Whoops! I started on this last night but completely forgot to finish it. Time isn’t my forté.
Myths and stories teach us how to live in the world. What story (or stories) taught you something you never forgot?
Interestingly enough, I feel that myths don’t teach us how to live in the world but rather show us how feeble our understanding is. They illustrate the idea that any sufficiently advanced technology or sufficiently complex organic system can seem to humanity like magic, explainable only by gods, divine intervention and apparently adultery, which is hilariously common in mythology. Humans love to make up stories about things that we can’t explain while pretending we have any answers whatsoever.
I can’t think of a fictional story that has taught me any life lessons, and in truth, I tend to bristle at the idea of there being a “moral to the story”, because such fiction is often created to illustrate the point of the author. Stories fictional or factual can be created or used to serve any purpose, so I take everything with a grain of salt. That could just be the paranoia speaking.
I’ve often thought of creating my own fiction that truly imitates life: just as the hapless reader is being lead to what they believe will be a sufficiently happy ending, the world falls apart, and characters are tortured. Everything that was meaningful and good about this fictional world I will take away from them, and it will serve my point: life is a collection of random shit that we give personal (and meaningless) value to. At the end of the book, it’ll say something like “Burn this thing. It’s a depressing, nihilistic pile of shit anyway.”