The skeleton of the system

There is no such thing as the isolated mythical event, just as there is no such thing as the isolated word. Myth, like language, gives all of itself in each of its fragments. When a myth brings into play repetition and variants, the skeleton of the system emerges for a while, the latent order, covered in seaweed.

Roberto Calasso, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony

The monster and the hero

The monster is the most precious of enemies: therefore it is the enemy one goes and looks for.  Other enemies might simply attack us; the Giants, for example, or the Titans, representatives of an order in the process of being replaced, or looking for revenge for having already been replaced. The monster is quite different. The monster waits near the well-spring. The monster is the spring. He doesn’t need the hero.  It is the hero who needs him for his very existence, because his power will be protected by and indeed must be snatched from the monster. When the hero confronts the monster, he has as yet neither power nor knowledge. The monster is his secret father, who will invest him with a power and knowledge that can belong to one man only, and that only the monster can give him.

Roberto Calasso, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony