Bias checking day on Byssus.
I want to reject the claim that the ‘scientific myth’ of Isaac Newton’s apple tree is overwhelming responsible for promoting the idea of the lone genius.
My issue is I do not yet know anything about the development of the modern concept of genius and little about the development of the narrative in particular.
I would however note, that I can already alter the inflection. So can at least suggests it’s not the story but the context in which it is told that is the identifying feature.
I also think that what is being described is a folk-tale, the contexts in which it is told therefore multiple and the conceptual framework and wider cosmological landscape it is placed in more of a patchwork of thought, or a melting pot of differing social groups.
While the chance may be non-existent, if I was ever called on to deliver the tale to an audience of pre- modern Icelandic fisher folk, I would be in with a chance of making myself understood and holding the audience within the tale from start to finish.
I suspect I could also do that if I could time- travel back to my childhood and spoke to the older generation of fishermen from the small fishing village I grew up in, which was a landscape filled with their stories and beliefs.
The mythical element that appears to be so objectionable here I think can be more fully identified as the relationship of genius with the idea of a founding father.
I can identify this as myth as it is a descriptive feature of genius that does not alter over- time.
Genius is an old concept the relationship with inspiration and the individual is a modern concept.
Myth certainly has a relationship with supporting the modern idea of genius. But it’s inflection was significantly altered to reach that state.
Take a break from apples and look at salmon soon. A fish associated with wisdom and a common gift of payment in kind to the school master.
Look at the stick stick and more stick approach to one of the most socially disadvantaged communities in Britain and the tales which they told.
A 19 th century educational strategy pioneered by educators and ‘experts’ in local folklore.