Archives For literature

King James in America

What is a Myth?

November 22, 2013 — Leave a comment
  1. It is extra-literary. 
  2. The pleasure of myth depends hardly at all on such usual narrative attractions as suspense and surprise.
  3. Human sympathy is at a minimum. We do not project ourselves strongly into the characters. We feel indeed that the pattern of their movements has a profound relevance to our own life, but we do not imaginatively transport ourselves into theirs.
  4. Myth is always in one sense of the word “fantastic.” It deals with the impossibles and preternaturals.  
  5. The experience may be sad or joyful but it is always grave. Comic myth is impossible.
  6. The experience is not only grave but awe-inspiring. Its as if something of great moment had been communicated to us. 
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The Epic of Gilgamesh (Mesopotamia) – author unknown

Iliad (Greece) – ascribed to Homer

Odyssey (Greece) – ascribed to Homer

Aeneid (Rome) – Virgil 

Metamorphoses (Rome) – Ovid

Beowulf (Britain) – author unknown

Both Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained (Britain) – John Milton

 

Of course there are loads of more amazing epic poems and stories to read, but these are for me some that are must reads. Enjoy.