Wednesday, June 9

Myths Series

I've been a fan of mythologies for quite sometime. The history of oral tradition mixed with the fantastical ideas of gods, quests, and creation stories make my mind whirl with how large and long they have been in existence. The idea of myths is something I feel is decidedly human, and not just historically human, but true still in how they continue to be revised and created today.

A few years ago, I read a book called The Penelopiad by one of my favorite authors, Margaret Atwood. It's a wonderful perspective of what Penelope's world was like when her husband, Odysseus, was off on his adventures, known from Homer's The Odyssey. I loved reading it for many reasons: Atwood continues to use satire to entertain and educate, the main character is a powerful heroine in a world dominated by male creatures and force, and it shows more depth in a story I already loved.

When last in Sp0kane, I picked up Phillup Pullman's new book called The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, which is a fictional interpretation of, you guessed it, Jesus Christ, who in this book, is represented as two separate people. It is no where near one of my favorites, but in looking into the research done for this book, I found out it's part of series Canon Gate is doing, called The Myths Series. I was also happy to find that one of my favorites, The Penelopiad is a part of this series.

I've taken up the goal to read them all, and currently I'm working through Dream Angus by Alexander McCall Smith. It's the only one available through the library, so the others I'll be hunting on websites and bookstores. This one takes up the myths of the Celtic Dream God, Angus.

Just by their outlines on CanonGate's website, I'm particularly interested in the myths The Helmet of Horror, Baba Yaga Laid and Egg, and The Hurricane Party. If you like this idea, I encourage you to read them too.


  1. In a very similar vein to the Penelopiad, you might want to try Christa Wolf's Cassandra, which is a retelling of the Battle of Troy from the point of view of Cassandra.

    And because I can't make recommendations without geeking out about comics, Mike Carey's Lucifer is an exploration of Lucifer after he's decided to give up ruling Hell. It's a bit long at 11 volumes, but I think it's one of the better things I've read.

    And then, further in the myth front, All Star Superman is basically a modern version of the 12 labors of Hercules, as well as a nice little creation myth that cements the character into humanity.

  2. Thanks for the suggestions! I'm glad there are other myth lovers out there who can lead me in new directions.


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