Why We Re-read

In An Experiment in Criticism, C.S. Lewis wrote that anyone who loves to read must also love to re-read. He also gave a definition of myth that included the fact that the outcome of a myth feels inevitable. Pleasure in reading it does not depend on suspense. It carries the weight of the self-evident. It breathes extra life into truths that would not feel as vital if expressed as axioms.

In “Story of Your Life,” the story on which the film Arrival was based, Ted Chiang depicts a mother who is also a linguist reading “The Three Bears” to her young daughter. The mother asks why her daughter wants her to read the story exactly as written if the daughter already knows the ending. “Because I want to hear it” is the answer.

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Later this same mother and linguist explains that some statements, such as “You’re under arrest,””I christen this vessel,” or “I promise” are performative, “a speaker could perform the action only by saying the words. For such acts, knowing what would be said didn’t change anything.” Myth, stories, and rituals like collective re-reading and discussion can be performative in the sense that the truth embedded in the stories does not change but we do. What changes is how deeply the truth penetrates our awareness and how we understand it, especially when we read and discuss stories in community. How we are able to live the truth might also change. Sometimes, an idea just pierces your personal fog like a beam of bright light. Other times, it doesn’t.

Our philosophy discussions, whether they take place as part of our Philosophy in Public Spaces Initiative or our teen group Grey Havens YA, always begin with a story. In some cases, most or all of us are discussing a story that is new to us but often, as in our Harry Potter and Middle-earth discussions, most of us know the story very well. Does that mean that we should stop reading them and talking about them?

We don’t stop telling family stories or the origin stories of traditions because we know how those stories end. We don’t stop because they never really end. When we read and discuss familiar stories together we can have our breath taken away by a line we never really noticed before, we can have the truth of the story reawakened in us, and we can dive deeper into that truth by discovering what rings true to others and how what we rings true to us holds up under the light of collective experience and reason.

We hope you will join us to explore philosophical ideas through the celebration of all kinds of stories. Keep an eye on our Philosophy in Public Spaces and Community pages or just like us on Facebook.

Because I Want to Hear It

 

 

 

The Stuff of Myths and Legends at Geek Fair!

Here it is, geeks of Boulder County and beyond! Today, we are announcing our very first special guests at Geek Fair 2015, part of the Longmont Museum’s Cultural Resources Fair on September 20 from 1:30-4:30 p.m.. It’s the magical folk of Colorado’s Myths and Legends Con (MALCon)!

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The Grey Havens Group loves the intimate but incredibly celebratory geek experience that you get at MALCon each year. This year, Grey Havens Group member, Stant Litore, was one of the convention’s special guest authors and looking at these gorgeous photos from the recent con is like playing spot the Grey Havens Group/Grey Havens YA member!

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A Grey Havens YA member unites two fandoms at MALCon 2015!

Of course, MALCon attracts geeks from all around the galaxy, not just from GHG. Who wouldn’t want to spend time with like-minded fans at an annual event where the focus is on “our modern myths and legends, from Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings, from Firefly to Doctor Who?

We are incredibly honored that MALCon recognizes the importance of geeky solidarity, even as far north as the community of Longmont, and that they are coming to help us honor our teachers and make our town just a bit shinier! We aim to misbehave! Allons-y!

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Loki to Sam and Dean, “I’m not your brother, I never was!” Photo from MALCon 2015!

All are welcome at Geek Fair! You can read more details here.

A Discussion About World-Building with Authors Stant Litore and T L Morganfield

From Grey Havens Group’s Real Myth and Mithril, Delving into Fantasy Literature, April 25, 2015:

Stant Litore and TL Morganfield are authors of the Zombie Bible Series and the Bone Flower Series. One set of stories is set in various parts of the world, re-telling biblical stories from a spiritual zombie apocalyptic point of view, the other set of stories is Aztec Fantasy, re-telling Mesoamerican myth from a feminist perspective. Both authors showcase tremendous knowledge and richness of detail in their respective work. The Grey Havens Group was curious to know how they worked on their world building and wanted an in depth discussion and dialogue with these two author friends of the group about their writing. Enjoy!