Friday, March 12, 2010

Immanence of myth: submission review

Now that I've wrapped up the first draft of the Fallen Nation screenplay, I have until April to pretty well tackle the submissions for the anthology and get everyone working on their second drafts, or other necessary writing or re-writing. I think a couple writers were a little taken aback by the fact that first drafts don't go straight to copy-editing-- frankly, I don't know a single writer who can pen a first draft that's ready for print. And I know some good writers. This is a labor of love, there's simply no other good reason to do it. It's not even about how good one is as a writer; the more we reflect on the subjects we are considering, the more refined the final result will be. I'm happy to see that so many of the contributors so far have understood that and are working to rise to the occasion.

While those pieces are being worked on, between now and mid-May, I'd like to offer an opportunity. I have a couple ideas for articles that I'd like to see penned, so I want to offer these as suggestions to the public. Even if they don't drop on your head like that apocryphal apple that whacked Newton on the skull... maybe something else will be shaken out of the tree. 

Yeah, an iffy metaphor but it's 5:15am here so bear with me: 
First, a piece on the mythological connection between sex and death. This is a well documented link, clearly seen in figures as disparate as Baron Samedhi and Kali. However, less explored is the significance of this link in our personal lives. If the link isn't strictly the result of a fairly obvious observation about the nature of reproduction, time and death, then what is it? How deep does it go? Most importantly -- and this is something to try to bring in to any piece written for this book -- how does it impact our lives? Bataille's Erotism might be a good place to start in terms of reference material, but as this belongs in the "personal myth" part of the anthology, if it starts and ends with one's personal experience of sex/death, it will work best. 
A look at the mythology behind a specific animal or activity. For instance, beekeeping. Apiaries go back to ancient Egypt, possibly before, and the bee / hive has obvious mythological significance that can be interpreted in both psychological and social ways. Look at the behavior of bees and conflate those behaviors to metaphors, that is, mythologize them. There's also something interesting about the relationship of bees to beekeepers, which I think is ripe for some interpretation, along the lines of thoughts about all symbiotic relationships in nature.
The myths of class and race within America obviously define our perspective of politics within this country. I think a solid look at this issue through the lens of mythology and symbol could be very interesting.
I've received a few pieces about working with specific divinities, and interpreting those symbols in ways that are both psychologically potent and practically useful. They have all done so in a way that is very persona, but also refer to the historical / mythological record. However, I'd really love to see this for a few more divinities / symbols. The point of this diversity, among other things, would be to help demonstrate that it can really be anything that speaks to you, that the methods of interpreting these symbols and the way they can impact our lives is as diverse and unique as we are, even though they refer to archetypical images. So more along these lines would certainly be appreciated.
I could write some of these pieces but I feel like the more voices that we can fit between the covers, the better. 

Also, if any of you have a piece ready between now and May, please feel free to pass it my way. Keep in mind that the closer to May that it is, the closer to "out of the park" it's going to have to be. So hit it hard! 

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