chapter  III
The Myth-Kitty
Pages 5

A year or two ago, Mr. Amis told the poets to shut up about Orpheus, and Mr. Larkin renounced his share of the 'myth-kitty'. The success of Christianity in the ancient world complicates the position not only because of the differences, but also because of the similarities it presents: the possible contamination with Orphism, the links between Christ and Dionysos and Hercules. Nietzsche blamed Socrates for destroying myth, the province of human creative force. The domain of myth can short-circuit the intellect and liberate the imagination which the scientism of the modern world suppresses; and this is a central modern position. Myth deals in what is more 'real' than intellect can accede to; it is a seamless garment to replace the tattered fragments worn by the modern mind, a hallowed and communal expression, as it were a liturgy, of the truths mediated by the modern artist. The myth-kitty is inexhaustible; the ancient gods survive.