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Myths Series

The world is full of myths – epic stories that hold fundamental truths and help us understand and navigate the world. They are found in every culture and on every continent. The mythology of our post-modern society, however, so easily gets caught up in its own self-evaluation that we can find ourselves cast adrift with no compass, nothing with which we can make sense of life. As a result we are a generation who believe blindly in the scientific method and the promise of progress it holds.

Canongate’s Myths series aims to remind us of the myths we have forgotten, and also share new myths we may not yet know. An ambitious project, it’s eventual target is a set of 100 books written by authors from all over the world, each of which tells, retells, analyses, interprets or otherwise presents a myth. The myths themselves are drawn widely from different cultures and times, and are intended to be as representative and inclusive as possible.

My first acquaintance with the series was Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad. I was immediately entranced by the concept behind this series, and it was with great excitement that I collected the other 13 books that have been published to date. I read them in fairly quick succession, and found the overall experience to be challenging, enlightening and quite fascinating. It is seldom that one can read books so diverse in style, content and intention, but which nevertheless have some common thread binding them into something of a coherent whole.

It is with great enthusiasm that I await the next installments in the series…

The series thusfar:

  1. A Short History of Myth – Karen Armstrong
  2. The Penelopiad – Margaret Atwood
  3. Weight – Jeanette Winterson
  4. The Helmet of Horror – Victor Pelevin
  5. Lion’s Honey – David Grossman
  6. Dream Angus – Alexander McCall Smith
  7. Where Three Roads Meet – Sally Vickers
  8. Girl Meets Boy – Ali Smith
  9. Binu and the Great Wall – Su Tong
  10. The Fire Gospel – Michel Faber
  11. Baba Yaga Laid an Egg - Dubravka Ugrešić
  12. The Hurricane Party – Klas Östergren
  13. Orphans of Eldorado – Milton Hatoum
  14. The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ – Philip Pullman

One Comment

  1. Posted 11 Aug ’11 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Ek het in 2008 Jeanette Winterson se “Weight” gekoop, en eintlik vergeet dat dit deel is van ‘n reeks. So, dankie vir die herontdekking! Ek skaf nou aan (weliswaar as audio books vir die langpad – ja, dis beter as sommige musiek wat vir dié rede geadverteer word – en hoop dis net so bevredigend as die leeservaring).

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