapted to any long poem; ancient formulas would be the bricks that a mason could use quickly to erect a house; more closely similar is the practice of popular musical composers of folk, rock, fox trot and blues music in America who turn out great numbers of songs from a certain number of stock romantic lines and musical phrases.

A number of elements of both poems were explicitly Mycenaean. They are idiomatic, even identical, They are so tightly linked with the Mycenaean culture that they could not all have been carried orally over 500 or 400 devastated, savage years. But they could represent what was destroyed one or a couple of generations before and still obtruded in the culture of the Homeric people. Further, it is agreed that many elements of the poems were non-Mycenaean, meaning contemporary or Near Eastern or Western Mediterranean.

Here, our explanation is that the shocked society of Homer carried various cultures within itself, having no control over their incongruities. The oral technique would have been a continuation of centuries of recitation from memory that can prosper alongside any bureaucratic society, such as the Mycenaean, in which scribes could write, but the people could not.

C. M. Bowra believes of Homer "that since he himself was alive when the wonderful art of writing returned to the Greeks in the form of the Phoenician alphabet, he dictated his poems to someone who knew it and the written texts were guarded by professional bards who recited them to later generations." [11]

Page puts the Odyssey not later than -700. We would guess its composition at about -650, its transcription soon thereafter. He mentions the possibility that the poet of the Odyssey may have been a contemporary of Archilochus, Callinus, and Alcman, two generations or more later [12] . He says there may in fact not have been any written version of the Odyssey before the sixth century [13] . The Iliad would have preceded this event by several generations. We suggest that just as the Iliad preceded the wanderings of Odysseus, the Iliad preceded the story of them. One then arrives at dates for the composition of the Iliad in several stages between -700 and -670.

The great literary historian, Aristarchus, places Homer some sixty years after the return of the Heraclids, whom we have assigned to the late Eighth Century. Arie Dirkwager, in an unpublished manuscript lent to this author, has reasonably calculated that Homer "lived somewhere between 715 and, let us say, 640;" he connects Homer with Archilochus, whose grandfather Odysseus is supposed to have encountered when he visited Hades, and with Lycurgus, the "Spartan lawgiver, who we think owes his fame to his work in social reconstruction following upon natural disaster."

Despite the ancient's insistence upon the single identity of Homer, Page considers finally "the relation between the two poems to be that of father and son: is it not much more probable that they are elder and younger brother, living in different places and developing in different ways? I suggest that this is so, and that it can be proved to be so."

Of course he does nothing of the kind, but the concept of a family shop is congenial. It reminds one of Robert Graves' effort, possibly heuristic only, to place the authorship of the Odyssey in the hands of a daughter of Odysseus, named Nausicaa! The opinion of the present study is that Homer was unique. This is maintained not so as to ride free on the wagon of the traditionalists but because of what has already been said in this section and in this book.

Homer was a trained Greek bard living in the seventh century in Asia Minor. The skies were settled and society was coming out of a century of shocks. Like Shakespeare, not only could he act but he could also invent poetry. His age was not like ours, an age of personalized authorship and copyrights. His inheritance of poetry was both his and non-his; it mattered little. Homer was alert to the future. Thus he succeeded well in binding up the past. Moreover, he witnessed the new alphabetization of Greek [14] . Excitedly he seized upon its practice and went to work. Like an editor of today, he brought into the shop what he regarded as the most vendable story in Greek culture - "Achilles and The Siege of Troy." It was an epic that he himself could recite, checking now and then its lines with another bard, discovering frequent inconsistencies and correcting as many as he could, losing patience often perhaps with the scribes of the new alphabet who must have had to make hundred of linguistic decisions in collaboration with him.

The epic in writing was an instant success. In the beginning, he who writes things down is the author, with all due regard to the gods and muses. So Homer was the author. He was more the creative editor and publisher. Probably no sooner had the original version been produced than it was copied - under his supervision for he would not have let out his treasure.

If the Iliad was such a success, would there be a second epic of like proportions to transcribe? There would be. Homer, Editor and Publisher, would be sought after by other bards who lacked his editorial genius and workmanship in the new literary genre. Would he help them - at a price, of course? The work would be in his name, but his patronage would be valuable. So one may conjecture that after he had created the Iliad in written form, he sought out and selected a second epic coming from another part of the Greek world, singing of Odysseus, a character whom he favored beyond all others.

The signs of a common editorial hand in the two works exist; they have encouraged the belief in a unique "author" over the whole time. There is evidence of deliberate tampering with the two poems to make them consistent and related, but never duplicative. Thus Nestor's story of his early life in Pylos, found in the Iliad, is "remarkably Odyssean in style." [15] The Odyssey, coming from another bard or geographical area than the Iliad, would not be so familiar to Homer and a number of inconsistencies would escape his editorial scrutiny. Or perhaps he was anxious to complete its transcription and get it out on the market. The major inconsistencies of plot and dialogue are found in the meshing of the Telemachus story into Odysseus' return, although Professor Page adds analyses of other contradictions and lapses [16] .

Inconsistencies of general outlook, ethics, theology, and philosophy scarcely exist. Homer may have made his greatest contributions here. He would have been not only copy-editor, but also moralist, bent upon securing the larger Greek cultural community to its ultimate values in human relations and the human in relation to the divine. It is for reasons like these, and because the terrors of continuous disaster stretch their penumbra over the actors, that Mircea Eliade diverges from his contemplation of the remotest antiquities and calls the Iliad a kind of creation epic. It is a new age whose story Homer reorders and edits for publication, one that begins a century before he deals with it.


TRADUTTORE TRADITTORE

By the time the first Greek grammarians went to work, the language of Homer was quaint. The language changes. The references of words change. Associations are formed and join in the same word. Words expand their meanings and simultaneously contract them. Words are invented by new combinations of sounds, relating to the events referred to, and to familiar sounds of nature, and previously exciting words of like character.

Take the word "brazen." It connotes 'bronze. ' It also means 'hot. ' This is easy enough.

Examine the epithet "golden-bridled Ares." It means to Murray, "Ares of the golden rein." Both are "correct." Why, as the authoritative translator (Murray) would have it, does it mean the latter, when a translation bearing in mind the hidden construction could picture Ares as a darkly ruddy planet with electric flashes and belts playing across its face, bridling it like the head of a warhorse [17] ? Alexander Pope, puzzled, finds it, "He glows, he burns," (with love, of course). Fitzgerald gives simply "golden Ares."

Graves discovered that Hephaestus can be rendered as "He who Shines by Day." Phaethon, of the same root, means "shining, the shining one, radiant" and was the name of the mythical son of Helios who, paralyzed by fright, let the chariot of the Sun scorch the Earth and plunged to a fiery death, an occasion that quite probably corresponded to an earlier catastrophe, associated with the planet Venus. One should also note that Phaeacia is the Shining Land, land of Fire, the Phaeacians being "Phaecixikos." The words of "shining" and "fire" are dear to Homer. He uses them on hundreds of occasions in his epics, perhaps ninety percent of the time in symbolism of passion, heroism, and death [18] . He calls Hephaestus "the fire of the world."

The early Greek philosophers, reports Burnet, called the planet Saturn "Phaenon," the planet Jupiter "Phaethon," Mercury "Stilvon" (Brilliant), Venus "Phosphoros" (light-bearer), and Mars "Pyroeis" (Fiery one) [19] . Perhaps someday a scholar will go back to the symbol and root of the j and find there only "fire, feuer, fuoco, feu, phaeton, etc." with perhaps an astral significance in the birth of the language and perhaps even search out the origins of other root sounds in the same vein. We should know, however, that j seems to have had phallic associations as a letter of the Greek alphabet [20] . And fusiz means creativity, talents, and the penis. At Lemnos, in probable reference to Hephaestus, there was found a medal with the inscription, "kabeireia pythia phi," or "the strong one, python, phi." [21]

Moreover, the (j) of Hephaestus is close to the modern symbol of the planet Venus. But this is also close to the apparition of a comet,

with its tail; a planet could better be a circle or a star. Many ancients designated the planet Venus by the same symbol. And Aphrodite contains in her name the same letter, and, generally, is described by a number of words conveying brilliance and light.

