Our first meeting in the TCD Graduate's Common Room took place on the 22nd of October under the watchful gaze of Samuel Beckett.
Our topic for the evening was The Hero's Journey in which we looked first at the Navajo myth of Where the Two came to their Father and then the Scottish fairy tale: The Brown Bear of the Green Glen. The former charts the journey of twin heroes to their Father the sun and the second charts a journey culminating in the meeting with the Neolithic/Bronze Age goddess.
Had a trip to Knowth carrying over the theme of Neolithic sites from last year. Considering Knowth is the most important megalithic site in Europe the OPW could have put a bit more imagination into its presentation. Grand trip but compared to Newgrange the site is shoddily presented.
By comparison the reenactments and general Viking ambience of St.Anne's Park in commemoration of the thousandth anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf was surprisingly good. All the Vikings hailed from Scandinavia or Normandy adding realism to proceedings. I added all the photos to the gallery under Early Irish.
What remembering and imagining have in common is myth-making: the one, remembering , is often initiated so as to achieve a healing; find a rationalisation; construe an event in such a way as to be both a warm cloak for the self and a dagger for the threatening other; the other imagining , needs myth to retain belief, not merely as assurance or reassurance, but as a mechanism for the retention of hope in the unrealised possibilities of being human, truly free, in emancipatory, celebratory, joyous co-existence, with and for, others.
Towards the end of his speech he added:
Ethical commemoration need not be extraneous either to historical understanding or to myth-making, I suggest. And I would like to reiterate the call for new myth-making that I made in New York in 2012 – a call for new myth-making that would be both contextualised historically and emancipator, respecting the right of unrealised dreams to be remembered as well as the facts of failure.
Many of the presentations over the three days reached were of an equally high calibre and we will treat it as an MRT event next year and try and get a few people along.
All talks are available on the Abbey Theatre of Memory on Sound-Cloud. TD 1Feb2014