I start my binge on secondary source material on time this week. A significant moment for me as it is going to form the first piece of sustained writing I’ve done in years.
Hopefully learn something about myths relationship with legend and early historical writing.
The wild mans legend as it is deployed at the start of British history contains both the beginning and end of time. It’s a foundation legend given a historical form, its sense of time looks distinctly mythical.
The historical explanation as to why these stories from Northern Britain formed the basis for Welsh identity in the later middle ages is that they were politically neutral. Heroes and events part of a long dead culture with no imediate relationship to the contemporary ruling families of the later middle ages.
An anthropological sense of time will provide me with the framework I need. I watched an Artist host a documentary on ‘Scottish art’, a couple of days ago, he visited Rosslyn chapel, noted the large amounts of wild men that are sculpted in stone and then stated that they reflected a return to a pagan past.
I think the pagan past here refers to a Celtic past, this offers contemporary society the opportunity to create alternative timelines and a sense of identity apart from Empire. Mythical roads do not have to lead to a legendary Rome, we can twist and turn them in different directions.
Wild man today still seems to retain this mythical sense of time intact and little altered. A timeless measure, which gives historical form and shape when placed in a particular space allowing it to be a an experience we can share, modify and dwell within.