Why Thursday? It’s the monomyth! #FolkloreThursday — Dr. Işık Barış Fidaner

Greetings to #FolkloreThursday!

In a news story about #FolkloreThursday last year, David Barnett raises the question: Why Thursday? [■]

He quotes Dee Dee Chainey’s reference to Norwegian traditions, which is presumably Thor’s day. Thor is a local explanation that I like and accept [*] but let me also give a further global answer to this same question.

The key to my global answer is to recognize that a working week (as well as a working day) is structured like the Campbellian monomyth. [+] I don’t want to present justifications to back up this association, as I believe that this association would become self-evident to anyone who reads The Hero with a Thousand Faces and thinks through the subjective/objective aspects that drive his/her periodic daily & weekly experiences. [-]

When a working week is covered by the periodic structure of the monomyth, Thursday roughly corresponds to the phase when the Hero(ine) has already undergone the ordeal in the special world and is now supposed to initiate a return back to his/her ordinary world.

It is extremely appropriate to associate folklore with a return from the special world back to the ordinary world, because this is the phase where the Hero(ine) has to distinguish and gather whatever knowledge and physical objects (s)he can in the special world to be able to bring them back home.

To put it colloquially, Thursday corresponds to the phase in which the Hero(ine) has to pack his/her bags to be able to go back home. [%] So this is my global answer to this question.

Cheers to my colleagues! [♤] Let me use this opportunity to advertise my first textbook Introduction to Sociotechnical Cognition recently published by Placeless Books Press (PBP). [♢]


Dr. Işık Barış Fidaner


[■] I’m currently translating Barnett’s story into Turkish. It’s almost finished. So that’s when I wanted to write this blog post.

[*] In fact, all good moral deeds by the social media followers of my blog Yersiz Şeyler [Placeless Things] are presently delivered to Thor as the official recipient deity. See the declaring tweet all the way down this post. (The previous official recipient deity was Poseidon, but he was getting everywhere wet, so he had to go)

[+] Or “Hero’s Journey” to call it by its popular name.

[-] Isn’t it obvious that each Monday (as well as the morning hours of every working day) is indeed an encounter with “Threshold Guardians” as described in the monomyth? I had made this association in a paper called “Postmodern Alienation Model”. Here is an English translation.

[%] Furthermore, this packing one’s bags finds its perfect theory in “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction” by Ursula Le Guin. [•]

[•] For me as a computer scientist, this also associates with what’s commonly called a Bag-of-words language model. [♡]

[♡] Let me present another association that might have political echoes: “Suspunk: Thinking with Suspicious Packages” by Javier Arbona, Bryan Finoki, Nick Sowers.

[♤] I think it’s fairly appropriate to call ourselves “colleagues” at this point since all sciences are involved with folklore in some way. Even mathematics is folkloric, don’t you think? About this, see: Intellectual and Manual Labour: A Critique of Epistemology by Alfred Sohn-Rethel.

[♢] That’s me! It’s an electronic publication with a PDF file and its LaTeX source codes.


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