This article discusses a Buddhist lama's perception of a cave, situated in Maratika in the eastern part of Nepal, which is a pilgrimage site to both Hindus and Buddhists. In the Buddhist perspective, Maratika is believed to be the location where the mythological hero Padmasambhava achieved immortality and where he left various traces in the landscape, such as footprints in rocks. Mythology and geography thus intersect in Maratika, whereby myth is spatialized and landscape is temporalized. Through a description of a series of events, in which a specific, newly discovered trace was an object of joint attention between the lama, Karma Wangchuk, and myself, the article illustrates how the perception of the landscape is a mediation between dripstone formations on the walls of the cave and the mythology of Padmasambhava.
A Buddhist Lama’s Perception of a Pilgrimage Cave
David Allen Harvey
Classical polytheism or “paganism” presented a challenge to the Philhellenes of the Enlightenment, who found it difficult to accept that the greatest minds of antiquity had been taken in by (vide Fontenelle) “a heap of chimeras, delusions, and absurdities.” Rejecting the claim that “paganism” was a deformation of the “natural religion” of the early Hebrew patriarchs, several Enlightenment thinkers developed theories of classical polytheism, presenting it as the apotheosis of the great kings and heroes of the first ages of man, a system of allegorical symbols that conveyed timeless truths, and the effort of a prescientific mentality to understand the hidden forces of nature. Although divergent in their interpretations of “paganism,” these theories converged by separating its origins from Judeo-Christian traditions and presenting religion as an essentially human creation. Thus, Enlightenment theories of classical mythology contributed to the emergence of the more cosmopolitan and tolerant spirit that characterized the age.
Today there is a fascination with a new category of elites: the globalized management businessman. The notion of “elite” refers here to a group of people believed to be more competent in a particular field than others; Jack Welsh (GEC), Bill Gates (Microsoft) are among the best-known examples. The members of this social group have their own perception of reality and they also have a distinct class identity, recognizing themselves as separate and superior to the rest of society. Newcomers are socialized and co-opted by the group on the basis of internal criteria established by the existing group members. Therefore group members are more or less interchangeable and may move from one institution—in this case a corporation—to another within the group. Whether defined as heterogeneous or homogeneous, this group utilizes cultural mythologies that serve to legitimize their status and power: these are the focus of this article.
Restlessness in Herder’s Journal of My Voyage in the Year 1769
John K. Noyes
In this article I examine Johann Gottfried Herder’s Journal of My Voyage in the Year 1769 as a radical experiment in travel writing. Herder understands travel as an alignment of the mobility of the mind with the mobility of the body, and the task of the travel writer (and the traveling reader) is to use language to explore this alignment. Th e experiment of 1769 was intended as a continuation of his studies on epistemology, which had been intent on finding an alternative understanding of knowledge to the dominant trends of the day, idealism and empiricism. Language and its actualization in reading and writing are the foundation upon which knowledge transfer can be built, and the Journal is an attempt to demonstrate how knowledge transfer is possible.
Conversations with an Iatmul Woman of Papua New Guinea
Florence Weiss and Milan Stanek
Rituals are analyzed in anthropology as non-personal cultural structures, embedded in the overall behavioral patterns and semantic networks that are typical for a particular cultural group. This article focuses on the Iatmul people of Papua New Guinea and their ritual, naven, which features transvestite behavior and ritualized social roles. The authors discuss the ethno-psychoanalytic approach, which focuses on the psychodynamics of the relationship between two persons, the foreign researcher and his or her local counterpart, that develops in the course of a series of conversations. The narrative shifts to a case study involving Weiss and an Iatmul woman, Magendaua, which took place over three months. Their conversations particularly illuminate the meanings of the naven ritual. The use Magendaua made of the naven can be characterized as a transformation of the tensions in the relationship with her Swiss ethnographic-interlocutor and interpreted as a general feature of the rituals of this type.
Craig San Roque
This article explores the relationship of Central Australian 'Dreaming', or Tjukurrp, to symbol and thought formation in Aboriginal culture. Acknowledgment is given to ethnographic and indigenous descriptions of Tjukurrp and to Aboriginal mythopoeia, but the author is primarily concerned with how thoughts are made and what they are made of. Comparisons are drawn to European myths and cults in order to understand how Tjukurrp and myth might influence intercultural transference. The author suggests that through an anthropological and psychoanalytical analysis of intercultural conversations and an understanding of Tjukurrp's structure and content, non-indigenous people working in health and law might appreciate and comprehend Aboriginal thinking and thus be more effective in various aspects of engagement. In this meditation on thought formation and failure, the author seeks to understand the relationships between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals, so that those who intend to help do not end up destroying.
A Matter of Myth and Fairy Tales?
This essay will examine the concept of third-generation trauma after the Holocaust and the ways in which Jewish American novelists seek to access, recreate and artistically represent (or 're-present') such a traumatic past that is by definition inaccessible. A striking feature in the novels by the latest generation of Jewish American writers – notably the work of Jonathan Safran Foer and Judy Budnitz – is the almost obsessive return to mythology and fairy tales in the literary recreation of their grandparents' era. My essay will argue that this is due to a commonality of purpose that characterizes and drives both mythology and fairy tales on the one hand, and the third generation's imaginative, postmemorial approach to the past on the other hand.
Ann Miller, Patricia Mainardi, Karin Kukkonen, Viviane Alary, Jaqueline Berndt, Tony Venezia and Jennifer Anderson Bliss
Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women – Communities of Experience? One-day symposium, JW3, Jewish Community Centre for London, 12 November 2014
Thierry Smolderen, The Origins of Comics: From William Hogarth to Winsor McCay, trans. Bart Beaty and Nick Nguyen
Julia Round, Gothic in Comics and Graphic Novels: A Critical Approach
François-Emmanuel Boucher, Sylvain David and Maxime Prévost, eds, Mythologies du superhéros: Histoire, physiologie, géographie, intermédialités
Dan Mazur and Alexander Danner, Comics: A Global History, 1968 to the Present
Annessa Ann Babic, ed., Comics as History, Comics as Literature: Roles of the Comic Book in Scholarship, Society, and Entertainment
Jane Tolmie, ed., Drawing from Life: Memory and Subjectivity in Comic Art
Study of Slovenian Transition
Contemporary political rituals have been a neglected topic in Slovenian ethnology and anthropology. This article presents celebrations of Slovenian statehood in the period of transition - from 1991 to the present - which were being organised in the Republic Square (Trg Republike) and cultural centre Cankarjev dom in Ljubljana, and have been outlining the components of Slovenian political mythology and offering solutions for the new national future. The analysis is focused on the holders of political, cultural and media systems. It attempts to disclose the significance and use of the concept of intercultural dialogue in contemporary Slovenian society by exploring the relationship between ritual and its social background.
In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917, many Russian writers including Ivan Bunin (1870–1953) and Nadezhda Teffi (1872–1952) immigrated to France. Their works were imbued with longing for the bygone epoch and for their lost motherland. In Russian émigré literature, this nostalgic outlook produced the mythology of the Belle Époque as the period of prosperity and social harmony. This romanticized view of the past became integrated in the political and intellectual discourses of two influential French writers, Romain Gary (1914–1980) and Elsa Triolet (1896–1970). The article addresses how Russian nostalgia for a pre-1917 period paved the way for the rise of the myth of the Belle Époque, a myth that became increasingly influential in twentieth-century French history.