lore.

Originated in fandoms, the concept has lost its fantasy varnish: now lore is simply a small-group equivalent of what larger associations have as culture. Of the top lores, most are still the work of long-lived fandoms — academies, monasteries, kingdoms; projects brew lores too but of a fleeting and narrower kind, more in formalisms and wordplay than myth; family lores, even less ambitious, rarely spread latitudinally but form a substrate for higher loredom. An individual lore — faith — is something you discover and stick to rather than self-tailor to fit, for loring is always interpersonal — “a communicable disease”: “we need each other to lore with,” “there is no last atomization.” Statistic measurables of lores (and lifemaking in general) are part of most societal vitality indicators. ■    Theres a weakly hierarchical structure from large, fluffy, overlapping metanarratives to time-polished mythlets, long detached from their original traditions and floating reusably. A lores natural growth is depth-wise — “historical,” with an activity spot slowly drifting on a temporal or generational axis (not necessarily into the future); layers upon layers of no-longer-relevant past (“forgotten lore”) fortify but rigidize the edifice. Like cats, lores stick to a locality more than personality: lored to someplace means an attachment to a local lore which, even if hardly “yours,” has here happened to you. ■    For millenia there were countably many large lores in the world as generations kept recycling the same classic mythologies; the idea of purposefully building one from the ground up is surprisingly recent. After the “mental labor revolution” (“…is now a single minds lovechild!”), modernitys slack overexploited the early loremaking, numbed the palate; to reinspire, lores had to become organic once again: now a lore is only good when its been lived in a very literal sense — has accreted slow layers of writing (theory) and lifemaking (experiment), became “lived so/but verifiable.”  ■    Lores are as old as language but the understanding of what bears elevating into lore has changed; even the best lineages of deep past taste crude and cringeful today — all sound and fury but little joy for a world where “love is the nest of lore” and irony islands are the only solid land. A major selector in lore evolution is how helpful can a lore be for self-realization and socialization of maturing minds; fastest-spreading are those well adapted to in the fluid multi-lore environment of the Road. ■    An element of pride is foundational in a lore, as often are esotericism and secretiveness, but dogmatic exclusivity or truth claims make for a quick deflator. Unlike historical (mostly ethnic) cultures, lores lack the assimilative urge: it pleases to teach someone your language but theres no fun in making them forget their own; even traditions founded on detachment or isolation wont suppress the instinct of radiating to the world — they may resymbolize lore-spreading into “otherwise meaningless” rituals (beam backup, space Leavers sending their hopeless “messages in a bottle”).  ■    Millennia of art and religion — and now lore where “nobody is just a consumer”: a transition that “made them [art and religion] possible again”; just as wizarding — itself a lore — gives power to those unlikely to fight for it, anonymous and collaborative lores make artistry rewarding for someone capable but unmotivated by the usual perks of attention or name recognition. Past art left a honeycomb that lores — “art for the rest of us” — fill with honey, drop by tiny drop, just as art proper in its turn “loreifies” — grows “naive,” non-competitive, amorphous; still, art is the ultimate what-for of any lore, obvious in the nearly automatic “searching upwards” for the nearest superlore that has produced art enough to vindicate your local tradition. Value only grows from under an unfreedom — inability, unawareness, underunderstandings that make a discovery contagious; lores supply such fertile unfreedoms for a world that, otherwise, might have been too transparent and elastic.  ■    Even a bold crossbreed of traditions or an outright rebellion may turn out cislorean — “art for in-group consumption” at best; some truly translorean work, on the other hand, has been done by those faithful to their ancestral traditions through all their ups and downs. Leaving a lore (not to be shamed or feared but glorified: a graduation) is natural when it goes strong but increasingly unthinkable in a lores autumn: the fewer are the survivors, the harder they clutch at their memories of a therisity which was — which has, itself, left its paladins.

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