These thoughts are all very embryonic, so I’d be interested in any more ideas or refining of these if anyone wants to add to them.
Finding a book this weekend has sparked a whole new train of thought for me.
I bought it because I am connected to Belarus (per a comment by my father some years ago about his grandfather), and I was curious what kinds of tales were “mine.”
The results have been fascinating.
Some ordinary folktale elements that have always seemed silly to me (non sequiturs, not recognizing people you’ve met before, not following life-saving directions) are less common. Haven’t found them yet, actually.
It feels exciting in a strange way– making me wonder if my preferences might have been shaped somehow by a cultural construct that was already in the stories of my roots.
What if I felt no need to reshape them because they pleased me, but I was pleased by them because they shaped the thoughts and lives of forgotten ancestors?
The idea is that I might actually like these stories because they developed under the same preferences I was (perhaps) born with.
Now, what I find so intriguing is this idea of preferences being somehow genetic.
I read once that most people’s favorite colors are colors that look good on them. Shades that are attractive with their coloring.
As looks are easily accepted as genetically directed ;-) I extrapolate from this that favorite colors are, too some extent, also.
If you once accept that this one preference could have genetic roots, it opens all kinds of possibilities.
It does, of course, bring in the question of nature vs nurture, but it also delights my imagination to think there could be some kind of “memory” deep in me, connecting me to people and ways of thinking that I’ve been generations removed from.