Mythologies of Memory and Forgetting

Mircea Eliade

The Muses sing, beginning with the beginning (ex arkhes) the first appearance of the world, the genesis of the gods, the birth of humanity. The past thus revealed is much more than the antecedent of the present; it is its source. In going back to it, recollection does not seek to situate events in a temporal frame but to reach the depths of being, to discover the original, the primordial reality from which the cosmos issued and which makes it possible to understand becoming as a whole.

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Published in History of Religions , Winter, 1963, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Winter, 1963), pp. 329-344. Published by The University of Chicago Press.