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Muse101: Who Is Thalia, Muse of Comedy?
French, 1685 - 1766 Thalia, Muse of Comedy (Silvia Balletti?),
1739, oil on canvas
Mildred Anna Williams Collection
Hello! from Thalia; the Greek Muse of Comedy, daughter
of Zeus King of the Gods and Mnemosyne ("Memory" to English speakers.)
I have many sisters. That may not be what you were
taught in school, unless you went to a very enlightened establishment.
If you did not go to a very enlightened establishment,
you may be asking even now, "Wot th' bleedin' 'ell is a MUSE?" Or
words to that effect.
All of humanity shares a Collective Unconscious.
Which means that each of you is about as unconscious
as the next one, but the collectors (of BMW's and other toys) are
It also means that all of you are linked at a basic
level, like the basements in a block of townhouses.
Down here in the basement are Archetypes, images and
personifications of age-old, universal ideas -- like Birth, Death,
and Very Good Beer.
Which means we Archetypes control the heating vents
and the water pipes. Also the power switches.
Muses are Archetypal figures who stimulate various
forms of creative writing. We each have a specialty. My Assignment
is nurturing Comedy.
Definition of Comedy
The Greeks defined Comedy as any story with a happy
ending. In the Tweny-First Century, it's any humorous entertainment
(and some that are only trying) (and some that are very trying).
I encourage both happy endings and humor. I especially
encourage parody, satire, and lawyer jokes.
You can guess what drew my attention to Seattle.
Usually my sisters and I are pretty subtle about our
Musing, but every few centuries or so a woman needs to party. A
lot of the people I love are active here. So I came to mingle with
the crowd at the Speakeasy computer-cafe here, or wherever, and
be just a little more overt than I have in the past.
The Family Circle
Most people who recognize the term Muse think of them
These Nine Muses have still
Relatives. "The sons of Aloeus
held that the Muses were three in number, and gave them the names
of Melete (Practice), Mneme (Memory) and Aoede (Song)."
Mneme, under the name Mnemosyne,
was the mother of the Nine Muses, according to Pierus.
was the father. Zeus's wife was named Hera. This may be why we don't
hear much more about Mnemosyne.
There are still more
Muses; some overlooked in the original listings (like Cindy,
Muse of Other) and others even now being born. I'm not even
going to get into their genealogy.
The Muses can bestow the gift of talent and insight.
They can also revoke their blessings. One story says that a singer
and poet named
Thamyris challenged the Muses. He mocked them and made light
of their skills. For his insolence, Thamyris was maimed and lost
his memory. He could no longer remember his songs, his poems, or
where he left his drinking jug.
The moral of this story is left as an exercise for
The Muses are also called the Graces, as when they
attend the festivals on Olympus and entertain and inspire the other
gods with their wit and charm.
Apollo puts aside his bow and plays the lyre as the Graces
join in the dance of the immortals.
All of the Archetypes have many different physical
manifestations. Some of the Goddess renderings I'm especially fond
of, myself, are those of Jonathon
In my last appearance in Ghostletters, I was 5'2", 36-24-36,
very Greek-featured, with lots of long black curly hair.
I have developed a fondness for Guinness Stout and
Irish musicians, and I can go through quite a lot of both. Just
letting you know.