The symbol is a hieroglyph of Egypt but is also found around the globe, in ancient Mexico, for example. In Egypt it may also be rendered

or And as it was ascribed phallic meaning in Greece, so it was in Egypt. The statue of Horus at Coptos has a phallus in his hands which is said to have been taken from Typhon (the monster, the part of Venus-Hephaestus, that crashed into Earth).

Isis-Athena and Typhon-Hephaestus are recalled unconsciously in the symbol of the ankh,

both as comets and as dismembered comets. It then recalls terror and can join with the castration fear, so that the phallic symbol and the astronomical symbol unite in a syllable that is both pornographic and anxiety-causing. But, with typical ambivalence, the ankh comes down to us in a long procession led by the Christian church, where the ankh is the symbol of "life." Still, the Egyptian 'Ankh', the symbol of life, is a combination of male and female.

Moving to line 273, one finds a complicated sentence; Hephaestus fashions a device to capture the secret lovers in flagrante delictu. No translator feels the need to indicate that the original meaning of akinon is thunderbolt, not anvil (from which sparks fly). It also means a meteoritic stone. The mundane word derives from the astral; the significant aspect here is not the precedence, but the insistent astral atmosphere of the passages. Hephaestus, after all, might have woven a net of cord, or dug a collapsing pit; or "bummed a ride" on Helios' chariot: he is a versatile genius, not only a blacksmith. The device is of copper, again not of fibre, as fishing nets are.

A slightly different sentence emerges than the other translators, who are in rough consensus, give. Murray studiously emerges with "But straightaway one came to him with tidings, even Helius, who had marked them as they lay together in love. And when Hephaestus heard the grievous tale, he went his way to his smithy, pondering evil in the deep of his heart, and set on the anvil block the great anvil and forged bonds which might not be broken or loosed, that the lovers might bide fast where they were."

And we read: Straightaway then went with the news, of course, Helios, who'd spotted them loving, Shocked and dismayed was Hephaestus to hear of the painful story. Deep down below the depths of his forge he proceeded; there, placing a thunderbolt stone on the block of the anvil, he struck and struck off unbreakable fetters that no one could hope to dissolve, for fixing the lovers in bondage, right where they loved, was his fierce aim.

Little can be done with the most common verb of the passage; Ercomai meaning simply "to go and come," and Homer uses almost no other word of movement. "Why not 'fly'?" one asks, for, in general, Homer is fond of metaphors of birds and flight. Or even "rushed." Alexander Pope translates the word into airy and flighty language, indeed gives the whole play a fully heavenly treatment. Still, although the language openly describes events in the skies, the word "go and come" is just that and one has to be resigned to the correct perception that these heavenly bodies did not fly; they came, moved, stood, departed. The personages were huge masses, not birds or "shooting stars."

To conclude, a slight tendency exists for the translators to reduce the instances when the words and phrases of the original might have suggested hidden parallels of an astral and catastrophic character. To this they are driven not only by their own preoccupation with the evident and conventional, but by lexicons that are a product of the establishment, in effect, a guarantee that when in doubt they will follow the consensus.

It is of little use to appeal to "The Original," dismissing all translations. A thoroughly versed classicist would be similarly tempted to "read" or "explain" in classical Greek the meanings of the words in their singular romantic sense. One can imagine Homer himself, half composing, half reporting the story; even he must have contributed to its integrity as romance at the cost of greater ambiguity as history.

For basically all words describing events are a translation abinitio (See above, page 29). Even the most rigorous scientific language begins to wash out meanings through metaphors. Only in the subconscious minds of the earliest singers of the song and their audience would there exist openly sensible connections between the event and the signs, and between the denotating signs and the connotating signs. And soon only these latter were permitted to bubble up into awareness.


THE THROES OF ORIGINAL PLOT

Thrusting at these arguments from another point, a critic may offer the reasonable observation that the Love Affair is only an instance of the ever popular plot of the love triangle. Two people owe each other love. A third in fact captures the love of one of the pair. The third is outraged at being excluded from the prior love. And, naturally, preceding this plot came many familiar personal histories from time immemorial.

