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Reply To: Riddle Me This,” with mythologist John Bucher, Ph.D.”

John Bucher

Thank you so much, James. What a rich and thoughtful response. The stories you’ve mentioned and ideas you posit all deeply resonate. To submit my own synchronicity, I actually watched It’s a Wonderful Life just last night, so it feels a bit like you were reading my diary! Ha!

One thing that struck me as I was reading your ideas was the connection back to games in the characters of Ebenezer Scrooge, George Bailey, and the mythical Don Quixote. Each of the characters is, of course, fictional. We could say that they perhaps embody an archetypal energy that has appeared in characters (and human beings) long before their creation. We could also say that the ritual we engage when we create characters and tell stories based on this archetypal energy is a bit of a game. When we play games, as many are prone to do around the Holiday season, we embody the archetypal energy of players. Depending on the complexity of the game, we may take on a wide variety of attributes and backstories, as is the case with role playing games (RPGs). When we watch or read characters like Ebenezer, George, and Don, we are observing a game play out where they are the players. We can hear myths and observe the game and we can embody and live out myths, which allow us to play the game. At least this is how I am thinking about it right now.

Circling back to Joyce and Campbell, Campbell clearly observed the mythic game Joyce was constructing through the use of riddles. What other game “pieces” do we see Campbell observing in Finnegan’s Wake? Ideas?