Posted by: glue | September 22, 2008

Catabasis

The Greek terms for descent (catabasis) and ascension (anabasis) remind us of our own tradition of avatar and aarohat.

Catabasis (Greek κατα, “down” βάσις “base” or “foot”) is the essential epic convention of the hero’s trip into the underworld. A hero is not a hero if he does not brave a catabasis. An example of a catabasis would be the descent of Orpheus into the lower world in order to charm Hades and Persephone to bring his wife, Eurydice back to the living world. Most catabases take place in the Underworld, such as the descent of Heraklês, or in Hell, such as that of Dante. However a catabasis can also be other dystopic areas such as what Odysseus encounters on his 20 year journey from Troy to Ithaca.”  Christ’s Harrowing of Hell appropriates this pagan narrative

Avatar

Avatar

Catabasis connects avatar with the very structure of narrative, codified in the templates of screenplay authoring:  the protagonist becomes hero by leaving home, entering the special world of the narrative (that is, descends into the realm of death).  This model is only the point of departure for our project (becoming image), since brand as the identity experience of electracy no longer possesses the coherence of narrative form.  Or, to the extent that “narrative” is used to construct an image, it is a commodity (a good contempoary example is the narrative created for the Republican vice presidential candidate).

A goal of this thread is to establish the mode of identity coherence that replaces narrative in electracy.

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