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Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com • Mythology Books : Book Discussion • Page 4 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com
Page 4 of 5

Re: Mythology Books

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:16 pm
by AJW009
More great responses! Thank you so much!! This has lots of things that I'm interested on a lower level, like the fairytales, fables etc. These are things I might be able to use these to add more depth to the history of my world, like saying for example "oh Cinderella? Nah, that was just Aphrodite messing about!", but only by knowing the actual fairytales and fables, and I know the Disney versions aren't the true, original representation of those.

I'm glad to hear that Campbell isn't overly religious, so I'll definitely read the book you mentioned, "Hero with a Thousand Faces", and depending on how that goes down, I might be back for the next set of recommendations!! I'll look up Bullfinch and see if I can ascertain what mythologies he covers, but I probably will get it at some point, it's just whether I get him first or Frazier, another I will get at some point too.

The note on the Egyptian Book of the Dead is very helpful especially the name of the publisher. On Japanese Myth, they actually have many, many Gods, in part of course because everything has "Kami" inside it, a concept linked to purity and uncleanliness that from my research "replaces" good and evil in their myths (and Kami is also their word for God), but also from their Founding Myths. Perhaps you've heard of (and excuse my spellings, although like all Gods all over the world, there's many alternative spellings!) Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess and her unruly brother, Susanoo, the Storm Spirit (who is really quite like Loki). I'm looking on information on Kami in both its forms; as a purity/uncleanliness concept (good God I love that, I'm so excited to write about it, it's going to be the defining mechanism of that "realm"!!), and as the Gods themselves and their Myths. The book on Japanese Myth I mention in my first response to you, by Michael Ashkenazi, explains these points marvellously!

Re: Mythology Books

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:26 pm
by AJW009
Continuing on, that book by Norman Mailer has positives and negatives to reading it. I'm intrigued by him being a good writer, but I'm not sure I want to read a book all about poo, call me crazy!! I might see if Amazon has a look inside feature!

I'm glad to hear Graves' book is Non-Fiction, as while fiction is great to help you learn, it's even more prone to artistic license, and if I remember correctly you said it was about the Egyptian Gods? That's good, there's so many of them, there's no such thing as too much information.

On the books on Greek life, I'm a little unclear as to how accurate to how life was these are? Could you clear that up for me please, as it's accurate representations of Ancient life (for all these Mythologies really) that I'm looking for, again, just to infuse that extra depth to my books??

I'll wait to hear more from you on the Mesopotamian Myth books.

Re: Mythology Books

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:31 pm
by TwoStepCharlie
Ah well, then on the subject of Japanese myth I can see that I am not the man to advise you. You have gone further than I have into the matter. Bravo.

Graves' book is about the unifying theme of femininity/earth goddesses which runs through many religions and helps bring all myth down to us in the form we know today. He focuses on Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and Britain.

Bulfinch vs Frazier: bear in mind that Bulfinch is a brisk, short read ...while Frazier is a book that could very well take over a year for you to finish. There's probably a difference in price, as well.

Accuracy of Greek life: no, you won't find it in Greek myths. Not at all.

On the other hand, I am not sure how to advise you on how to familiarize yourself with that era as it is an enormous undertaking to try and do so. There is no one simple book to read; no easy, short, or direct route to Greek thought. Some men spend their whole lives in this branch of history.

You may not relish the detour in your writing schedule which your curiosity might present to you. Following it could direct your steps into the world of philosophy and archaeology, history and military history. One book leads to another, and sooner or later you would find yourself in the world of Plato and Aristotle, and all the modern interpretation we place on their works. This is hardly to your purpose, I think.

Even ER Dodds is perhaps not the best recommendation for you, now that I consider it. Authors of this sort spend most of their pages arguing against other academics and advancing their own views. Gritty, concrete detail is not what the book is about. Its rather a book of ideas vs ideas.

For the beginning student of Greece I would be forced to recommend 'basic' titles like these:
Plutarch - Nine Greek Lives
Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
Xenophon - The Anabasis

How accurate are these works? Quite enough for your needs. They come from Greek (and 1 Roman, Plutarch) writers of the timeperiod itself, They are also very readable and even thrilling. You will at least learn of the major events in Greek history and the character of its military and statesmen.

Oh and earlier I mentioned the Penguin edition of Greek prose adventure stories. Also worth a look. You might find more detail there as to Greek habits, speech, dress, etc.
Another area is the Greek stage: Euripides, Aeschylus...(but here again is another vast crevasse opening up beneath your feet).

Re: Mythology Books

PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:06 pm
by TwoStepCharlie
p.s.
for Indian myths: The Mahaburata
Welsh: The Mabinogion

Re: Mythology Books

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:48 pm
by TwoStepCharlie
AJ, I won't have access to materials on Mesopotamia for a week at least. They're in a closet and my new weight bench is right up against the door. I'll have to unload all the weights and shove the thing aside to get in there. Stay tuned.

Re: Mythology Books

PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:50 am
by AJW009

Re: Mythology Books

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:13 pm
by AJW009

Re: Mythology and Writing Books

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 11:39 am
by AJW009
I'd thought I'd ask for recommendations on writing books here as well, instead of just starting another thread.

Anybody have book recommendations on "How to..." books on dialogue, fight scenes, magic fighting and character development?

I've found some books on these points, so maybe somebody-if anybody is even here, I seem to be the only one on these forums regularly-can give their opinion on these books:
1. Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall-part of the "Writer's Craft" series of books.
2. Writing about Magic by Rayne Hall-also part of the "Writer's Craft" series of books.
3. Dialogue: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Effective Dialogue by Gloria Kempton-part of the Write Great Fiction
4. How to Write Dazzling Dialogue: The Fastest Way to Improve ANY Manuscript by James Scott Bell

If there are any other books you think I'd enjoy, I'd love to hear about them!!

Re: Mythology Books

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:58 am
by paula-hicks
I like The Greek Myths by Robert Graves. It's hard to understand, but the author explains different moments.

Re: Mythology Books

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:48 am
by AJW009