Thomas Mann, in an essay on Freud, defined myth as the foundation of life because it is timeless and provides insight into the higher truth. The verbal power of the mythologically oriented artist bends the phenomena around him to fit his "ironic and superior gaze." His tools are words. He molds them into symbols, metaphors, and images with which he connects apparent irreconcilables in a striking new image or impression, thereby creating his mythical world. Ernst Cassirer established the indissoluble union of language and myth in the unconscious "grammar" of experience. Language and myth are two diverse shoots from the same parent stem, "the same impulse of symbolic formulation, springing from the same basic mental activity … the same inner process …; they are both resolutions of an inner tension, the representation of subjective impulses and excitations in definite objective forms and figures."



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