Myths Quotes

Quotes tagged as "myths" Showing 1-30 of 259
Rick Riordan
“Atlantis?' Jason asked.
'That's a myth,' Percy said.
'Uh...don't we deal in myths?'
'No, I mean it's a MADE-UP myth. Not like, an actual true myth.'

'So this is why Annabeth is the brains of the operation, huh?”
Rick Riordan, The Blood of Olympus

Ta-Nehisi Coates
“You must resist the common urge toward the comforting narrative of divine law, toward fairy tales that imply some irrepressible justice. The enslaved were not bricks in your road, and their lives were not chapters in your redemptive history. They were people turned to fuel for the American machine. Enslavement was not destined to end, and it is wrong to claim our present circumstance—no matter how improved—as the redemption for the lives of people who never asked for the posthumous, untouchable glory of dying for their children. Our triumphs can never compensate for this.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

Madeleine L'Engle
“When we lose our myths we lose our place in the universe.”
Madeleine L'Engle

V.E. Schwab
“Myths do not happen all at once.
They do not spring forth whole into the world. They form slowly, rolled between the hands of time until their edges smooth, until the saying of the story gives enough weight to the words—to the memories—to keep them rolling on their own.
But all stories start somewhere, and that night, as Rhy Maresh walked through the streets of London, a new myth was taking shape.”
V.E. Schwab, A Conjuring of Light

James Baldwin
“The American Negro has the great advantage of having never believed the collection of myths to which white Americans cling: that their ancestors were all freedom-loving heroes, that they were born in the greatest country the world has ever seen, or that Americans are invincible in battle and wise in peace, that Americans have always dealt honorably with Mexicans and Indians and all other neighbors or inferiors, that American men are the world's most direct and virile, that American women are pure. Negroes know far more about white Americans than that; it can almost be said, in fact, that they know about white Americans what parents—or, anyway, mothers—know about their children, and that they very often regard white Americans that way. And perhaps this attitude, held in spite of what they know and have endured, helps to explain why Negroes, on the whole, and until lately, have allowed themselves to feel so little hatred. The tendency has really been, insofar as this was possible, to dismiss white people as the slightly mad victims of their own brainwashing.”
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Rollo May
“A myth is a way of making sense in a senseless world. Myths are narrative patterns that give significance to our existence.”
Rollo May

Stephen Fry
“Gaia visited her daughter Mnemosyne, who was busy being unpronounceable.”
Stephen Fry, Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold

C. JoyBell C.
“Fiction is written with reality and reality is written with fiction. We can write fiction because there is reality and we can write reality because there is fiction; everything we consider today to be myth and legend, our ancestors believed to be history and everything in our history includes myths and legends. Before the splendid modern-day mind was formed our cultures and civilizations were conceived in the wombs of, and born of, what we identify today as "fiction, unreality, myth, legend, fantasy, folklore, imaginations, fabrications and tall tales." And in our suddenly realized glory of all our modern-day "advancements" we somehow fail to ask ourselves the question "Who designated myths and legends as unreality? " But I ask myself this question because who decided that he was spectacular enough to stand up and say to our ancestors "You were all stupid and disillusioned and imagining things" and then why did we all decide to believe this person? There are many realities not just one. There is a truth that goes far beyond what we are told today to believe in. And we find that truth when we are brave enough to break away from what keeps everybody else feeling comfortable. Your reality is what you believe in. And nobody should be able to tell you to believe otherwise.”
C. JoyBell C.

Joseph Campbell
“Myth must be kept alive. The people who can keep it alive are the artists of one kind or another.”
Joseph Campbell

J.R.R. Tolkien
“After all, I believe that legends and myths are largely made of 'truth', and indeed present aspects of it that can only be received in this mode; and long ago certain truths and modes of this kind were discovered and must always reappear.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

Karen Armstrong
“We need myths that will help us to identify with all our fellow-beings, not simply with those who belong to our ethnic, national or ideological tribe. We need myths that help us to realize the importance of compassion, which is not always regarded as sufficiently productive or efficient in our pragmatic, rational world. We need myths that help us to create a spiritual attitude, to see beyond our immediate requirements, and enable us to experience a transcendent value that challenges our solipsistic selfishness. We need myths that help us to venerate the earth as sacred once again, instead of merely using it as a 'resource.' This is crucial, because unless there is some kind of spiritual revolution that is able to keep abreast of our technological genius, we will not save our planet.”
Karen Armstrong, A Short History of Myth

