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myth and narrative are almost synonymous.

Perhaps, but if I were to nitpick I would say that in "Once Again The EU Heroically Opposes the US", we're talking about a hero myth, but that "Once Again The EU Heroically Opposes the US" is a narrative. The myth foreshadows, almost predetermines the narrative -- but different narratives may use the same myth, as in "Once Again the US presses Heroically on in spite of Cowardly, Appeasing Europe".

And myth is just narrative with a supernatural, metaphysical, or abstract element that pretends to be inevitable and impossible to argue with.

Given what I've just said, you won't be surprised that I disagree. Narrative based on a myth or myths may have a pretension to inevitability, as in the Last Days or the Dictatorship of the Proletariat (which are perhaps based on End-of-History myths (?)), but they don't have to be.

Worse, realism isn't what gives narratives their power. What does that is presentation - the correct delivery, supported by signifiers of dominance, aggression and high social status, and personal emotional appeal, is more likely to be convincing than a narrative based on factual accurate predictive argument.

  1. Realism : I agree on this as narrative style. Later you give more detail with "factual predictive argument". By no means should a myth or fundamental narrative be factual and predictive. Predictive, at this level, is like "We Will all go to Heaven" or "a Cargo Ship Will Come", in other words, quasi-religious. At another level of discourse, however, factual, predictive -- rational, scientific -- methods will be necessary, see our discussion above with brunoken

  2. Can you say more about "delivery", "signifiers of dominance, aggression and high social status" and "emotional appeal" since you seem to have some fairly clear ideas there?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 15th, 2006 at 09:14:54 AM EST
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