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An idea is able to gain and retain the aura of essential truth through telling and retelling. This process endows a cherished notion with more veracity than a library of facts. Documentation plays only a small role in contrast to the act of re-conformation by each generation of scholars. In addition, the further removed one gets from the period in question, the greater is the strength of the conviction. Initial incredulousness is soon converted into belief in a probability and eventually smug assurance.
- W. Arens, The Man-Eating Myth
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