ANÁLISE DO DICURSO MÍTICO: DOS PRINCÍPIOS FORMAIS AOS ALINHAMENTOS SOCIAIS E INTERAÇÃO
This article outlines an approach to the analysis of mythic discourse, illustrated through Scandinavian mythology, which is reciprocally discussed in relation to the methodological framework. The turn from analyzing ‘myths’ to analyzing ‘mythic discourse’ is connected to the rise of interest, on the one hand, in the role of people in the transmission of mythology, the production of the sources and how it linked to practices and life in society, and, on the other hand, the interest in diversity and both synchronic variation and diachronic change in mythology. The framework outlined here is developed on a semiotic approach to mythology that focuses on elements of tradition as unitary ‘integers’ that are recognized as meaningful by people in society and, drawing a metaphor from mathematics, how these may be combined and recombined to form ‘equations’. The framework itself can be applied to any form of tradition, rather than being specific to mythology. It is here presented with a full technical apparatus in order to illustrate how the methodology works and how it can be applied, but the basic principles of the framework can also be employed without the technical markup, which can easily remain in the background of specific studies. The presentation of the framework begins from formal units of tradition on a hierarchy of complexity and gradually advances to discussions of how the traditions operate in society and how mythic signs of mythology relate to alignments with religious identities and are manipulated in encounters between different religions.
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