At the risk of offering a theory of literary creativity that cannot be amply defended here, I would say that we are treating of time immemorial and even of the rise of language and literary forms. Long before the Love Affair could be composed, there had to be a language; that language, to be invented, had to be preceded by and based upon a ritualized culture fascinated by repetitions and order.

The "obvious plot" had not only to be experienced, but had also to be perceived as important in two regards: to be certified by higher authority (i. e. the behavior of the gods); and to be translated from common occurrence into Symbolic form. (More will be said of this later.)

The Oedipus story, from which the important psychiatric complex derived its name, had occurred innumerable times in the dawn of humanity. But it took a particular episode of Egyptian history, involving a God-Pharaoh, which I. Velikovsky has brilliantly detected in Oedipus and Akhnaton, to sponsor the translation and elevate into literature, first spoken and then written, the general human experience and anxiety over the sexual love between mother and son.

Among the several facets of Homer's genius is that he carried wars, sex and feasting into the humanly experienced life of the gods so that divine behavior could be at least partly understood, though full of contradictions that themselves created, including a contemporary practical wisdom and a later "rational" philosophy. Too late after the events, in the third century, A. D., Quintillus wrote a sequel to the Iliad. It is insipid, uninspiring. It affords no sense of the presence and reality of the gods when compared with the Wrath of Achilles or the "Return of the Heroes" sung to Odysseus before he hears of the Love Affair. It is as if our primeval myth-maker knew the crude principle of stardom in Hollywood. "If they can't remember the story, they'll remember who starred in the movie."

Hence one speculates that the enduring plots and themes of the arts, including history, were invented with great effort and through a real-perceived event, sparking a combustible mixture of instruments and institutions - linguistic, behavioral, and technical.


HUMAN STRESS AND LANGUAGE

A child likes to repeat words, phrases, and sentences. One will chant the same line indefatigably. It may be newly invented or a thousand years old. It may or may not "make sense". A relief of anxiety occurs in the repetition. The speech of the old and dying often becomes repetitive, and an old person who has spoken an acquired language will often revert to the sole use of the language he first learned. When pinned down by enemy fire, a soldier will often chant words incoherently, or if he had instruction, say, in the Catholic Church, will repeat the "Hail, Mary" prayer times without end. Sad folk ballads and neurotic "rock-and-roll" songs are obsessively simple in word and beat and prolong themselves to the agony of anyone not afflicted who must endure them. The language of sudden grief and disaster is often "No! No! No!..." or "She can't be dead! She can't be dead..." The sacred dream recital and liturgy, plus many institutional offshoots, are a repetition of events that once occurred. That the original event was a terrible event followed by great anxiety is evidenced in many ways, as in the punitiveness with which unbelievers are regarded, for the unbeliever is saying that "the tragedy that once happened to you is insignificant." In the realm of rhetoric and linguistic pragmatics, the sacred expression is using symbols as a way of regressing to stress, reenacting it, rememorizing the events, and ultimately releasing tensions.

Insistence upon correctness in detail prolongs the generation of memory and at the same time insures that the gods realize how faithfully these humans have remembered their lesson. The repetitiveness, another aspect of obsession, and another means of insuring memorization, progressively fixates the ritual participant upon the root of his ailment. "She can't stop scratching her mosquito bite," "He wallows in his misery;" these are trivial obsessive actions. The original recital of the Love Affair would have taken hours; Homer cut it and shaped it to a new form of art, but note well that he lets one know that it is far form the original version; he did not steal, abridge it, and present it as original.

The sacred originates in a stressful and tragic condition. In the process of sublimation, the tragic stress gives way to liturgical language, promoting the development of language itself, in both "hieratic" (priestly) and popular (" demotic" ) forms. Tragedy is never lost. Its final triumph is to give birth to comedy.


THE RULES OF MYTHICAL LANGUAGE

The rules of scientific language are well-known. They should actually be called "ideals," since they cover far less of science than they "should," and necessarily so, because scientific language cannot generate its highest flights unless it resort to philosophic language. To the scientist, the rule is: "one event should receive one signification." Further: "the signification should be the same for anyone to whom it is communicated." Moreover, "the signification should be testable, by repetition of the event sequence in experiment, etc." Finally, "events should be described and combined in forms of signification that do not add external meanings;" that is, no extraneous feelings or meanings should slip in by design or surreptitiously to spoil the purity of the generalization. All of this began with Aristotle's nominalism (words are distinct from, and refer to, objects) and has arrived at Whitehead's operationism (the meanings of words can only lie in the events they describe).

