Mythologies, irrespective of culture and society, have played crucial role in delineating and instituting meaning, identity and patterns of life practices while making myths tangible through symbols, stories and rituals. As cultural construct and, in turn, constructors of culture, mythology and culture have intrinsic mutuality influencing customs, behavior and even ways communications. In its prolonged subsistence, mythology tends “to be hyperbolic and fantastic to drive home a myth” and compels the individuals to make profound sense of their etymological existence, cultural and collective values, and belief system irrespective of their religious or secular origin. Every society or culture has ‘inbuilt mechanism’ to recall and interpret its past, which is a storehouse of its customary practices and identity. That inbuilt mechanism on which sense of historical continuity, customs, belief systems rest is sustained by mythology.
Man has an instinctive fascination or love for the exotic. Today’s reader also longs to relieve himself from the constraints of the stereotypical mechanical ways of living and therefore wants to resort to the primitive impulses. He also wants to manipulate the temporal reality through ‘handling of time’ and in this regard, mythology provides him with an effective medium/device.
Rewriting mythology is not a recent phenomenon; the art has witnessed an intricate and prolonged history of more than hundred years.In Indian Writing in English, the first poet Taru Dutt galvanized the tradition with her poetic composition namelyAncient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan. During the pre-independent period of the body of literature, mythologies were the sole source of creating sense of belonging and identity writing in an alien language. In the modern times, mythologies are foregrounded in various art forms as means of reinstating or rediscoveringlost order and meaning of human existence considering them as the binding force orsource of cultural needs. When these mythologies are made new through rewriting they tend to represent both the times in which they were originally set and recreated. Through rewriting, mythologies grow to comply with the situations of their recreations not only through the stories but also through the symbols, images and rituals within a broad epistemological and ideological framework. Indisputably, inthis art of rewriting, writers intend to intersect their mythopoeic imaginations with contemporary values while discovering symbols, images and rituals to suit the contemporary values and ideas. Even in some cases, writers (such as Volga’s The Liberation of Sita, Chitra Banerjee’s Forest of Enchantment, Palace or Illusion, Shashi Tharoor’s The Great Indian Novel) are found exceptionallycreativewhile accumulationnew dimensions and narrative structurein the framework of the original story to suit the contemporary needs.
Incorporating all the possible dimensions and features of rewriting of mythologies, Drishti:the Sight intends to reflect upon the subject of ‘Rewriting Mythology’ from multidimensional perspectives and novel theoretical paradigm in the areas of English and Assamese literature, folklore and culture in the next edition.Scholars are invited to contribute their original scholarly research papers on any possible topic within the focus area for the next issue of the journal to be published in May,2021.
(Contributors may also submit papers on subjects other than this focus area for this issue. Regarding modalities of submission they are requested to go through our CALL FOR PAPERS on this Website)