N.K. Jemisin
“So here is why I write what I do: We all have futures. We all have pasts. We all have stories. And we all, every single one of us, no matter who we are and no matter what’s been taken from us or what poison we’ve internalized or how hard we’ve had to work to expel it –

– we all get to dream.”
N.K. Jemisin

Friedrich Nietzsche
“What, then, is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms – in short, a sum of human relations, which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that this is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.”
Freidrich Neitzsche

Haruki Murakami
“In ancient times, people weren't just male or female, but one of three types: male/male, male/female, female/female. In other words, each person was made out of the components of two people. Everyone was happy with this arrangement and never really gave it much a thought. But then God took a knife and cut everybody in half, right down the middle. So after that the world was divided just into male and female, the upshot being that people spend their time running around trying to locate their missing other half.”
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Jasper Fforde
“He was, after all, the ultimate rebel -- it takes a lot of cojones to stand up to Zeus.”
Jasper Fforde, The Big Over Easy

Rick Riordan
“I sort of fell."

"Percy! Six hundred and thirty feet?”
Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief

Ally Condie
“Was [Sisyphus] from your province?
'I don't know. I don't know if he's real,' Ky says. 'If he ever existed.'
'Then why tell his story?' I don't understand, and for a second I feel betrayed. Why did Ky tell me about this person and make me feel empathy for him when there's no proof that he ever lived at all?
Ky pauses for a moment before he answers, ...'Even if he didn't live his story, enough of us have lived lives just like it. So it's true anyway.”
Ally Condie, Matched

Ta-Nehisi Coates
“When it comes to the Civil War, all of our popular understanding, our popular history and culture, our great films, the subtext of our arguments are in defiance of its painful truths. It is not a mistake that Gone with the Wind is one of the most read works of American literature or that The Birth of a Nation is the most revered touchstone of all American film. Both emerge from a need for palliatives and painkillers, an escape from the truth of those five short years in which 750,000 American soldiers were killed, more than all American soldiers killed in all other American wars combined, in a war declared for the cause of expanding "African slavery." That war was inaugurated not reluctantly, but lustily, by men who believed property in humans to be the cornerstone of civilization, to be an edict of God, and so delivered their own children to his maw. And when that war was done, the now-defeated God lived on, honored through the human sacrifice of lynching and racist pogroms. The history breaks the myth. And so the history is ignored, and fictions are weaved into our art and politics that dress villainy in martyrdom and transform banditry into chivalry, and so strong are these fictions that their emblem, the stars and bars, darkens front porches and state capitol buildings across the land to this day.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates, We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

Humphrey Carpenter
“You call a star a star, and say it is just a ball of matter moving on a mathematical course. But that is merely how you see it. By so naming things and describing them you are only inventing your own terms about them. And just as speech is invention about objects and ideas, so myth is invention about truth.”
Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography

Carl Sagan
“Can you be sure that others have not come before you and destroyed the pristine state of the native myth? Can you be sure that the natives are not humoring you or pulling your leg? Bronislaw Malinowski thought he had discovered a people in the Trobriant Islands who had not worked out the connection between sexual intercourse and childbirth. When asked how children were conceived, they supplied him with an elaborate mythic structure prominently featuring celestial intervention. Amazed, Malinowski objected that was not how it was done at all, and supplied them instead with the version so popular in the West today – including a nine-month gestation period. “Impossible,” replied the Melanesians. “Do you not see that woman over there with her six-month-old child? Her husband has been on an extended voyage to another island for two years.” Is it more likely that the Melanesians were ignorant of the begetting of children or that they were gently chiding Malinowski? If some peculiar-looking stranger came into my town and asked ME where babies came from, I’d certainly be tempted to tell him about storks and cabbages. Prescientific people are people. Individually they are as clever as we are.”
Carl Sagan, Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science

Benjamin Franklin
“A Swedish minister having assembled the chiefs of the Susquehanna Indians, made a sermon to them, acquainting them with the principal historical facts on which our religion is founded — such as the fall of our first parents by eating an apple, the coming of Christ to repair the mischief, his miracles and suffering, etc. When he had finished an Indian orator stood up to thank him.