Aristotle had another side, also. He understood rhetoric and pragmatics. While developing a rational grammar of science, he was preparing a science of influencing. Given a particular audience, what symbols should be chosen and manipulated to produce a desired effect? Here words are signs of mental affections, not exclusively of the dualities of things. Once pursued, this line of thought has ever more fearful implications. Not until the latest stage of the modern scientific outlook has a body of scientific work been permitted to arise that would inquire into the reasons for reasoning, the meaning of meaning, the ideology behind every body of action, including the activities of science itself.

When science has come this far, it is capable of analyzing the language of myth scientifically. The first rule for the interpretation of myth is that symbols in their content will have a determined and possibly determinable meaning. The second is that "what the symbols mean" contains, besides other things, "the psychological effects produced by them." Thirdly, there is an "unconscious science of myth," as well as certain principles of the "conscious" science of myth that we have dug out and can apply with predictable effects. Just as the athlete, poet, orator, and composer may not know the scientific rules of their successful performances, so the myth-teller and myth-hearer will not usually understand what rules of linguistics and psychology he is applying.

The most important of these unconscious rules, all of them practiced and evident in the Love Affair, are perhaps the following:

1. Make a myth of any collectively experienced event that had tragic consequences in order to give symptomatic relief to the perpetual illness. (The myth of the Love Affair exemplifies this rule.)

2. Remain steadfastly true to the event. As the consensus that perceived the event then and there defined it, so relate it. (As a result of this rule, many generations later, we can behave as cryptographic detectives in relation to the historical character of the myth. We are trying to replay this rule as it guided the producers of the Love Affair.)

3. Conceal the truth of the event insofar as it is disturbing. (We are seeking the truth of the Love Affair in many areas, not the least of which is in the language, where we observed a number of techniques of concealing the truth while telling it.)

4. Use methods of concealment that contribute symptomatic relief. (We find in the Love Affair a thoroughly satisfactory plot that amuses, a suggestive language, reiteration, ritual, collective reassurance.)

5. The therapy should last for the duration of the pain. (Over a span of forty memorial generations and eighty reproductive generations some portion of humanity has obtained symptomatic relief from the Love Affair. However, the myth has lost impact steadily from the settling of heaven, and from more philosophical methods of coping with the symptoms. The doctrines of the eternal constancy of the heavens, the practical timelessness of earthly change, and the gradual evolution of humans - sometimes referred to altogether as the ideology of uniformitarianism - have proven a more effective repressor and a partial therapy in the long run. They have made the Love Affair mainly a salacious tale, told in a thousand forms, whose insistent threats and memories linger only vaguely.

As for adults, so for babies.

So turkey-lurkey turned back, and walked with gander-lander, goose-loose, drake-lake, duck-luck, cock-lock, hen-len, and chicken-licken. And as they were going along, they met fox-lox. And fox-lox said "Where are you going, my pretty maids?" And they said, "Chicken-Licken went to the wood, and the sky fell upon her poor bald pate, and we are going to tell the king." And fox-lox said, "Come along with me, and I will show you the way." But fox-lox took them into the fox's hole, and he and his young ones soon ate up poor chicken-licken, hen-len, cock-lock, duck-luck, drake-lake, goose-loose, gander-lander, and turkey-lurkey, and they never saw the king to tell him that the sky had fallen! [22]

The story is much longer, of course, because one after another of the little animals is added to the fearful procession following chicken-licken, and the list is repeated liturgically. The sky is beginning to fall; the people are frightened; they seek the religio-secular authority to ease their fears or perhaps to do something about it.

