Is Myth Dead? – by James Curcio

Originally published on

To anyone who winces at the thought of a story being just fiction, the relegation of myth to the status of untruth should appear unfortunate. The modern definition, “a commonly accepted but untrue belief,” is not at all what we mean when we say “myth” within this project. However, the common definition tacitly defines a predominant myth of our times.

The value that myth provides is demonstrated in the fact that it has been with us since the birth of civilization. In fact, it is because of myth that we were able to birth civilizations. The myths, art, and religions of antiquity sprung into existence together, and were a way for us to relate to one another as populations grew beyond small wandering tribes. The earliest artistic artifacts are religious, or is it the other way around? It is hard to say. Myth and art, still nearly inseparable terms, provide a distorted mirror for us to regard ourselves in. We see ourselves in a new light, the best artists showing us existential truths through the distortion or even complete abandonment of empirical truths. Thus artists, and the myths they weave from their own lives, direct our eyes inward, both as individuals and as a culture, in a new way.

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Fabulous piece. You delve deeply and broadly on the subject.