Unlikely tales: On the possibility for mythic truth in Chesterton and Heidegger
Loon, D.M. van
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This essay explores the possibility of myth as a truth-narrative by interpreting Chesterton’s notion of myth as a Heideggerian artwork and therefore a place where truth ‘happens’. Myth is an interesting sort of artwork because of its special relation as a story to both reality and religion. After sketching accounts of myth and truth in Chesterton, Heidegger and Plato, the essay investigates a number of different kinds of stories (literary fiction, historical fiction and myths) to see in what way these notions of truth relate to them. Myths have two main characteristics: they uproot beings from their familiar surroundings, and they change the way in which those beings appear in the first place. It turns out that it is precisely this fantastic capacity that allows them to be truth-narratives in the sense of Heidegger’s artwork.