Myth Mondays is a new series of weekly posts, beginning in 2017, ending whenever I want. Every week I will post something that falls into the vast topic of mythology. It might be a summary or retelling of a myth I read recently, a comparison of variations on a myth or hero, a review of a myth-related book, or something else entirely.
In addition, I’m rereading the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan this year, so once a month I’ll do a mythological “Who’s Who” in whichever PJ books I read. There are many mythological cameos and references in the series, and I’d like to keep track of them as I read. Some are obvious or headline characters, others are more obscure. I think it will be fun.
So, that’s the plan. Why am I doing this? Why should you care? I am interested in myths for many reasons, and I enjoy them for many other reasons. Here are my primary interests in reading myths:
- I love to see similarities between stories (especially from different regions)
- It’s fascinating to see what different people think a hero should be, i.e., heroic characteristics, or the definition of what makes a person a hero
- I like reading creation stories because they’re wild
- I like finding archetypes across many very different stories (e.g. the Trickster, who is everywhere)
- I’m always here to see goddesses and terrifying heroines kicking faces and taking names, and they show up everywhere in myths
- Myths can tell us so many things about the people who invented them
- Myths show us how we have always used stories to explain the world
- Myths show us how stories shape us
I studied English in college and my background in mythology is mostly Greek and Roman, but I’d like to expand my repertoire to other areas and cultures. I’ve read a smattering of African, Indian, and Native American myths. The first book I’m going through for this series is a collection of Mesopotamian myths, which I know nothing about except the Epic of Gilgamesh. I’ve somehow never read Edith Hamilton’s Mythology in its entirety, so I’ll be going through that at some point. I also have this weird Dionysus book I’d like to get to, because Dionysus is my favorite booze-obsessed madman.
If you have book recommendations, let me know! I’ll be trolling around my library sources for myths I haven’t read before.