But one thing he said to an interviewer after winning the Booker prize for his novel Rites of Passage in 1980 struck me in particular. What he said was this:
I don’t like the word allegorical, I don’t like the word symbolic. The word I really like is mythic. And people always think that means full of lies, whereas of course what it really means is full of a truth that cannot be told in any other way but a story.
Now it seems to me that this is a highly insightful comment, and could certainly be applied to Biblical 'truth'. I for one do not believe the Bible is always and everywhere 'literally' true (eg I don't believe in 7 day creation, a literal Adam and Eve, a literal whale swallowing Jonah etc). (I do, though, think the gospels are about as literally true as it is possible for documents of that sort to be, and I certainly believe in a real, 'literal' Jesus who was the Son of God and who lived, died and was raised on the third day.)
But I do think the whole Bible - including all those strange OT stories - is true as myth, according to Golding's definition.
Does that strike a chord with anybody else?