72 posts tagged with myth.
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Books on reading premodern texts from a modern perspective

How literally should I be interpreting ancient and medieval stories and texts? I gather this is an open question among modern scholars, but I'm having a hard time coming up with any books that deal with it. [more inside]
posted by teponaztli on Mar 21, 2016 - 7 answers

Not just an eye of newt. Can you identify this short story?

I remember reading a short story some time ago, about a little girl who was (I think?) trapped in an invisible labyrinth, and had a salamander (possibly two?) that were her companions. The salamander(s) always had to be moving or they would die/turn to stone. Eventually one (or both) saves the girl, sacrificing himself in the process. Where can I find this story?
posted by ananci on Mar 9, 2016 - 4 answers

Poems to Complement a Unit of Work on Antigone?

I am looking for suggestions for poems that would be appropriate to teach to 14 yo students that have some relationship to either Antigone or the world of Greek mythology. [more inside]
posted by jojobobo on Jan 22, 2016 - 14 answers

Myths -cultural books for 5 year old with advanced reading level

Hi My nephew is 5, starting school in 2016 January (southern hemisphere semester.) He reads above the average for his age, and his interests vary greatly week to week. Neither of his parents, or Grandparents or extended family have any interest in Mythology or literature at all. He does have some though. He grasps the narrative structures of cartoons and TV shows he likes. He also really enjoys books of classic Fairy Tales like Grimm and Aesop, told for children. He seems like he is ready for Roald Dahhl... [more inside]
posted by esto-again on Nov 5, 2015 - 19 answers

Did Chinese President Xi Jinping refer to "sword of Damocles" in speech?

In the translation I've found of Xi Jinping's speech at the recent military parade, he says: "War is the sword of Damocles that still hangs over mankind." Does he refer to the Damocles myth in the original Chinese or is an equivalent Chinese reference transposed into Western culture? If he does refer to the actual sword of Damocles, is it a common reference in China? And if so, did it enter common Chinese parlance through the writings of Marx?
posted by Kattullus on Sep 20, 2015 - 3 answers

Are there any good podcasts about mythology?

I want to hear podcasts that tell and analyze myths. Preferably not constrained to one culture/time period. Suggestions? [more inside]
posted by mccarty.tim on Sep 2, 2014 - 5 answers

Multi armed mythical humanoids

Are there mythological figures with three, four, five, six, seven or eight arms? If so, what are their names? Note, I'm specifically looking for humanoid type figures with more than two arms, not beasts such as Cerberus, the three headed dog or Hekatonkheires, the hundred eyed or headed giants. We're just talking arms here. I need to name a few things.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jun 13, 2013 - 20 answers

Help with project? Please list fictional cities !

For a project I'm currently working on as part of my graduation in Graphic Design, I wanted to compile something like an atlas of fictional cities. These may be from books, legends, stories, video games, advertisements, comics, really whatever... Even "real" cities but alternate versions, imagined or in some way deviate from their real counterpart are valid. [more inside]
posted by ahtlast93 on May 18, 2013 - 47 answers

What is this myth I'm misremembering?

Is it Hercules? Ulysses? Odysseus or some other old mythic dude? What's the myth where he (whoever he is) has to fight a terrible creature, and it keeps changing shape. The key to triumph has something to do with the fact that he's strong enough (physically or mentally) to hold on through all these changes? Is this ringing a bell? What myth am I misremembering?
posted by BlahLaLa on Apr 25, 2013 - 11 answers

Blitz myth

A friend's comment, "Coventry was under martial law you know." about this video has made me curious about the myth of the Blitz. I've come across references to civic collapse in Liverpool, defeatism in Plymouth and extensive government censorship. Although there are numerous books covering the period, many seem to either reiterate the same propaganda, or be just too reactionary. Can anyone recommend a good book to get a balanced perspective on the effect of the blitz?
posted by BadMiker on Apr 23, 2013 - 2 answers

Movies or stories with sympathetic monsters/villains?

I'd like to compile a list of sympathetic monsters/villains, portrayed in any medium--film, fiction, art, music, myth. [more inside]
posted by ifjuly on Mar 18, 2013 - 44 answers

Mythology about books and writing

I'm looking for myths/stories about books and writing. Not - and this is where I'm running into trouble with google - top ten lists about cafe productivity and self-publishing; I mean more like a hero whittling a pen from the boughs of Yggdrasil and then stealing ink from the Kraken, with the goal of writing down the secrets of Enki in order to embarrass him and get him to pay the 5 goats owed. Or whatever. Any location/time is fine! Can be short, can be long.
posted by curious nu on Mar 5, 2013 - 20 answers

Resources on Polynesian myth.

For a friend: I’m writing about a fictional, Polynesian-inspired trickster god for a game. What are some resources I can consult so my storylines are respectful and grounded in authentic myth? Ideally, these sources will be fun to read as well.
posted by cthuljew on Feb 11, 2013 - 3 answers

Can you recommend an apocalyptic text to read on stage?

