Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Myriad of Mythologies

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I'm reading another version of the Norse mythologies at the moment -- along side a book on Rune lore. That, and I'm attempting to enjoy a book by an author I've never read before. So far, I'm interested in it, but not sold as I was for "A Game of Thrones" by George R. R. Martin and "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss. The former authors are, in my opinion, so awesome that it would be a good idea to give others a chance before finishing off more novels by either one of them.

But back to the Mythology. As much as I love the Eddas and continually browse through them in attempts to be granted great wisdom, (and it does happen. Don't look at me like that!) I think it is really fun to read interpretations written out in a novel-esque format. The author I am reading now really does keep it to sound like the oral tradition of storytelling as opposed to a written, poetic approach.

This way kind of isolates the story itself from the myriad of symbols the original prose and poetry contain. While the core symbols remain true, the stories themselves are removed from the grand concepts and instead those are rewritten as "morals of the story" -- in most cases.

Each version of the mythologies as interpreted by different authors gives a new sort of insight -- because we are human, and so we are biased to some degree. What is important to one author may not be to another author -- so the wording changes. The symbols are reduced or combined in different ways. The interpretation of research differs, and so names and events in their respective retelling may be shifted just so.

I've been glancing through an "academic" version of the Arthurian Legends and would love to rewrite those one day in modern-day novel form too -- and I know it would never be the same as the others, which I do also enjoy. The point is, Myth and Legend still continue to inspire so much of who we are and how we create -- be that writing, singing, painting...what have you. Each interpretation is nevertheless completely different. So what began as the central myth now is a myriad of mythologies due to the way each person views their world.

I don't know about you, but I think the concept is endlessly fascinating.


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