But they encounter the fox who, ancient myths relate, "nibbles continuously at the thong of the yoke which holds together heaven and earth" (Proclus) and "German folklore adds that when the fox succeeds, the world will come to its end." This same fox can also be a wolf, and a dog. It is a star. It is also called "Electra, mother of Dardanus, who left her station among the Pleiades, desperate because of Ilion's (Troy's) fall, and retired above the second star of the beam... others call this star 'fox. '" So write Santillana and von Dechend, from their sources, calling finally upon the great expert on ancient astronomy, F. X. Kugler who had said: "The star at the beam of the wagon is the fox star: Era, the powerful among the gods. In astrological usage, it represents above all the planet Mars/ Nergal." [23]

The same story, whose origins disappear into the immemorial (read "memorial") past, has been altered over the last century of time. Today, people may read to their three-year olds in a new version [24] that the little animals encounter, not a fox, but a wise owl, and that the owl skeptically asks to be shown the fallen piece of sky: heaven cannot fall; it turns out that it was only an apple that had fallen. They found the apple and Chicken-Licken ate it and was happy.

Alas, they are back to the owl, which happens to have been a paramount symbol of "owl-eyed" Athena [25] , and they are eating the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden. Once more, "success through failure."



Notes (Chapter 14: The Uses of Language)

1. Greek Metre (trans. from German ed;, 1927 and addenda, by H. Lloyd-Jones, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962), p. 59.

2. Ibid., pp 1-2.

3. Ibid, pp. 3-4.

4. Greek Metaphor (1936, reprinted New York: Johnson reprint. Corp., 1972), p. 120.

5. Ibid., p. 121.

6. Ibid., p. 121.

7. Ibid., p. 65.

8. D. page, The Homeric Odyssey pp. 52, 72 et passim. The Iliad and the Odyssey do not seem to have written by the same person either. The two epics have divergent vocabularies. Ibid.. pp. 149-57.

9. Ibid., p. 158.

10. Page, Ibid., p. 139.

11. "Problems Concerned with Homer and the Epics," in Thomas, op. cit.. pp. 16. 18. 42.

12. Op. cit., pp. m147-8.

13. Ibid., p. 97.

14. A. J. B. Wace writes in the Foreword to M. Ventris and J. Chadwick's Documents in Mycenean Greek (Cambride, Eng.: Cambridge Univ. Press. 1959), XXViii. that Linear B probably carried over until driven out by the more efficient Phoenician alphabet. We Would agree that both alphabets were concurrently used, and, moreover, the success of the new alphabet was precipitated by the natural disasters and social destruction.

15. Page, Ibid., p. 161, fin. 8.

16. Summarized, Ibid., p. 159, 53 ff.

17. This construction is supported as conceivable in an electric encounter in the study by Franz Xavier Kugler of the Sibylline oracles, Stecchini, op. cit., p. 143. "The Battle of the stars began with the appearance in the eastern sky of a body as bright as the sun and similar in apparent diameter to the sun and the moon. The light of the sun was replaced by long streams of flame crossing each other."

18. Cedric H. Whitman, "Fire and Other Elements; "in Steiner and Fagles, op. cit., pp. 40 ff. Cf. also D. page, The Homeric Odyssey, 152-3.

19. J. Burnet, Early Greek Philosophers (London, 1920), 3rd ed., p. 23; Plato's Epinomis (Harvard edition, Oxford: Clarendon press, 1928, lines 986a-987d) first gives the planets their Greek Present names.

20. W. B. Stanford, Greek Metaphor (Oxford, Eng.: Blackwell, 1936), 67, 81, citing Franz Dornsieff, Pindars Stil (1921). Cf. supra, p. 175.

21. Isaac N. Vail citing Eckhel, p. 45, of Mythic Mountain (Santa Barbara, Calif.: Annular publications. 1972). see also above. p. 160.

22. This last part of the typically repetitious (liturgical) story for tiny children called "Chicken-Licken," is quoted from James O. Halliwell-Phillips, Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales (London: J. R. Smith, 1849), p. 31. The story is found in Africa, India, all over Europe. Cf. my own note in The Burning of Troy.

23. G. de Santillana and II. van Dechend, Hamlet's Mill: An Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time.( Boston: Gambit, 1969), p. 385.

24. Chicken Little (Racine, Wisc.: Whitman Publ. co., 1958).

25. The owl is a marvelous tranfiguration of a blazing-eyed twin comet that may have been one source of the duality of Athena-Hephaestus and the many twin serpent symbols of antiquity.




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