Trickster

Yesterday I had my copy of Trickster Makes This World returned to me after about a year. (The borrower did not read it.) There’s a link (in regards to identity) between love/hate, community, and trickster that is on the tip of my brain. I’m jotting this down mostly for myself so I don’t have to take the whole book with me on my trip(s). I have written a lot about trickster before (most of it unavailable as my proper blog archives are down).

In short, trickster is a boundary-crosser. Every group has its edge, its sense of in and out, and trickster is always there, at the gates of the city and the gates of life, making sure there is commerce. he also attends the internal boundaries by which groups articulate their social life. We constantly distinguish–right from wrong, sacred and profane, clean and dirty, male and female, young and old, living and dead–and in every case trickster will cross the line and confuse the distinction. Trickster is the creative idiot, therefore, the wise fool, the gray-haired baby, the cross-dresser, the speaker of sacred profanities. Where someone’s sense of honorable behavior has left him unable to act, trickster will appear to suggest an amoral action, something right/wrong that will get life going again. Trickster is the mythic embodiment of ambiguity and ambivalence, doubleness and duplicity, contradiction and paradox.

(pg 7)