I'm looking for some good armageddons. I'm MCing an End-of-the-World poetry reading on December 21st and I want to read a few short passages from apocalyptic texts. I've already settled on the Book of Revelations and Ragnarök, but I'd like to cast a wide net and find some non-Western and/or non-religious/mythological descriptions of the end times. Can you recommend a good doomsday for me to read?
posted by Kattullus on Dec 17, 2012 - 26 answers

Ferret Swiper, No Swiping?

Train ferret to harvest shiny valuables? True? Completely difficult and therefore unlikely? Ferret owners/lovers especially welcome. Thanks. [more inside]
posted by the young rope-rider on Dec 15, 2012 - 12 answers

Greek Mythology Reading Recommendations

Bookfilter: Suggestions on good books about Greek mythology. [more inside]
posted by Twain Device on Nov 28, 2012 - 14 answers

Tell your secret to the water?

I'm sure I once read a myth about someone telling a secret to a pool of water--and even this strategy backfiring. The moral of the story being, if you want to keep something secret, never utter a word, not even to the water or the wind. I've tried googling with no success. Can anyone flesh out this memory for me?
posted by uans on Nov 21, 2012 - 8 answers

Zeus for Toddlers?

Looking for picture books of classical mythology (especially Greek) diluted for a 3-4 year old! [more inside]
posted by Alabaster on Aug 20, 2012 - 16 answers

+apple -computer +myth -game

What is the source of this half-remembered myth/folk-tale about an apple which grew when stamped on? [more inside]
posted by unSane on Jul 3, 2012 - 3 answers

Have you seen the jack in the green?

Help me remember a long forgotten poem, Hive Mind! Here's what I remember: spring, a man growing horns and hooves, a fall into roots, red thread. [more inside]
posted by WidgetAlley on Jun 27, 2012 - 5 answers

Help Me Find This Fable About Cheetahs

Trying to identify a myth/fairy tale I read in an issue of Highlights back in the 1990s. It has to do with how animals got their spots/colors, and how the cheetah, who was vain, waited too long and had to use the leftover paint colors to create its yellow coat, black spots, and black "tears". [more inside]
posted by These Birds of a Feather on Jun 6, 2012 - 7 answers

Not So Grimm Fairytales

Can you recommend books of fairy tales, folklore, or myths, that are not European? [more inside]
posted by instead of three wishes on May 16, 2012 - 26 answers

Go I Know Not Whither and Fetch I Know Not What

What are some good books about/based on Slavic mythology and folk tales? [more inside]
posted by griphus on Apr 19, 2012 - 9 answers

Source this myth!

Classicists and folklore/mythology types: how can I go about finding the original source for this obscure Roman (or Greek?) myth? [more inside]
posted by Bardolph on Sep 21, 2011 - 12 answers

Ancient Egyptian Underworld and Afterlife in Film

I'm looking for movies with scenes involving the ancient Egyptian underworld/afterlife. [more inside]
posted by egeanin on Sep 4, 2011 - 7 answers

Trying to find a myth or story about not eating bone marrow.

Trying to find a myth or story about a god telling a family not to eat the marrow of his animals. [more inside]
posted by usagizero on May 17, 2011 - 3 answers

Who Corrects the Correctors?

"Graphic novel" isn't merely a more sophisticated synonym for "comic book." The "H" in the Montreal Canadiens logo doesn't stand for "Habitants" (it's just "hockey"). What are other examples of wrong "insider" info commonly cited by poseur-types? Stuff that only true experts/fans would be quick to refute, and probably snicker at? [more inside]
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing on Apr 19, 2011 - 76 answers

Rapscallions wanted

I am looking for new books in the same category as Le Petit Nicolas, Gian Burrasca, and, kind of, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. [more inside]
posted by bq on Apr 9, 2011 - 9 answers

Is it dangerous to heat water in the microwave?

MythFilter: I get these chain emails every once in a while about how dangerous it is to heat water in the microwave. I can't seem to get a straight answer from anybody! Is microwaving water really that dangerous? [more inside]
posted by JMB1138 on Mar 21, 2011 - 18 answers

I can haz storiez?

What are the best stories you know? Any kind of stories, written or unwritten. (Examples: the story of the founding of Australia, as written in the book The Fatal Shore; Orpheus and Euridice; Matty Groves (the folk song); [interesting stories here]). [more inside]
posted by sully75 on Feb 16, 2011 - 7 answers

Classic American bootstrap stories?

Classic American bootstrap stories? [more inside]
posted by Hobbacocka on Oct 7, 2010 - 28 answers

Does the brain compensate for the loss of a sense?

Is there any science behind the myth that if an individual loses one sense, the brain compensates by increasing the accuracy of the others?
posted by modernnomad on Aug 20, 2010 - 15 answers

Yup, another book-recommendation post.

