History or Myth? Was: Black Draupadi?

Alf Hiltebeitel beitel at gwis2.circ.gwu.edu
Mon Aug 25 14:21:27 UTC 1997

Myth has never been satisfactorily defined as an entity in itself. It
seems to only get defined as something that something else is not. The
clearer contrast, and the one most people seem to mean in such contexts as
this Indology discussion, is whether it is history or fiction. But I
prefer for now: history or literature, in this case, literature about
whose historicity (e.g., Draupadi) we know nothing, and are thus free to
create our own historical or ethnographic fictions. 

On Mon, 25 Aug 1997, B. Reusch wrote:

> At 21:38 +0100 8/22/97, Alf Hiltebeitel wrote:
> >Mixing these questions up can only reiterate silliness, of
> >which scholars have produced too much already for over a century. Alf
> >Hiltebeitel
> Could you, perhaps, elaborate on that?
> How about providing criteria for defining any narrative as "history" and/or
> "myth"?
> Thanks.
> Beatrice Reusch
> University of California, Berkeley

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