TIMELESSNESS AND CULTURAL COHESION OF MYTH: A STUDY INTO ANSEL ELKIN’S POEM ‘AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF EVE’

Dr Mridusmita Mahanta

The myth is a particular kind of communal experience. It is a special form of shared fantasy and it serves to bring the individual into relationship with members of his cultural group on the basis of certain common needs. 
-Jacob Arlow

1.   Introduction
Myth mirrors society and culture irrespective of locale. Myth is a broad term to denote folk narrative usually of unknown origin. It ostensibly relates events in the form of a story to explain some practice, belief or natural phenomena. A myth contains the story that is preserved in popular memory and that helps to bring to life some deep stratum buried in the depth of human spirit. (Bierlein,1994). They were specially associated with religious rites. But in course of time myth becomes separated from the rites and start floating independently in oral tradition to splinter into magic tales, popular ballads, nursery rhymes and other folklore genres.The continuing importance of myths has opened up newer and newer fields to connect them with our understanding of the world that surround us. Taking up myths to creative writing is not a new concept in literature. Yet the effects made on the readers as well as the authors occupy a prominent place in the study of myths in literature.

To work on a myth is to experience it in a given context. Ansel Elkin’s ‘Autobiography of Eve’ is an experience in her own words ‘towards a new unknown’. It is an exploration of a complex ‘space’ of racial violence and isolation.

The given article attempts to focuss on the need to explore the timeless aspect of the myth of Eve as experienced in Ansel Elkin’s ‘Autobiography of Eve’.

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