Wednesday, June 02, 2021


I'm re-reading Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces for research on the next book (The Man You Trust isn't finished, but I'm not working on it again until next week). 

I'd forgotten some of the astonishing myths from other cultures. In particular, the Khoikhoi (called the "Hottentots" originally by the British when they first found them), who have the following myth:
Aigamuchab, an ogre that has occasionally been encountered among the scrubs and dunes. Its eyes are set down on its instep, so that to discover what is going on it has to get down on hands and knees, and hold up one foot. The eye then looks behind, otherwise it is gazing continually at the sky. 

That's astounding enough, but they also have this fellow:
...the Hai-uri progresses by leaping over clumps of scrub instead of going around them. A dangerous, one-legged, one-armed, one-sided figure--the half-man--invisible if viewed from the off side, is encountered in many parts of the earth.

Eyes on the instep. Invisible if viewed from the off side. Those are so incredibly creative that I feel entirely inadequate.

Site Meter