Now that I finally have some free time on my hands (research proposal is in, huzzah!) I'm looking for something to read that is not affiliated with my degree. The academic in me adores footnotes in fiction. Also, books that blend genres, and particularly ones that feature strange/big cities. I usually read urban fantasy/weird/new weird/steampunk. The following elements make me take notice: magic, science, esotericism, religion, myth, historical influence. Not a big fan of comedy. [more inside]
posted by New England Cultist on Aug 3, 2010 - 45 answers

NameThatStoryFilter: Following the King's (?) flute

I'm trying to remember a story that involves finding a castle/king, and following the sound of a flute to get there. [more inside]
posted by niles on Jul 5, 2010 - 4 answers

Postgraduate Reasearch Paper - The Neverending Story

I'm writing a postgrad research paper on Michael Ende's The Neverending Story. I'm keen to hear from anyone who has done any academic work on the novel, or those who have a personal interest in understanding aspects of the novel. Very little in terms of scholarly research exists on the topic to date . My particular focus is a Jungian analysis of archetypes within the novel. It's an introduction of sorts, a quick overview (10 000 words) of a topic I have the potential of working onto a longer thesis.
posted by New England Cultist on Apr 6, 2010 - 12 answers

What luxuries (TV, cigarettes, drinks, etc) can you have while incarcerated?

Lil Wayne's prison sentence got me thinking- what luxuries will he able to enjoy in prison as a star or wealthy person? If not him specifically what luxuries can be given to a prisoner with enough wealth and influence? How is this legal? [more inside]
posted by ejfox on Mar 14, 2010 - 15 answers

Mythical and legendary costumes

Myths & Legends: Costume idea help please! [more inside]
posted by like_neon on Jan 8, 2010 - 7 answers

Orpheus/Eurydice Trope

Are there other examples of stories in which a lover travels to the underworld/heaven/hell to rescue their dead love? I'm idly working on a play based on Orpheus and Eurydice, and would like to collect more versions of that storyline.
posted by stray on Dec 6, 2009 - 40 answers

Women who runs with the Wolf Lecture

What have you heard about werewolves? [more inside]
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Oct 28, 2009 - 59 answers

Pan and the what?

What is the name of this fantasy book that I only vaugely remember? [more inside]
posted by tylerfulltilt on Sep 18, 2009 - 2 answers

"I can't believe I got the whole thing!"

Graffiti Filter: Looking for a photo or confirmation of a myth of an epic and humorous piece of graffiti. [more inside]
posted by GJSchaller on Jul 22, 2009 - 4 answers

Book-footed vampire?

Where did I read about a book footed vampire? [more inside]
posted by brownbat on Nov 7, 2008 - 3 answers

Creation Myth

Pequeninos, Thranx, Fithp, Psychlos, Aalaag, Hani, Mahendo'sat, Kif, etc. Do you recall if any of these science fiction aliens (or any other sf aliens) have their own creation myth? At first glance it seemed a easy research assignment. I have no trouble in coming up with creation myths for real cultures, but I'm coming up with 0 in imaginary cultures.
posted by francesca too on Oct 5, 2008 - 17 answers

Screenwriting: cinema and myth?

Academic papers and books on the topic of myth in screenwriting? [more inside]
posted by sumo on Sep 30, 2008 - 5 answers

Witches, Wizards, and the American Civil War

What was going on with the occult and belief in the supernatural in Civil War-era America? [more inside]
posted by robocop is bleeding on Sep 18, 2008 - 18 answers


Is anyone familiar with ancient Native American legends of giant frogs riding people? [more inside]
posted by kittens for breakfast on May 8, 2008 - 3 answers

Wendigo myth in the Northwest

Is the Wendigo purely a Northeast American (and Canadian) myth? If so is there a Northwest equivalent?
posted by Artw on Apr 29, 2008 - 15 answers

Vegetarian needs "respectable" article about protein in all foods

My new doctor is one of those older doctors who believe that vegetarian diets lack protein unless you eat the "right" things. I would like to find an article to give her about how there is protein in everything. [more inside]
posted by AllieTessKipp on Feb 20, 2008 - 28 answers

public swimming pool myth

When I was a kid there was this idea that if you pissed in a public swimming pool the water around you will turn blue and follow you around. Today I asked a few friends and everyone got told the same thing. Is this just a myth invented to stop kids from doing this or is it real? [more inside]
posted by dydecker on Dec 28, 2007 - 15 answers

Help me find a word for this obscure kind of situation!

Obsessivewordenthusiastfilter: I'm writing a paper and I'm trying to portray a certain situation which I feel would be best conveyed with the use of an allusion, preferably to a Greek or Roman myth. More inside! [more inside]
posted by Lockeownzj00 on Dec 9, 2007 - 19 answers

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