Re: Fesity

mike shupp (ms44278@HUEY.CSUN.EDU)
Tue, 14 May 1996 20:51:34 -0700

On Tue, 14 May 1996, Gary Goodman wrote:

> Personally I think also that the Med. area Flood Myths are just perhaps
> distant echoes of when the Gilbratar dam broke and flooded what would
> have fit very well the description of Paradise, allow for thousands of
> years of oral distortion.

I'm awful skeptical of the notion that oral tradition is going to
preserve any memory of catastrophe for very long-- a few centuries or
less is probably the limit.

My first reason for thinking this: I've heard anecdotes from some of my
very own professors-- honorable people all!-- that turned out to be
garbled accounts of events transpiring with the last century. I've also
heard accounts of my own family's history that make no sense at all-- I
have distant ancestors, it seems, who fled to America after an
unsuccesful attempt to assasinate the Kaiser (1870?) brought on by a potato
famine (1848?) and who then fought on the British side in the
Revolutionary War (1776). This in an age when writing is commonplace!

My second reason: I've known a fair number of Hispanics over the years,
and not a one has a family story to tell that involves the fall of the
Aztec Empire. I've never met a Phillippino with stories about the Moro
Insurrection. I daresay they learn about it in school and see it
replayed endlessly on television, but as a personnaly felt event, it's
gone. I probably had ancestors in the Civil War-- but the facts are
gone, and I doubt that I'm unique. Memory doesn't last.

Mike Shupp
California State University, Northridge