Mythology Project

KeskusteluFairy Tales Retold

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Mythology Project

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syyskuu 13, 2010, 8:46 am

I'm taking a humanities course, "Myth in Human Culture," and we're studying parallel myths. I have a project where I have to pick a "non-traditional" myth that has not been discussed in class to do a project on. It can be ancient or modern, but it has to be a certain genre - creation, male or female divine/god(ess), a sacred place, or the apocalypse. Any suggestions for a non-traditional myth? I'm trying to find one of the Greek myths, but so far the teacher has rejected all my ideas.

syyskuu 13, 2010, 8:58 am

There are some great science fiction stories that deal with those religious themes.
I just cataloged two anthologies that might hold something you'd like.
Perpetual Light and Other Worlds, Other Gods.

Asimov has a wonderful short story about creation that might not be in one of those, but I can look it up for you. I've been collecting creation stories myself. I've got a couple of humorous versions on my shelf that aren't in LT yet.

Mark Twain did a short story on Eden that's very funny too.

syyskuu 13, 2010, 9:45 am

I'm not sure what your teacher means by "non-traditional" myth. (Aren't all myths based in tradition?) Does she mean a myth that isn't part of Western culture? (I.e., not Greek or Roman?)

syyskuu 13, 2010, 10:47 am

Unfortunately, the instructor wants actual myths, not retellings.
By "non-traditional" she seems to mean not common, so Greek and Roman myths are out.

syyskuu 13, 2010, 10:55 am

There is a book called Mythology: The Voyage of the Hero which might suit your purpose. It describes, via myths across cultures, the various ordeals of the hero's life. Also, Eliade's From Primitives to Zen: A Thematic Sourcebook of the History of Religions also has numerous myths from around the world, arranged thematically.

syyskuu 13, 2010, 11:22 am

Oh, there are a ton of Native American myths you could do. Check out this tagmash on "native american, mythology" or go to your university library and do a subject search on "Indians of North America--Folklore" and see what they've got. (You'll probably want to take the dashes out when you do the search.)

syyskuu 13, 2010, 3:43 pm

I have a ton of different world mythologies in the "myths, legends and folklore" collection in my library you are welcome to look through (many will be annotated in the comments field).

How about Australian aboriginal mythology - there are many creation and sacred site stories to choose from - try looking for 'dreamtime' or 'rainbow serpent' to get started, or have a look at some of these links:

Government cultural site:
Museum site with movies:

syyskuu 15, 2010, 6:03 am

You can have a lot of fun with flood myths. When George Smith was translating the tablets found in Uruk, after months of shopping lists and temple notes he came across a very familiar story, with a flood and a boat and a dove...And promptly ran around the British Museum, pulling off his clothes and talking to himself.

Flood myths crop up all over the place. There's a lot of theroies behind it, including the end of the last ice age.

(Personally, I'm just charmed by eccentric historians having proper eureka moments)

syyskuu 16, 2010, 12:48 pm

>8 MinaKelly:: That anecdote is awesome. Thanks for sharing!

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 16, 2010, 2:10 pm

Does the legends, myths and folklore of Witches, Vampires and Werewolves count? I'm not just talking about the book and movie
versions everyone is familiar with but the actual legends, myths and folklore they were originally based on. I have a book at home called Women's Folklore, Women's Culture by Rosan Jordan. I don't know if that helps or not.


syyskuu 19, 2010, 1:16 pm

>9 MyriadBooks: I heard it for the first time at a live retelling of The Epic of Gilgamesh a few days ago. I wouldn't normally remember a nme like George Smith, but he's pretty indelibly etched in my mind now!

heinäkuu 16, 2011, 9:20 pm


Muokkaaja: syyskuu 4, 2011, 4:50 am

It's probably too late for SusieBookworm's course, but I've really enjoyed Fairytale in the Ancient World by Graham Anderson. It's a study of how many of our familiar classic fairy tales have origins or parallels in the classical world and in the non-classical tradition, and that what we often think of as myth, pure and simple, is frequently fairytale by another name.

Several of the studies I've seen seem to stop short of investigating pre-medieval origins for Snow White and her ilk when gut instinct told me that many of the tale types (not to mention motifs) must have existed generations before. Anderson's study shows that the Perrault and Grimm versions (and their immediate sources) were already re-tellings, updated for the tastes, mores and conventions of their post-medieval worlds.