Another book discussion

I’m bouncing around from place to place at the moment (Sussex yesterday, Oxford today, Manchester tomorrow, Cardiff Saturday, Oxford Sunday, London Monday, Paris Tuesday, Oxford Wednesday, London Thursday …), so nothing of substance from me this week (though I have reviews of The Gone-Away World and The Steel Remains gestating). In the meantime, though, here’s another book discussion, this one over at Eve’s Alexandria, about Ali Smith’s contribution to the Canongate Myths series, Girl Meets Boy:

Nic: I think the book does a lot with Myth as a concept. There are personal myths, for example – the stories we’re brought up with, the ones that shape our values and affect how we present ourselves to the world. […] There are also social/cultural myths (both reinforcing and challenging received ideas; the Burning Lily story, but also all the various assumptions of binary gender, some of which amount to urban myth), and newly-created myths (I owe to Niall the observation that advertising is presented as modern myth-making). Myth as propaganda for, and expression of, one outlook or another; myth also as a way of introducing the unfamiliar (difficult ideas, and/or change) via the familiar (a love story, a coming-out story).

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