Personal Myth from Wonderland to Who

Those stories we hold especially close are those that often have some connection with our personal myth at the time we encounter them. It’s not just a happy accident that we fall in love with something. It’s something far deeper than that. Something has been triggered psychologically.

As an undergraduate and throughout a portion of my graduate studies, my myth revolved around all things Harry Potter. Like so many others, I was drawn into the stories, to the point where my life felt enhanced every single time I read the books. I remember the day when that changed. Somewhere along the way – I think when I started teaching – the myth of the student slowly lost its potency. This might also be a large contribution to why I’m writing a dissertation over Disney and not Potter.

But in the last few months, my myth has been defined by Alice in Wonderland. This might have something to do with the shift from grad student to dissertating student and the frightening aspects that comes with this change. It felt like I was dropping into Wonderland, tuning out and turning on … the laptop at least.

Even more recently, I have been sucked into the mythos of Dr. Who, to the point that I’ve made it my goal in recent weeks to watch every single available serial for all doctors on Netflix Instant. Of course, the limitation on Netflix Instant cuts out a large part of the series. But it’s almost to the point of an addition. I can’t do basic tasks – like grading – without the show running simultaneously. But here’s the question: Dr. Who is about a Time Lord who can move around time and space. It’s as though time is infinite and unchanging. The Doctor is in control of his own past, present and future. So why this myth, why now? I’m sure this has something to do with the whole dissertation business. The idea of having a series of adventures and return home at the right time to finish writing the thing.

There aren’t many of us who haven’t wished for a Time-Turner. But I suppose a TARDIS would be a perfectly acceptable substitute.


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