By Jennifer Reid
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Extra info for Myth, Symbol, and Colonial Encounter: British and Mi'kmaq in Acadia, 1700-1867
Edmundo O'Gorman extended this point in his book The Invention of America, in which he has argued that the New World could not exist in fact because Columbus was incapable of conceiving of it. In the wake of the Columbian event, European movement into the New World was permeated with the issues of human identity and 20 MYTH, SYMBOL, AND COLONIAL ENCOUNTER origins. 55 The problem of identity for Europeans was rendered all the more dubious because their sense of being at home in Europe had become increasingly uncertain on the eve of their movement toward the Americas.
Frye, The Bush Garden, 32. Cf. Frye, Creation and Recreation, 27-28, and Frye, Spiritus Mundi, 71-72. In respect to the function of reading works of literature, Eliade wrote, "reading includes a mythological function, not only because it replaces the recitation of myths ... but particularly because, through reading, the modern man RELIGION AND THE COLONIAL WORLD 25 succeeds in obtaining an 'escape from time' comparable to the 'emergence from time' effected by myths ... reading projects him out of his personal duration and incorporates him into other rhythms, making him live in another 'history'" (The Sacred and the Profane, 205).
For a discussion of the symbolic nature of historical sources, and the relationship between myth and history, see Cassirer, An Essay on Man, 174-175, and Heik, History and Myth, 1-4. In a related sense, Braudel also noted in the introduction to his Capitalism and Material Life, xi, that "general history always requires a model, good or bad, against which events can be interpreted. " 15. Cf. Fogelson, 141. 16. Febvre is quoted in Ricoeur, The Contribution of French Historiography, 9. 17. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam, 22-23.