Deconstructing Spaces of Myth: From Derrida’s ‘counterfeit’ to Deleuze’s and Guattari’s ‘origami’
Gkaragkounis, Thanos; 407/80 Lecturer, Democritus University of Thrace, Department of History and Ethnology
The article is an attempt to deconstruct the concept of myth as it is drawn out by a variety of authors as diverse as Vernant, Lévi-Strauss and Nietzsche. Specifically, it deconstructs the three-fold conception of myth, first, of ‘closeness’, exemplified by Vernant’s structural depiction of Greek myth; second, its ‘episodic’ character, accentuated by Lévi-Strauss’ ‘savage mind’; and third, its ‘heroic’ performance opened up by Nietzsche’s anti-Hegelian caricature of Dionysus –though Nietzsche himself acknowledged that a more fruitful approach to thought and life (or to the manner in which one thinks of life) is still required. Against the horizon of the trialectics of ‘closeness, episode and heroism’, I propose that a more fruitful way to interpret and understand myth is by recourse to its openness (rather than closeness); its eventual/differential character (rather than its episodic character); and its anti-heroism (rather than its heroism). To further promote this view I take up on three theorists that developed explicitly these three dimensions: a) Derrida’s ‘counterfeit’ that gives an idea of what ‘openness’ means by pitching the non-reciprocal character of gift; b) Deleuze’s and Guattari’s ‘origami’ that promotes the view of an eventful spatial difference, rather than an episodic one; and c) Deleuze’s ‘difference-as-repetition’ that criticises Nietzsche’s heroic conception of myth, rather than accepting Dionysus’ excesses.