‘What you have told us,’ says he, ‘is all very good. It is indeed bad to eat apples. It is better to make them all into cider. We are much obliged by your kindness in coming so far to tell us those things which you have heard from your mothers. In return, I will tell you some of those we have heard from ours.

‘In the beginning, our fathers had only the flesh of animals to subsist on, and if their hunting was unsuccessful they were starving. Two of our young hunters, having killed a deer, made a fire in the woods to boil some parts of it. When they were about to satisfy their hunger, they beheld a beautiful young woman descend from the clouds and seat herself on that hill which you see yonder among the Blue Mountains.

‘They said to each other, “It is a spirit that perhaps has smelt our broiling venison and wishes to eat of it; let us offer some to her.” They presented her with the tongue; she was pleased with the taste of it and said: “Your kindness shall be rewarded; come to this place after thirteen moons, and you will find something that will be of great benefit in nourishing you and your children to the latest generations.” They did so, and to their surprise found plants they had never seen before, but which from that ancient time have been constantly cultivated among us to our great advantage. Where her right hand had touched the ground they found maize; where her left had touched it they found kidney-beans; and where her backside had sat on it they found tobacco.’

The good missionary, disgusted with this idle tale, said: ‘What I delivered to you were sacred truths; but what you tell me is mere fable, fiction, and falsehood.’

The Indian, offended, replied: ‘My brother, it seems your friends have not done you justice in your education; they have not well instructed you in the rules of common civility. You saw that we, who understand and practise those rules, believed all your stories; why do you refuse to believe ours?”
Benjamin Franklin, Remarks Concerning the Savages

Tim Wise
“And in "Elbow Room" the cast sings the glories of westward expansion in the United States, which involved the murder of native peoples and the violent conquest of half of Mexico. Among the lines in the song is one that intones, "There were plenty of fights / To win land right / But the West was meant to be / It was our Manifest Destiny?" Let it suffice to say that happily belting out a tune in which one merrily praises genocide is always easier for those whose ancestors weren't on the receiving end of the deal.”
Tim Wise, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son

Cameron Conaway
“We give up our backs and allow religious myths to apply the rear naked choke to our minds.”
Cameron Conaway, Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet

Juliet Marillier
“Every ancient tale has truth at its heart," I said. "That's what I've always believed, anyway. But after years and years of retelling, the shape of those old stories changes. What may once have been simple and easily recognized becomes strange, wondrous and magical. Those are only the trappings of the story. The truth lies beneath those fantastic garments.”
Juliet Marillier, Tower of Thorns

Andy Rooney
“I just wish this social institution [religion] wasn't based on what appears to me to be a monumental hoax built on an accumulation of customs and myths directed toward proving something that isn't true.”
Andy Rooney, Sincerely, Andy Rooney

Christopher Vogler
“A myth... is a metaphor for a mystery beyond human comprehension. It is a comparison that helps us understand, by analogy, some aspect of our mysterious selves. A myth, in this way of thinking, is not an untruth but a way of reaching a profound truth.”
Christopher Vogler, The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers

Clarence Darrow
“There are a lot of myths which make the human race cruel and barbarous and unkind. Good and Evil, Sin and Crime, Free Will and the like delusions made to excuse God for damning men and to excuse men for crucifying each other.”
Clarence Darrow

Shatrujeet Nath
“Myths are what remain once the history of an event has been forgotten or lost to time. Myths are like the memory of one’s first crush; the pain and longing one felt at that time is forgotten, but the warmth and sweetness of romance lives on, probably even magnified, larger in the imagination than it was in reality.”
Shatrujeet Nath

Rick Riordan
“Chiron looked surprised. “I thought that would be obvious enough. The entrance to the Underworld is in Los Angeles.”
Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief

Ashley Madau
“Vampires were myths, childhood stories– as were werewolves, mermaids and dragons. I believed none of it.”
Ashley Madau

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