Ritual and myth in the contemporary novel

Laurie Hunt


Using Eliade's deflnition of myth, I have made a study of the mythic elements in the works of each novelist and attempted to relate each one into a type of odyssey from a fallen world to the birth of another. I feel that the final vision of each novelist is ultimately the same -- a linear progress of history has become invalid, and a cyclical view of history is the only acceptable one possible. Essentially, modern man is confronting a metaphysical terror of history with his discovery that he has become trapped by time. To escape from time he must return to a cyclical concept of history through the timelessness of myth which makes man a part of primordial time and every action the cosmogonic act.